Microphobia, A Big Problem for Some
Do you find yourself unusually terrified of tiny things? Regardless of what those things are, chances are, you’re likely to have an unexplainable, extreme fight-or-flight reaction to them. From small animals like mice, rabbits, or spiders to miniature toys, tiny computers, buttons, or even mini cell phones, anything that is miniature in size causes you to tremble or panic.
This condition is called the fear of small things, also known as microphobia. It is most likely caused by the reactions of someone you trust or look up to and their tolerance for small objects. It could also be that you fear small objects might attack you unnoticed whereas larger objects can be spotted in advance, hence your fear of their presence.
As a response to your fears, you completely avoid all things small, including the very beneficial or downright necessities. Because being in the presence of these objects can lead to extreme and toxic reactions such as freezing, fainting, or even panic attacks, you go into self-preservation mode by avoiding such triggers. As a result of being so removed from your triggers, when you do eventually come in contact with them out of necessity or by accident, your reactions are even more extreme and irrational.
Microphobia is a rare but valid condition. Like most phobias, its roots must be understood if you are to make any progress or heal from it.
What Is Microphobia?
Microphobia is an exaggerated, illogical fear of small or miniature objects both living and nonliving. Merely thinking about small things can have the sufferer fainting or with full-blown panic attacks for more severe cases. Seeing small things causes them a lot of anxiety and other stress-related symptoms.
It can be caused by a previous encounter with a small, harmful object. Perhaps the experience lodged larger than life in the victim’s memory, resulting in this disorder. It could also be a result of a genetic disorder, making the victim more susceptible to phobias than normal.
An inherited phobia is also a possibility. In this case, the victim may have watched someone they trust react fearfully to smaller objects. They then convince themselves that such objects, regardless of what they are, pose a threat.
The reactions to this fear would vary from patient to patient, but one thing is sure—in a world that is fast going more and more compact, living with a fear of small things is a difficult way to live.
Symptoms of Microphobia
Like many other phobias, the fear of small things manifests itself differently from one patient to another. Following are some of the symptoms and reactions experienced when faced with the miniature-sized trigger:
- Muscle tension
- Excessive sweating
- Hot flashes
- Apprehensive anxiety
- Cold flashes
- High blood pressure
- Fast-paced breathing
- Panic attacks
Self-Help for Microphobia
Meditating mindfully helps recenter your thoughts and take them off the triggers. You get to relax and allow your mind to focus on more positive possibilities instead of being preoccupied with baggage.
Mindful meditation is also a known stress and anxiety reliever and can do wonders in helping you cope with your symptoms. You distract your thoughts from the heaviness of your fears and symptoms, allowing you to practice positive visualization instead.
It can instantly lift your mood and keep toxic feelings at bay. You can also meditate through a real-life moment in the presence of your trigger and see yourself get through it without extreme reactions.
Breathing exercises are great both for stress and anxiety alleviation, as well as coping through a bad episode with your triggers. It is also a form of meditative therapy. You can focus on proper breathing, which involves deep intentional breaths that will simultaneously help calm your nerves and reduce the stress.
These breathing exercises can be repeated several times as a coping mechanism for your symptoms and as a way to continue to function even when you undergo professional treatment.
Stress-stimulating foods, such as caffeine, should be eliminated from your diet at all costs, or at least reduced to the bare minimum. Caffeine contains stimulants that can make your symptoms worse if taken excessively; hence, it is best to avoid it.
Eat properly balanced meals to help keep your body active and strengthen you for the healing task ahead.
Talk to Someone
Make sure to speak with loved ones about what you are going through. You do not have to go through your healing journey alone. Your extreme reactions are most likely a cause for concern for your loved ones already, so talking about your fear will help them understand you and know how to help you more.
Talking to a community of fellow phobic patients or survivors would also give you the strength you need to keep looking forward to your healing and find confidence in your ability to pull through.
Emotional support from family and a community of people who can relate would make a significant difference in helping you cope through your disorder and treatments.
Exercise is a renowned way of dealing with stress and anxiety symptoms. Getting involved in and maintaining consistency with physical activity releases into the body “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. These hormones help alleviate your stress-related symptoms and lift your mood.
The exercises can be mild, recommended aerobic exercises that are light but go a long way in delivering you from depression.
Professional Help for Microphobia
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a long-term treatment usually done in groups and performed on patients with personality disorders. Nevertheless, it has shown evidence of being useful for patients with phobias such as these.
DBT is done by arming patients with certain tools and techniques that can help them properly manage their symptoms and cope without any extremities. Examples of these techniques include half-smiling, mindfulness meditation, and coping ahead, among others.
This involves exposing the patient in gradual doses to the object of fear or trigger. In this case, the object of fear is a small object. The doctor starts by making them think about smaller objects. The patient will then be asked to try to look at these objects in real life and eventually touch them.
It is a lengthy process but produces great results for the patient who eventually learns to face their fears in the real world, without any doctor present.
Drugs like antidepressants and beta blockers may be recommended for patients to help them cope with the discomfort of their symptoms until they can find a permanent cure. These drugs can help manage depression, prevent panic attacks, and help patients remain calm while undergoing other forms of therapy.
Tips for Microphobia Sufferers
Practice yoga poses for de-stressing, eat right, sleep or rest properly, and attend all your therapy sessions. Listen to your doctor’s advice and watch yourself go from terrified to confident in due time.
Considering the peculiar size of the things you fear, you yourself must have thought about the irrationality of your fears but have not been able to help yourself overcome them. When the mind suffers, the whole body suffers as well, so try first to disabuse your mind of its tendency to exaggerate a threat. With all the helpful treatments suggested in this article, you are guaranteed to find something that will work for you and allow you to lead a more normal life.