Monday, June 10, 2024

What Is The Phobia Of Being Touched

Don't Miss

The Most Common Symptoms Of Touch Aversion Are:

  • Being extremely sensitive to touch
  • Sensitivity to movement, out of fear of being touched as a result of that movement
  • Going out of the way to avoid affection, such as hugs â the person might not just find this upsetting or unpleasant, they may also find it actually physically painful
  • A dislike of certain smells, sounds, textures etc, which are normally not intolerable
  • Either hyperactive, or can be the opposite and be hypoactive
  • Can be a symptom of autism, Asperger’s or dyspraxia
  • Difficulty relaxing and often stressed out
  • Often quite clumsy, always dropping tings and being quite awkward physically
  • Finds certain movements upsetting, such as sudden turns or drops, e.g. driving on a bendy road or on a rollercoaster
  • Problems waking and getting started with that dayâs jobs or tasks
  • Problems with relationships and friendships
  • Anger management problems
  • Often combined with anxiety and depression
  • Hand washing or changing clothes after being touched
  • Can be quite withdrawn socially
  • Can use medication or other substances to help them relax in social situations

In a situation when being touched is imminent, a person suffering from touch aversion is likely to freeze up, run away, cry, shake, or sweat. For that reason, any situation which could lead to being touched is often avoided.

What Are The Related Symptoms

Haphephobia falls within the category of specific phobias, so their symptoms are shared with the rest of them. The main ones are the following:

  • Intense and disproportionate fear of touching other people or that these touch us
  • Exposure to the feared situation triggers a strong anxiety reaction
  • The individual is probably aware that their fear is irrationalbut can’t control it
  • Situations involving physical contact are avoided at all costs with others and, if not possible, they endure at the cost of enormous discomfort.
  • The disorder lasts over time and interferes with daily life of the person .
  • At the idea of physical contact with other people physiological symptoms such as tachycardia, sweating, a feeling of suffocation or muscle tension appear. Irrational thoughts and beliefs about the danger of touching are also likely to exist.

Preparing For The Treatment

If youre suffering from phobia and thinking of getting help from a medical professional for the first time, expect a lot of questions from your medical provider. Be as detailed as possible when giving information about your condition. Doing so is vital so that your medical provider can identify the most appropriate course of action for you.

Some of the common questions therapists ask include:

What prompted you to seek therapy now?When did you first notice your symptoms?When are your symptoms likely to occur? What thoughts go through your mind before your symptoms happen?Do you notice things that make your symptoms seem better or worse?How are your symptoms affecting you and the people around you?What coping strategies have you tried so far?Are you undergoing treatment for any medical conditions?

Also Check: Depression And Appetite

What Are The Symptoms Of Haphephobia

There is a core set of symptoms. These are common to most people. If you are thinking about being touched and you feel intense anxiety symptoms. You do everything in your power to avoid anyone touching you. You find it is impossible to live a normal life because of the anxiety symptoms.

You know in your heart that your fears are not normal or realistic but you cannot control your anxiety. Your mind is powerful and you can bring on these feelings by thinking about being touched. Touching does not have to happen for you to experience a meltdown. Standard human close contact is a big part of romantic relations.

Pals and family will expect cuddles, pats on the back, and other displays of emotions. The individual who fears if someone touches them will appear detached.

People will seem remote to everyone around them. This fear will extract a high price on a phobic persons social life. It may cause professional damage. You do hand-shaking and other routine sorts of contact in the world of industry.

This can be a big problem. If you have difficulty shaking hands, people will think you rude or lacking refinement. This difficulty could obstruct your advancement at work. It is difficult to relate to your colleagues.

How Can It Be Overcome


Fortunately, specific phobias respond very well to cognitive-behavioral treatments. These are mainly based on three objectives:

  • Provide the person with strategies to regulate or reduce their level of anxiety. Relaxation techniques and systematic desensitization are the most commonly used options.
  • Identify the irrational thoughts that are at the base of the fear and help the patient reevaluate them. In other words, their veracity is questioned and they are replaced by others that are more functional and adjusted to reality.
  • Get the person to gradually expose himself to those situations that he fears. When the avoidance ends, it is verified that the stimulus is really harmless and the associated anxiety levels are reduced.

Other alternatives like the mindfulness o acceptance and commitment therapy also show good results. In addition, sometimes it is possible that the use of drugs to support psychological intervention is recommended.

Discover more: 5 exercises mindfulness for anxiety

Also Check: Does Celine Dion Have An Eating Disorder

Causes Of Touch Aversion

Weâve talked about what touch aversion is and weâve covered the symptoms, but now, we need to talk about some of the potential causes for the condition. Remember, this is a personal thing, as much as the symptoms are personal too.

That means that your particular cause for developing touch aversion could be totally different to the things weâre going to talk about next. For the sake of completeness, however, there are some very common triggers and causes for the condition to develop.

