Understanding The Intense Fear of Being a Sinner or Hamartophobia
Do you ever find yourself seizing up in fear whenever you’re in a morally grey situation?
While a person’s moral compass will always have some effect on their actions, you might be driving yourself into panic at the thought of sinning.
You probably suffer from the constant worry of committing an “unforgivable” mistake. The fear makes you anxious, your hands get clammy. If the possibility of committing a sin terrifies you, chances are you’ve got Hamartophobia.
Hamartophobia can cause you to lose your rationale. You could run from any situation where you think you could commit a sin with seemingly disastrous consequences. Read on to understand everything you need to know about Hamartophobia meaning and how to overcome it adequately.
Some Things You Need To Know About Hamartophobia
First things first, the word for fear of sinning is Hamartophobia and it is often misspelled as Harmatophobia – they’re both the same thing. Hamartophobia is a specific phobia, which means how you feel the fear would vary from others who might have the same phobia.
Interestingly, it is quite similar to two other phobias:
● Enissophobia, a crippling fear of criticism of any kind, and committing
● Peccatophobia, the fear of wrongdoing or sinning.
What Causes The Fear Of Sinning?
By now, you must be wondering what causes the fear of sinning phobia.
If you think you have Hamartophobia, you may want to take a stroll down memory lane to figure out what was the reason you developed this fear. Generally, a phobia is caused by an external event (trauma), internal factors (genetics), or a combination of both.
In this case, there could be a variety of reasons that can trigger your fear of sinning. Some of the most common hamartophobia causes are an individual’s childhood – how their parents raised them, past experience, and even heredity.
Your hamartophobia could also be induced due to life events that may have traumatized you while/ about sinning. These sins typically revolve around the seven deadly sins – gluttony, pride, lust, greed, envy, sloth, and wrath.
Did your caretakers extensively lecture and scare you about the “consequences” of bad habits? They might have used religion or moral education while doing so. Such practices can make you associate bad habits with guilt. This guilt is capable of growing multifold and taking over your mind entirely.
If your upbringing involved people who were constantly on edge about the possibility of making mistakes, you could be taking after them and feeling the same way. It may also be vicariously witnessing someone else suffer the after-effects of a particularly “sinful” decision.
Or, it could be your ancestors passing down their phobia to the next generation.
Symptoms of Hamartophobia
Depending on your level of fear, the symptoms of the phobia will manifest in your body.
A phobia can get distressing enough to a point that you experience illnesses like depression. But here’s the kicker: there have been several cases where people who have Hamartophobia were terrified to even feel anxiety.
Generally, when people experience a phobia they completely avoid being in the vicinity of anything that would trigger them into anxiety. But a person doesn’t even need to be in a situation where they could potentially sin in order to feel Hamartophobia. Your brain can cause you to react to just the idea of the same.
Therefore, Hamartophobia belongs to a list of anxiety disorders where you can experience one to all of the following physical and psychological symptoms:
A deep-seated fear of committing sin could lead to the following emotionally distressing symptoms:
● Fear of dying, illness, or harm
● Intense self-blaming, guilt, and shame
● Isolation from others
● Mood swings
● Feeling hopeless
● Difficulty paying attention
The primary symptom people experience if they have a fear of sinning is a panic attack. These attacks can even occur continuously without any warning sign, thus severely frightening the person in question. The physical symptoms of such an episode include:
● Alternating hot flashes and chills
● Shortness of breath
● Constriction in the throat cavity
● Headache and dizziness
● Chest pain
● Uneasy stomach
● Elevated heartbeat levels and blood pressure
● Dry mouth
● Ringing in your ears
These symptoms need to manifest over a minimum period of six months in order to qualify for the diagnosis.
Sometimes, people may experience two or more phobias that intertwine to cause complex phobias. These have the potential to completely halt your everyday routine and alter your social life.
How Do You Deal With Hamartophobia
People who suffer from Hamartophobia tend to ignore treating their fear, believing that all they need to do is avoid their trigger. In this case, it would be steering clear of any situation that has questionable morals involved. This usually gives them a sense of control over their being.
Turns out, that does not work in every case. It is best to accept professional guidance in order to properly tackle your fear and overcome it successfully.
Self Help – Ways To Help Yourself
The first step towards calming yourself in the long run of dealing with Hamartophobia is knowing this – there’s a difference between a sinful person and a person who sins.
Think about it: the former is somebody who isn’t hesitant to do immoral or unspeakable things. But the latter is someone who may unintentionally indulge in a mistake once.
This may help lessen the paralysing guilt you carry around.
You may want to keep some grounding techniques handy for whenever you have panic attacks. Try calming yourself using positive affirmations every morning, and visualise the practical sequence of events that would happen if you committed a sin.
Professional Help For Dealing With Hamartophobia – The Options Available
By placing yourself in the care of a licensed professional, you give yourself a chance to express your feelings and fears in a safe-space. Following this, they would recommend the treatment that fits your diagnosis.
Counselling, psychotherapy, and other talking treatments are quite useful in treating your fear of sinning and mistakes. The whole experience is laidback, and quite non-intrusive. Your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are analysed by a professional. They then help you recognise what fuels your Hamartophobia, and how to change it.
Any change or extra activity you implement in your life is completely your choice.
A non-judgmental space will prompt you to pour out yourself and thus understand how you function better.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
If you’re looking for effective hamartophobia treatment, your doctor may subject you to cognitive behavioral therapy. The treatment here is based on the concept of how your thought process and perception of the world around you has a great impact on your behavior.
Continued anxiety can alter your perception of reality and distress you. This can be eliminated through CBT by identifying your outlook on reality and employing strategies to set it on a healthy path.
In the case of Hamartophobia, the implications of rigid morality on your emotions are analysed and altered to allow a conscience that experiences healthy feelings.
While therapy has had remarkable results over the treatment of phobias, you may need some extra help battling the side effects of a phobia. Medication is essentially a short-term solution to treating your anxiety. The following medications are generally prescribed for people in this case:
Never self-medicate under any circumstances. Always acquire a prescription from a licensed psychiatrist if you’re considering medication to treat yourself.
Learning To Cope With Hamartophobia
Every individual suffering from Hamartophobia would have a differing series of triggers.
In certain cases, it may be possible for you to simply not entertain even the thought of it at all. However, this wouldn’t work if your triggers are present everywhere.
You may want to further explore your views on morality and sin while in a safe space. This would help you understand yourself and the possibility of adopting a healthy morality that does not drown you in guilt.
Read up on different sources about how an individual can let their morale influence their life, and integrate yourself into relaxed thought processes. Avoid intense and extreme schools of morality.
Wrapping It Up
The presence of Hamartophobia indicates that you are in fact someone who greatly values morals! Now that you’re aware hamartophobia is the fear of what and how it manifests, you can focus on improving the quality of your life.