Introduction to The Excessive Fear of Being Robbed
Are you in constant fear of being stolen from or robbed? Before going to bed, do you have to triple-check your windows, doors, and gates? Do you spend a lot of money on security systems and fancy locks that may not be necessary?
Have you ever wondered, “Why do I have a fear of someone breaking in?” or “How do I get over the fear of being burgled?”
If you said yes to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. You likely have Harpaxophobia or the “fear of being robbed phobia.”
The good news? With the right information and mindset, it’s possible to overcome this.
What Is Harpaxophobia All About?
Harpaxophobia definition is simple: it is the fear of being robbed. This term is a combination of the following root words:
● “harpax” which stands for “thief” or “one who steals”
● “phobos” which means fear
A person with Harpaxophobia has an uncontrollable need to ensure that all the doors and windows are closed. They recheck locks and latches every few minutes.
If you’re someone suffering from this condition, you’re likely to experience anxiety at the mere thought of your house being robbed. While people have different reactions to threats, your anxiety can result in a full-blown panic attack.
Being concerned about security is normal, but yours is considered over the top by most people you know. It has come to a point that this extreme fear is already affecting your life and relationships.
Even when everything is fine, you might find it difficult to relax. The worry that someone will break into your home is in a constant loop in your head. You might find it difficult to control your emotions, especially anger.
Do you go to great lengths to keep yourself protected? You’ve probably installed security cameras in all the rooms of your house, even if you live in a safe neighborhood. You may look at other people with distrust, wary that they may attempt to steal from you.
The fear of robbers might make you suspect every other person that comes to your house. You might feel suspicious of cleaning staff, gardeners, or delivery people.
Some phobia sufferers prefer living in isolated areas, far away from the risks of city life. They also never want to leave their residence and possessions unattended. This means they’ve voluntarily given up traveling, especially extended trips.
Having a phobia like this can lead to other health conditions. For example, constantly worrying about thieves might cause you to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Before trying to confront your fear of robbers, it is important that you understand where this fear comes from.
Like other phobias, Harpaxophobia is often caused by a traumatic experience. If you’ve been robbed previously, you’re likely to develop this intense condition. A burglar may have tried or succeeded in breaking into their home. You may have returned after an overnight trip to find that your home is in shambles and your precious things are gone.
Sometimes, Harpaxophobia can develop without any obvious reason. Scientists think that genetic and physiological factors may also lead to this phobia. If you suffer from adrenal insufficiency, you’re likely to develop this condition.
If you’re suffering from this fear of being robbed, you’re likely to experience the following:
● Dizziness or fainting
● Heart palpitations
● Difficulty breathing
● Extreme fatigue
● Headaches or muscle pain
● Dry mouth
● Constantly obsessing over locks
● Finding it hard to trust people
● Panic attacks and severe anxiety
● Obsessive thoughts about being robbed
● Problems concentrating
● Constant irritability and a short temper
People with Harpaxophobia have no control over these symptoms, which in turn might make them feel frustrated, powerless, and trapped.
While there’s no medicine designed specifically for this phobia, these tips will help you reduce the symptoms.
Observe Self-Help Practices
You need to begin by making some lifestyle changes. The key is to give your mind and body proper rest before you start the journey of facing your phobia.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Make sure your daily routine is healthy. Start by sleeping early and eating nutritious meals. Get enough physical activity, preferably outdoors. Avoid overloading your schedule so that you have time for self-care.
All these might seem quite basic, but the results are undeniable.
Relaxation and Breathing
Some phobia sufferers swear that relaxation and breathing techniques are game-changers. You need to learn how to control your breathing. Once you’ve mastered this, the next time you feel anxious, you won’t end up having a panic attack.
Yoga and Meditation
Start practicing yoga and meditating. You need to train your brain to listen to you and handle your anxiety. When your mind is at peace, you don’t have the time to worry about your fears. You would be able to handle your phobia better.
Get Professional Help
If your phobia symptoms are uncontrollable even after trying these methods, it’s best to consult a psychologist. A professional can give you proper therapy and unbiased advice.
The goal of therapy is to help you regain your confidence and face your fear boldly. The following will help you heal from past trauma and stop negative thoughts.
Here, the therapist gradually exposes you to your fear over a specific period. This is done in a controlled environment so that your reaction can be observed. Theoretically speaking, the more you are exposed to your fear, the more control you’ll have over it.
Since you can’t safely simulate being robbed, your therapist is likely to expose you to your fear by educating you on the topic.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is another common treatment for people suffering from Harpaxophobia. It is also used in curing anxiety and OCD. This type of therapy works on the root cause of the problem.
Your therapist will help you figure out why it is that you think, feel, and act a certain way. Understanding and tweaking these will help you manage the phobia.
How to Avoid the Phobia Altogether
Sadly, you can’t avoid all of the triggers for Harpaxophobia. Life is full of risks. There’s no such thing as foolproof security measures or total safety from thieves.
While these methods won’t completely cure your phobia, they could still provide some relief. Eventually, you will no longer live in constant fear of being the victim of a crime.
The mere fact that you chose to face your fears shows how bold you are. You just need to work on this boldness and enhance it.
The above techniques will help you with the same. They will leave you feeling strong and self-assured. Eventually, you control your phobia instead of letting your fear control you.
You’ll be surprised how common the fear of being robbed actually is. Hopefully, you will take comfort from knowing that you’re not the only one suffering from this. There are millions of other people like you out there. If they can make it through their phobias, so can you.
Now that you have a better grasp of Harpaxophobia meaning, you can stop feeling helpless and frustrated. Soon, you can watch a movie like “Home Alone” without being scared of the same thing happening to you. You can laugh as Kevin turns the table on the burglars and successfully defends his family home.