Feb Some Information On The Fear Of Being Touched

Haphephobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of being touched. Other names for haphephobia include chiraptophobia, aphenphosmphobia, and thixophobia.

Being touched by strangers or without consent can make many people uncomfortable. However, if the fear is intense, appears even when touched by family or friends, and if it causes significant distress, it may be haphephobia.

This condition is different from a hypersensitivity to touch, which is called allodynia. A person with allodynia may also avoid being touched, but they do so because it causes them to feel pain rather than fear.

Fear of being touched is considered a phobia when the fear arises almost every time the person is touched, persists for over 6 months, and when it impairs relationships or work life.

The following symptoms may indicate haphephobia:

  • immediate fear or anxiety when touched, or when thinking about being touched
  • panic attacks, which can include an increased heart rate, sweating, hot flushes, tingling, and chills
  • avoidance of situations where a person may be touched
  • awareness that the fear is irrational and disproportionate
  • general anxiety, depression, and low quality of life as a result of the phobia

Children may show the following symptoms when touched:

  • crying
  • temper tantrums
  • clinging to their caregiver

Haphephobia may be related to ochlophobia, which is a fear of crowds.

While haphephobia can sometimes occur on its own, it can also be a related to other conditions. These include:

Recommended Reading: Fear Of Weather

When To Visit A Doctor

Haphephobia is a serious issue. The person having haphephobia may avoid even getting out of his/her room and isolate oneself. This can disrupt his/her personal and professional life entirely. Such condition needs help from a professional mental health worker. If the above symptoms have lasted for a time period exceeding six months, visiting a doctor would be the best.

Risk Factors For Haphephobia Or Fear Of Being Touched

Fear Of Being Touched

The factors that increase your risk of haphephobia or fear of being touched is:

  • The age of a person is always a risk factor for any phobia which includes haphephobia or fear of being touched.
  • If any of your family members suffers from a phobia, for example, haphephobia or fear of being touched, then it is a possibility that you are likely to develop that character.
  • This can be the hereditary tendency of getting scared, or a child could also learn a phobia by noticing a family members phobic reaction to a situation.
  • Temperament. Hike in risk factor may be seen if you are more inhibited or more sensitive than the normal.
  • Experiencing any type of traumatic event like that of being trapped or an attack by any person may trigger the growth of phobia.

Recommended Reading: Phobia Of Haunted Houses

What Makes Up A Phobia

As this phobia is specific in nature, it would be covered under specific phobias;

  • The fear or anxiety may be conveyed in children by screaming, tantrums, freezing, or clinging.
  • Almost always the phobic object or circumstance provokes acute anxiety or terror.
  • Intense fear or anxiety actively prevents or endures the phobic entity/object or circumstance.
  • The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the socio-cultural context.
  • There is chronic terror, anxiety, or avoidance, usually lasting for 6 months or more; causing significant psychiatric distress or disability in social, professional, interpersonal or other such critical functioning areas.
  • Symptoms of another mental disorder, including fear or terror, anxiety and avoidance of panic-like symptoms or other debilitating symptoms: obsessive things or circumstances; reminders of traumatic events; being separated from home or an attachment figure; or social situations does not explain the condition.

Is There Any Difference Between A Fear And A Phobia

Although we define phobias as fearing something but there really is a basic difference between both.

Fear is an emotional arousal caused by a perceived or real threat and so is a phobia, both can be irrational but it is about the intensity which defines a phobia.;

The fear nay anxiety caused by a phobia is so intense and disturbing that the person may go to unrealistic lengths to avoid the thing or situation that he/she fears, far beyond the level of the actual threat that specific object or situation may even present.

The intensity can be so high that it may even cause panic attacks.

So you immediately know if a person is phobic rather than afraid of something by his/her immediate disproportionate reaction on exposure.

The most important question among all of the above is what makes up a phobia? How to diagnose it? Dont worry!

DSM V provides us a solution by giving these guidelines or criteria;

Also Check: Where Are Bipolar Neurons Found

Haphephobia: Definition Symptoms Causes Treatmen

In some cases, fear of being touched may relate to sexual fears. Some people fear being touched because they are afraid of being contaminated. Many haphophobics are fearful of their personal space being encroached upon by others. It is also known as haphephobia, aphephobia or thixophobia. As in case of other phobias, a person suffering from. Fear of being touched is considered a phobiawhen the fear arises almost every time the person is touched, persists for over 6 months, and when it impairs relationships or work life.. The following symptoms may indicate haphephobia: immediate fear or anxiety when touched, or when thinking about being touched; panic attacks, which can include an increased heart rate, sweating, hot flushes. If your Fear of Being Touched is centred around sexual intimacy then you might be suffering with Genophobia.. All phobias, regardless of what the feared object or circumstances are, produce feelings of Anxiety and Stress for the sufferer, and the Fear of Being Touched is no different.. Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the.

Transform Your Thinking & Overcome Haphephobia

Haphephobia: A Fear of Being Touched

If youre committed to overcoming your Haphephobia problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul. Tranceformental CBT is available as Online Therapy if required.

