Love is said to be one of the most beautiful things in life. Love even becomes one of the greatest sources of happiness in someone’s life.
Although love is beautiful, it can also be frightening for some people to the point that it becomes a phobia for them. The phobia of love is called philophobia.
It might sound impossible for some people to be afraid of love, but it indeed exists in real life. In this article, Tripboba will share some interesting things that you might want to know about philophobia.
What is Philophobia?
Philophobia is a fear of emotional attachment and the fear of being in a relationship or even falling in love. The name philophobia derives from two Greek roots, namely philo which means love, and phobia which means fear.
In medical science, philophobia is described as an overwhelming, abnormal, and unreasonable fear of falling in love. Intense philophobia can even result in real physical symptoms that are able to hinder one’s daily life and affect their personal relationship with friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Some people with philophobia might be aware of their irrational fear, but they have difficulty in controlling it.
Some psychiatrists and psychologists are still unsure of what triggers philophobia. But in general, there are several factors that play a role in the development of philophobia, such as a traumatic incident, childhood experience, and genetics.
For example, someone who fears rejection tends to avoid relationships to save themselves from the embarrassment of being rejected. A bad past relationship such us divorce may also cause philophobia.
Actual physical pain can result from philophobia. People with philophobia may feel physical symptoms as shown below:
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
Besides the physical pain, people with philophobia may feel emotional symptoms such as an intense need to avoid the presence of a potential lover, a feeling of intense fear or panic, difficulty functioning in daily life. People with philophobia may also have a social anxiety disorder.
To figure out whether or not you’re suffering from philophobia, you can go to a doctor or therapist. But you need to know that philophobia is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.
But still, getting help from a professional is the right thing to do to improve the quality of your life. The doctor or therapist will ask about the symptoms that you feel. Besides the symptoms, you will also be asked about your medical, psychiatric, and social history.
Seeking professional help will also reduce the risk of complications that may appear from a prolonged untreated philophobia that can harm you, such as abuse of drugs and alcohol, social isolation, depression, and even suicide.
There are several types of treatments available for philophobia, such as:
Systematic Desensitization Therapy
This therapy uses the approach of exposing the patient to the object that they fear. This therapy now can use the help of virtual reality where the patient can experience various “date” experience as a practice before going on a date with a real person in real life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy consists of identifying negative thoughts and changing thought patterns. A simple CBT technique that can be used is just by simply saying “Stop!” aloud, either mentally or verbally.
It is claimed that combining CBT and Systematic Desensitization Therapy will lead to a successful result in managing philophobia.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe philophobia patients with anti-depressant medications such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) to help reduce severe physical and emotional symptoms. And the use of medication is generally combined with therapy.
Good lifestyle habits can also help manage philophobia. The doctor may also recommend philophobia patients to do some exercise, relaxation, as well as mindfulness techniques.
So, those are the things that you might want to know about philophobia. If you think you have it, it is better to go to a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis in order for you to have a better quality of life.
After all, everyone deserves some love in their life, and it will be such a great miss if you surrender to this condition and miss the chance to experience life to the fullest.