Sfairesphobia: The Fear of Balls
Do you get nervous when you hear the sound of a ball bouncing even from a distance? Does the thought of being around someone playing with a ball make you sweat? What about watching any sport that involves a ball? Do you steer clear from spherical objects like globes or marbles?
If these circumstances feel familiar to you and the common denominator is the presence of a ball, then you might have sfairesphobia, a ball-related phobia.
Being afraid of a harmless and inanimate object may sound silly and weird to some—maybe even laughable—but it’s a very real phobia that affects many. You know in the back of your mind you have nothing to fear about balls, but the anxiety and fear can become so overwhelming that you lose all sense of rationality.
Being scared of balls and the related fear of bouncing objects can negatively impact various aspects of your life, limiting your lifestyle and social interactions.
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are tried-and-tested methods that can help you deal with your sfairesphobia and gradually overcome it!
What Is the Fear of Balls?
The fear of balls, called sfairesphobia, is an irrational fear of balls. This specific phobia is also known as ballophobia. It involves a fear of any spherical object, including objects that bounce, and extends to the fear of playing with balls.
Sfairesphobia is commonly seen in children age six to eleven, and often develops while playing youth baseball. But there are circumstances in which the fear can develop as the child grows and progress into a fear of other round objects. For example, an individual suffering from this phobia may also develop a fear of pearls, marbles, or loose beads.
Causes of Sfairesphobia
Like most phobias, there is no definite cause for the fear of round objects. But the two main factors that often lead to this irrational fear are genetics and the environment.
You may have developed sfairesphobia because you were once hit by a ball as a child, and that traumatic experience caused you to avoid all balls. Or you may have hurt yourself while playing a ball sport and was sent to the hospital. Such associations of the ball with harmful and painful experiences can then develop into a fear of the ball itself.
Another reason you may develop sfairesphobia is if you witness someone you love or know being hurt by a ball. Such incident may elicit fear in you because you connect the injury with the ball.
Also, growing up in an environment where someone is already dealing with this phobia may cause one to develop the phobia themself. Or having any mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, may put you at a greater risk of developing a phobia as well.
Symptoms of Sfairesphobia
The fear of spherical objects can manifest through one or several symptoms at the same time with varying levels of severity. These symptoms are classified as physical and mental/emotional. Symptoms can be momentary and pass quickly or be debilitating.
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Hot flashes
- Increased heart rate
- Shallow breathing
- Shortness of breath
- The feeling of being detached from what’s real
- Inability to speak or think rationally
- Panic attacks
- Wanting to cry or flee from the object
Treatment of Sfairesphobia
When you have an irrational fear of spherical objects, you may constantly worry about your object of fear and deal with crippling symptoms.
And although there is no overnight solution to get rid of this phobia, with society becoming more accepting of the growing list of phobias, several treatment options and interventions are available that can help you manage your anxiety better.
Talking to trusted friends and family about your condition can be a helpful step in your journey to recovery. Having a strong support system of those who understand your condition can ease feelings of being alone or misunderstood.
At home, dedicate some “me time” to learn about your fear. Knowing what your primary triggers are and your typical reactions to them can be helpful.
Additionally, practice breathing and relaxation techniques. You can apply these techniques whenever fear starts to creep in.
Self-affirmations and self-love can also do wonders for your confidence and thoughts. The idea that there is nothing to fear is a thought you might soon come to trust in.
Medical professionals like psychiatrists and therapists can provide structural guidance on understanding, coping with, and managing your fear. Plenty of therapies are available today that can offer various methods to deal with and overcome your phobia.
Usually, professional treatment of ballophobia will start with you opening up about your fear with your mental health professional. Your therapist may ask questions to determine what might have caused your trauma. They may then recommend therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, neurolinguistics programming, exposure therapy, or systematic desensitization rehabilitation to help you overcome these negative thought patterns.
In extreme cases, medication may also be prescribed.
Coping with Sfairesphobia
For many who don’t understand or even know that such a phobia exists, it can be challenging to comprehend what you are going through. But with today’s treatment options and your willingness to overcome your fear, you can find better and healthier ways to live.
Remember to supplement your professional therapy with self-help techniques to boost your recovery. You can also try joining support groups where you can find others who share your struggles and better understand your fear.
It’s time for you to bounce back and look beyond the fear of balls or anything spherical. Don’t let these harmless objects impact your life and make you miss experiences you might enjoy and love. It’s time to release your fear, be free, have peace of mind, and enjoy what life offers. With time and consistent therapy, you may soon see these rounded objects as harmless tools of fun.