Traumatophobia – The Fear of Injury
Are you wondering if you have Traumatophobia? About 4% of the US population has this condition.
Fear is a normal response to physical harm. However, phobics take it to the extreme.
Even the mere thought or mention of injury may cause a panic attack.
Does the sight of someone getting hurt scare you? Can’t sleep at the thought of getting injured? If these sound familiar, then you most likely have this phobia. Traumatophobia can be cured with the right intervention. But first, you have to acknowledge that you have this fear.
What Is Traumatophobia?
Traumatophobia is defined as the phobia of physically getting hurt.
Wait, isn’t it natural to be afraid of injury? Keep in mind that it is a severe and illogical fear of getting an injury. You are constantly afraid of cutting yourself, breaking a bone, spraining an ankle, getting a bruise, and so on. Terror is your automatic response to the idea of experiencing pain or seeing blood because of an injury. People suffering from Traumatophobia may experience a heightened sense of anxiety even at the thought of being physically hurt. Such individuals might go to extreme lengths to avoid situations or things that can result in them getting injured. How extreme? Phobics have been known to isolate themselves completely, leading to self-loathing and depression. They may find themselves unable to deal with such strong and negative emotions. This problem can further aggravate their fear and lead them to develop generalized anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).
For an individual to develop Traumatophobia, it is not necessary that they should have experienced physical injuries in the past. Sometimes, it’s acquired secondhand when people have:
● Seen others getting grievously injured
● Watched someone getting hurt on television
● Heard stories of someone suffering a severe injury
When this happens, you may begin to fear the sight of injuries.
When Does It Develop?
You can get this phobia at any time.
A lot of people develop Traumatophobia during their late childhood or early teens. In the case of adults, people who have fought in wars are more vulnerable to developing Traumatophobia.
Let’s go over the tell-tale signs of Traumatophobia.
● Fear of losing control of oneself
● Fear of fainting
● Fear of death
● Feelings of dread
● Withdrawal and self-isolation
● Feeling disconnected from people and surroundings
● Uncontrollable anxiety
● Feeling hopeless and dejected
● Anger and irritability
● Mood swings
● Confusion and difficulty concentrating
● Self-loathing and guilt
● Excessive sweating
● Hot flashes and chills
● Shortness of breath
● Rapid heartbeat
● Pain or tightness in the chest
● Prickly sensation in the fingers
● Increase in blood pressure
● Ringing sensation in the ears
● An urge to pee
People suffering from Traumatophobia might be hypervigilant about any illness that may be ailing them. They are highly aware of any possible injuries associated with the disease. A tiny cut, which may appear insignificant to other people, would be blown out of proportion by someone who has Traumatophobia. They would react as if they were bleeding profusely. Does all this sound familiar? To know for sure if you have these symptoms, take a Traumatophobia test online. See if the results match with the symptoms listed here.
Self-Help for Traumatophobia
Have you found yourself wondering how to overcome Traumatophobia? While it is recommended that one should seek professional help, Traumatophobia treatment can also be done through various self-help techniques. Let’s take a closer look.
One of the best ways to overcome your fear of injury is through mindfulness meditation techniques. Mindfulness meditation has been quite helpful for those who wish to reflect. They want to go deep into their thoughts.
It can help people calm down and relax. Meditation also helps distract people from troubling thoughts by redirecting their minds towards positivity. You can search for meditation techniques on the Internet. Better yet, download meditation apps if you are unfamiliar with this process.
Just like mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises help to relax the mind and body. Breathing exercises help to divert your mind from any disturbing thoughts and focus on your breathing. With breathing exercises, you can pay better attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest expand and contract.
Caffeine is a stimulant that is commonly found in tea, coffee, and dark chocolate. Although it helps to boost energy levels instantly, caffeine also worsens anxiety and causes our hearts to beat rapidly. As a result, it becomes easier for someone suffering from Traumatophobia to suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. If you are suffering from Traumatophobia, it is best to consume caffeine in small quantities. Better yet, eliminate it from your diet altogether. But what happens if you’ve tried these techniques to no avail?
Getting Professional Help
If you believe that self-help techniques are not working, then it is best to seek professional help.
Here are some of the most common techniques used by therapists to treat patients with Traumatophobia:
In exposure therapy, therapists repeatedly expose their patients to their fears. This technique aims to desensitize the individual to their phobia triggers. While someone suffering from Traumatophobia will not be deliberately injured, they will be repeatedly shown images or videos of people getting physically hurt or injured.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of talk therapy, wherein a therapist asks their patient to locate the source of their thoughts. The therapist asks individual questions such as:
● How did the fear start?
● How do I get over my fear of being injured?
This technique helps people understand why they have a specific phobia. They soon become more aware of their irrational thinking patterns.Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) DBT is one of the most effective techniques that helps regulate emotions. It is commonly used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder and involves asking the patient to “half-smile.” Whenever this phobia crosses the mind, patients are asked to slightly raise the corners of their mouths. That’s where the term half-smile comes from. Sometimes, mindfulness meditation techniques are also employed in DBT, though it is done in a group setting. At most, it lasts for six months.
How to Avoid Traumatophobia Altogether
If you believe that Traumatophobia is interfering with your everyday life or you are unable to seek help, then avoiding your fears altogether may be the best approach. What would this look like when practiced? You can avoid situations where there is a high probability of getting injured, such as sports and other physical activities. You should also refrain from watching movies, TV shows, or reading stories that describe people being physically hurt. In some cases, avoid taking up a profession where people are most likely to get injured, such as mining, combat, and jobs involving physical labor.
An individual suffering from Traumatophobiacan easily falls into the trap of self-loathing and guilt. Many people think they are the only ones suffering from this problem and so, they avoid discussing their fears with others. However, they are far from alone. Just like any other phobia, Traumatophobia can be overcome with the right help and techniques. Very soon, you will be on the path to recovery and lead a normal, healthy life.