Pyrophobia – The Fear of Fire

Do you have Too Much Fear of Fire?

Fire is uniquely beautiful. It’s red and orange, flaming as if it has a life of its own. The discovery of fire changed the world and helped in the development of civilizations.

However, while some people are fascinated with fire, you would want to stay away from it as much as possible. No, campfires and scented candles are not for you. Even a small fire or the mere smell of smoke — no matter how faint —makes you extremely nervous, you may have a phobia of fire.

If this is the case, it may be a phobia of fire.

Yes, fire can cause harm, damage, and even death, but you know that your case is different. Your thoughts and assumptions are overpowered by your fear. When the phobia gets triggered, your thinking and behavior are affected severely.

You also have a nagging feeling that fire could break out and envelop you at any time, even if there is no apparent threat.

Talking about your fear of fire and the extreme anxiety it causes you is also difficult. You worry that while other people may readily admit that they are scared of fire, they could also deem your situation as an exaggeration.
But believe it or not, a good number of the population also suffer from an extreme fear of fire. Yes, you are not alone!

Also know that options are available to help reduce, or even overcome, your phobia.

What Causes Pyrophobia?

Unlike the other phobias, your fear of fire may have a clear origin.

Where does pyrophobia originate from? The fear goes back to ancient times. Indeed, people have come to appreciate the fire’s benefits. Still, throughout history, millions of people had also suffered because of fire.

While growing up, adults would tell the children to stay away from and never play with fire. In some cases, this constant reminder could be what might have planted the seed of fear. In other cases, a traumatic past event — for instance, personally experiencing being trapped inside a burning building or vehicle — could be the reason for phobia.

What is the Fear of Fire Called?

The fear of fire is known as Pyrophobia. Although everyone fears fire to some extent, for a phobic, the anxiety can be debilitating and interfere with daily life.

Small and controlled fires, such as what you have in a fireplace or even those on birthday candles, can cause you too much anxiety. Some phobia sufferers might find themselves checking their stove constantly or fiddling with smoke detectors’ batteries every day — in such cases, the sufferers also run the risk of developing obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.

Pyrophobia Symptoms

Pyrophobia shares the same symptoms as other phobias. People with Pyrophobia may both exhibit physical and psychological symptoms. They may experience one or several symptoms, depending on their fear’s severity level.

Physical Symptoms:

● Dry mouth
● Difficulty in breathing
● Fainting
● Headache
● Increased heart rate
● Loss of breath
● Nausea and dizziness
● Shaking uncontrollably
● Stomach cramps
● Sweating and chills
● Vomiting

Psychological Symptoms:

● Constant thoughts of being hurt by fire
● Feeling of guilt or shame about your fear
● Hesitation to be near candles, campfires, and fireplaces
● Immediate and intense fear
● Restlessness and irritability
● Smelling smoke from nowhere

How to Deal with Pyrophobia

Phobia symptoms, be they physical or psychological, can be exhausting to the sufferer. The feeling of helplessness and being filled with irrational thoughts can also be depressing.

What can sufferers do to deal with this phobia?

If you’re suffering from this phobia, acknowledging the condition is the first step — and the most important. By doing so, you are allowing yourself to better understand your condition and learn the options available to help you cope.

On the other hand, if your fear of house fire is already impacting your relationships or daily living activities negatively, seeking help from your medical provider is highly encouraged. Methodologies and treatments to help sufferers cope and manage their fear effectively are now available. The treatment process is long, but deciding to seek treatment is a huge step forward.

Things You Can Do to Help Yourself

Dealing with Pyrophobia by yourself is something that you can initially try before scheduling a professional consultation. This is your internal battle, and you know yourself better than anyone else.

If you choose this route, the first thing to do is to be kind to yourself and be your own best friend and motivator. Always remind yourself that your fear doesn’t make you less of a person.

You can also engage in physical activities: simple exercises, yoga, or learning some breathing techniques. Physical activities can help you refocus your negative energy. Exercise is also your body’s way of telling your brain to relax and calm down.

You can also try to get to know the fire in a positive light. Focus on all the benefits fire has instead of dwelling on its destructive properties.

If you can, try to “sit with your fear” for 60 seconds. You can watch a blazing fire on your phone for a full minute while doing deep breathing and reminding yourself that you are OK. Remember, there are several celebrities with pyrophobia as well. You can google them up to see how they deal with their phobia.

After that full minute, do a nurturing and relaxing activity that you know is enjoyable and can make you forget that one minute. Gradually prolong your exposure to your fear until you are ready to come face to face with it in other settings, such as sitting in front of a campfire or fireplace.

Getting Professional Treatment for Pyrophobia

The usual step in Pyrophobia treatment is to have a psychotherapist diagnose it. In this approach, you will need to share your symptoms and your usual reaction once your fear takes place. You will be advised if a primary health provider needs to be involved in your intervention.

Some of the therapies and techniques that can treat pyrophobia include psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy. With your consent, the medical team can delve deep into your mind to establish an understanding of your fear’s root cause.

You can also go through exposure therapy or desensitization, in which you will be gradually exposed to the object of your fear. Your therapist may also encourage you to interact and communicate with other people suffering from Pyrophobia.

When your phobia symptoms are extreme, you might be prescribed medication. Note that the prescription does not address the phobia itself, but is focused on treating the symptoms you may exhibit.

Many methodologies can help you control and eventually overcome your fear. But the most important key to treatment is a commitment to overcoming the phobia.

Learning to Cope with Pyrophobia

All the self-help recommendations and even the professional treatment will not completely get rid of the phobia from your system. Still, these approaches will give you the confidence that you can control your reactions well when faced with fire.

As you battle against your fear, support from your family and friends can give you a much-needed morale boost. You can become more determined when you know that the people you love are rooting for you.

In Conclusion

Find inspiration in this quote: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” In your case, overcoming your fear of fire.
Douse that burning fear with great determination because while fire should indeed be approached with caution, it is also essential to life.

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