Let’s Think about Phronemophobia
Thinking helps us make sense of our experiences and actions. But do you often keep yourself busy doing things you don’t need to just to avoid thinking?
Does being left unoccupied and allowing room for thought trigger anxiety and panic attacks? Does a sense of terror grip you when you are alone, for fear that you may start thinking?
You may have phronemophobia, or a fear of thinking or better yet the fear of thinking too much.
Living with phronemophobia can be difficult, and you may succumb to its irrational hold over you. You may also feel a bit skeptical about talking about it with others, as you fear being judged.
However, just like with any other phobia, you can treat phronemophobia with self-help and professional therapy, if necessary. To begin the healing journey, first try to find the root cause of the fear.
Phronemophobia is the dread of thinking or a phobia of thinking too much. Phronemophobia is caused by frightening thoughts or memories of things you shouldn’t have done and don’t want to look back at.
Disliking thinking about something is completely different than being terrified of the mere thought of thinking. Because of the prevalence of these thoughts that are often negative, the person may fear that they might do something terrible.
Those with phronemophobia tend to exhibit symptoms of attention deficit disorder, including difficulty concentrating, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.
Those diagnosed with the fear of thinking often find it difficult to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Many things can trigger a phobia of thinking. But you may ask, “Why am I afraid of my thoughts?”
The fear of thinking is a phobia that most often finds its roots in an individual’s childhood.
You may have been a victim of bullying. Or you may have been ignored by even a loved one for long periods of time. You may have done things in the past that you regret. You fear that having a moment to yourself may lead you to think about these unpleasant experiences.
Consequently, you try to stay occupied and steer clear of any undesirable thoughts.
According to scientists, such fears may develop due to a combination of environmental and biological elements, including genetic propensities, brain chemistry, and other trauma.
Symptoms of Phronemophobia
A person with phronemophobia will distance themselves from activities, places, or objects that may cause them to think. As a result, this phobia can be limiting.
It can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms, such as those listed below.
- Panic attacks
- Confusion and hyperventilation
- Tightness in the chest
- Dry mouth
- Feeling disconnected
- Fear of dread
- Anger and mood swings
- Fear of dying
- Fear of harm
- Self-blame and guilt
People with phronemophobia may experience a few or several of these symptoms, which can worsen over time if left untreated.
If you’re asking, “How do I stop being scared of thinking?,” the key is to acknowledge the fear and begin treating it.
You can deal with phronemophobia by using self-help techniques and/or with the help of friends and family. But if the mere possibility of thinking causes you severe anxiety and dread, consider consulting with a therapist.
Professional help is your best bet; however, there are many options to consider.
Self-Help: What Can You Do to Help Yourself?
There are various self-help options you can consider, including meditation, joining self-help groups, and making lifestyle changes.
The body and mind are designed to work “in sync.” During meditation, you focus on your breathing pattern and relax your body. This, in turn, helps you to stay balanced and anxiety-free, which helps when confronted by your fears of thinking.
Meditating before you encounter a situation that may trigger your phobia can help alleviate your symptoms.
Self-help groups are a successful form of therapy because they prevent individuals from feeling like isolated sufferers. Groups of individuals with the fear gather to discuss their ideas, experiences, and coping mechanisms.
Making lifestyle changes such as incorporating exercise, following a healthy diet, and developing regular sleep patterns can combat negative thoughts and help you better manage phronemophobia.
Professional Help for the Fear of Thinking
There is no specific therapy for phronemophobia, but the treatment options used to treat other phobias can help with this irrational fear, too.
Dialectical Behavioral Thinking
This therapy employs various methods to achieve emotional regulation. The client is instructed to elevate their mouth corners when the fearful thought enters their head, using a technique called “half-smiling.”
In addition, the therapy trains the mind to stop focusing on the unpleasant stimulus.
Another DBT strategy called “coping ahead” calls for the client to calmly take a seat, consider the feared scenario, and plan what to do next.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In rare situations, worry and distress can bend and alter one’s perspective of reality. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps determine whether your thoughts accurately reflect reality. It helps replace irrational thoughts with a more accurate representation of reality.
Learning to Cope with Phronemophobia
All of the above treatments do not guarantee that your fear will go away completely. However, they will definitely help manage your fear of thinking and allow you to lead a more normal life.
The fear of thinking can disrupt your everyday activities and hamper your personal and professional growth. However, with the right treatment and intervention, you can stop worrying about your fear of thinking and think of what to conquer next!