Decoding Febriphobia – The Fear of Fever
Do you see yourself crying overnight when a close one suffers from a mild fever? Do you constantly check Google for the possible symptoms associated with fever while the results send a shiver down your spine?
If the thought of a close one suffering from fever makes you nervous and fearful, you are possibly a victim of Febriophobia, the fear of fever.
Also known as Fibriphobia or Fibriophobia, this extreme fear of fever can affect people across age, gender, and social class. So, let’s try and understand Febriphobia, and learn about Febriphobia treatment to help those who might be suffering from it.
What is Febriphobia?
Fever is a common medical issue that most children and even some adults encounter. What is not so common is the fear of fever that some caregivers show upon seeing their children suffer from the illness. The higher the body temperature of the child, the more concerned the caregiver gets.
No matter how hysterical and exaggerated the phobia may seem to you, it does exist. It is unlikely for a person to develop a fear of fevers, but the few that do suffer from it go through sleepless nights. Although uncommon, one must be informed about Febriphobia, its causes, symptoms, and treatments, and ways to cope with it.
Fever, which in itself is a symptom of various illnesses and diseases, can evoke anxiety, fear, and other signs of mental agony.
Before we move ahead, it is important to realize that fever is a sign or a symptom of an infection or a disease that the body may catch, not a disease itself. It is not the fever that disturbs the person suffering from Febriphobia, but the complications that accompany it.
The term Febriphobia is derived from the Latin word “Febri”, meaning fever, and the Greek word “Phobia”, meaning fear.
Because phobias like Febriophobia are rare, and not encountered as often as other commonly faced phobias, it is considered an irrational and unrealistic phobia. That said, just like any other phobia, Febriphobia can be caused by multiple factors, some of which are as follows:
Genetic Predisposition is a very likely cause for this phobia. If any of your ancestors had the fear of fever, they could have passed it down to upcoming generations. Hereditary, genetics, and body chemistry is a major contributing factor to developing phobias.
Environmental causes are also a possibility. People who grow up in an environment where other people are susceptible to the horrors of fever are prone to developing Febriphobia. Your phobias get rooted into your belief system if you grow up imbibing similar notions.
Past traumatic experiences happen to be one of the most commonly occurring reasons for developing a phobia. A traumatic childhood event can have a deep-rooted impact on you. It subconsciously always stays at the back of your head. If you’ve had a bad experience with fever, you are likely to treat it as a phobic stimulus.
Febriphobia, You or Loved Ones?
If you or a close one suffers from Febriophobia, you will see yourself, or them, experiencing a deep, unpleasant state of restlessness and panic, just at the mere mention of the term “fever”.
Although considered irrational and exaggerated, your phobias can distract you from doing even the most basic house chores, keep you from concentrating on short, easy tasks, and become an obstacle, you know it has taken hold of a better part of you, mentally and physically alike.
If you want to make it certain whether you have it or not, we have a list of a few symptoms that you must be on the lookout for.
Symptoms of Febriphobia
The severity of a phobia varies from person to person. It is highly unlikely for a fear to cause harm, but when you develop a fear, you are subjected to various symptoms, both physical and psychological, that ascertain the presence of the fear in your head.
If you fear you have developed the fear of fever, keep your eyes open to the following symptoms:
– Nervous meltdowns
– Panic attacks
– Mood swings
– Excessive trembling and sweating
– Constant shivers and jitters at the mention of “fever”
– Choking sensation
– Nausea and shortness of breath
– Fast heartbeats
– High blood pressure
– Dry mouth and a feeling of numbness
– Trouble in concentrating
– Constant urge to visit the toilet
– Severe headaches.
How Do You Deal With Febriphobia?
Before you begin your journey of dealing with Febriphobia, defeating it, and emerging as a fear-free winner, you need to understand the difference between disgust and fear. Disgust is your emotional response to a stimulus in the form of rejection and repulsiveness. Anything that is considered improper, unpleasant, contaminated, or offensive, can trigger your aversion towards it.
Fear, on the other hand, is the emotion that is evoked when you feel a sense of threat, pain, or danger from an object or situation.
If you think you suffer from the latter when it comes to fevers, you are, unfortunately, suffering from Febriphobia. However, it is nothing to be shameful about, there are plenty of ways of dealing with it, treating it, and conquering it.
Self Help – What Can You Do To Help Yourself?
Begin by talking about your phobia to a person you trust. Confiding your fears, no matter how irrational they may seem to you can help you deal with them. You can also write down your fears and triggers in a journal every time you experience your phobia.
Exercising can also help. No matter how severe or gentle your mental and physical agonies are, exercising always helps by fighting off the symptoms, making your body stronger, and your mind healthier.
Professional Help for the Fear of Fever – The Options Available
The most accepted, popular, and effective treatment method for Febriphobia is talking treatments. A simple session of counseling with a professional who can identify your behavioral changes and hold a one-on-one session recognizing your fears can diminish your phobia.
Other recognized methods of treating a phobia include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Your therapist identifies the negative thinking patterns that persist in your mind. These patterns can affect your perception of viewing things and situations that can amplify your fears.
Exposure Therapy: You are exposed to your fears. You are encouraged to face your fears every day, little by little until you are no longer sensitive to the fear of fevers.
How To Cope With Febriphobia?
It cannot be emphasized enough how self-help is one of the best routes to coping with Febriphobia, or any phobia for that matter. When your fears fail to get separated from you even after years of rigorous treatments, self-help comes to the rescue.
Practicing something as simple and basic as breathing can help you calm your nerves. Meditation too can be extremely helpful in treating anxiety induced by the fear of fever. Write a journal. Talk to friends. See a therapist. Pick a hobby. Expose yourself to your fears.
There are some of the easiest ways out of living a life that is dominated by your fears. Inculcating such practices in your daily routine will help you to pacify the symptoms that are associated with your phobia and help you lead a better, healthier life in return.
As much as you need to cope with your traumas and emerge from them victorious, it is crucial to not be very hard on yourself. Give yourself the time and allow the treatment you need to cope with your fears. Remember, even though your phobia cannot be completely cured, it can be diminished to a degree that does not adversely affect you anymore. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.