The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles;or maladaptive safety behaviours;that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.

Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.

Recommended Reading: What Phobia Is Weather Related

Take Charge Of Your Recovery

Touch aversion is an unpleasant and misunderstood condition. The reasons for developing it are wide-ranging and they donât make sense to a lot of people, including those suffering from it. It can lead to depression and anxiety and many relationship problems.

I hope this guide has given you all the information you need about aversion to being touch and given you some answers as to why it might be happening to you.

Remember, seeking help is always the first step towards recovery. Talking to those close to you is also a vital ingredient. From there you can look forward to a much brighter future.

What Do You Want Others To Know About Haphephobia

First and foremost, phobias arent funny. Often, when someone learns I dont like to be touched, they proceed to touch me intentionally. They poke, prod and grab me. Theyre basically challenging the validity of what Im feeling and trying to cure me of it by touching me.

They think its amusing, but its chaotic and difficult for me. You cant do that to a person. It would be like making gunshot noises in front of a war veteran with PTSD or expecting someone allergic to cats to sit in a room and play with them.

This is not a joke, nor a game. Purposely touching me in a playful way for you is physically traumatic for me. It is truly debilitating, and I need time to recover from such experiences.

Also Check: Phobia Of Vomiting Treatment

Free Initial Consultations For The Fear Of Being Touched

We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Fear of Being Touched prior to commencing any treatment plans.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.

At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to meet to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work;with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

What Are The Treatments For Genuphobia

YTP: Stephen’s Extreme Fear of Being Touched

Many people beat themselves up over phobias. They may think its a sign of or others may belittle their fears. Its often a relief just to know a phobia is a real anxiety disorder with treatments available. In general, doctors recommend treatment for phobias when they disrupt your normal life. This includes affecting your ability to function and have relationships at work, school, social situations, or in your personal life.

The most effective genuphobia treatments involve psychotherapyor talk therapyincluding:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy . This form of talk therapy teaches you to identify and change negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors. A therapist helps you learn new attitudes and beliefs about them. In phobias, the goal is to see your fear differently and develop the confidence to face it. CBT works best when therapists combine it with exposure therapy.
  • Exposure therapy or desensitization therapy. This type of talk therapy takes you through controlled situations involving knees. A therapist helps you work through your reaction with anxiety reduction techniques. The process starts with small exposures like simply thinking about knees. Once you can master your reaction, the therapist will move you to more intense exposures. This could include looking at or touching knees. The goal is to desensitize you from the phobia stimulus.
  • Mood disorders, such as and anxiety
  • Social isolation, which can lead to loneliness and problems with work, school and social relationships

Also Check: Celine Dion Eating Disorder

Signs Of Phobia Of Being Touched:

Someone with this fear avoids someone if they attempt to get close. They experience distress and nervousness during medical or dental exams because touching is vital.

Dependent on the persons age, they may cry or try to leave thinking you will touch them. Some individuals that have suffered adolescent pedophilia will experience this fear.

They describe the sense of being touched as a burning sensation. It is upsetting and terrifying to them. Panic symptoms may surface because Chiroptophobia sufferers fear contact with anyone. They may feel woozy spells, heart agitation, intense fear, and feel a sense of doom.

Complications In Haphephobia Or Fear Of Being Touched

Haphephobia or fear of being touched is a very serious issue, although it may seem silly to others, but it has a very demoralizing effect on the person who has it and get affected in many aspects of daily lifestyle, such as:

  • People that have haphephobia among them many suffer from depression and other anxiety disorders.
  • A number of individuals with a phobia have a risk that that might do with suicide.
  • Social isolation can be a complication of haphephobia or fear of being touched. Avoiding to visit places can grounds, academic, relationship and professional problems. Children with these disorders are at a risk of getting academic problems and may also suffer from loneliness which in turn will not allow them to develop and good social skills.

Also Check: What Is A Phobia Of Spoons Called

Types Of Treatment For Chiraptophobia And Social Anxiety

Treatment will depend on the person. There are many alternative forms of treatment that you can try. Cognitive-behavioral care changes the way somebody thinks. You learn to respond in a different way to feel about someone who touches you. This therapy makes it simpler for you to accept someone touching you.

Shock or exposure care works to deaden the individuals response to triggers. Social or group treatment helps to make a warm, comforting environment. This therapy shows the person not everyone will hurt them. Medicine is available to help you treat your tension in these scenarios. All these treatments will help you with your phobia of being touched.

Anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medicine will both do the job. You may take them on a routine, or in a panic episode. On a related topic, medicines are available to treat other panic episode symptoms.

You could develop chest tightness coupled with sore shaking limbs. Keep in touch with your physicians. Dont stop taking medication until your doctor tells you to stop or reduce it.

You may develop withdrawal side effects. Ask about them as drug therapy may worsen certain symptoms. There are alternatives you can use. Make sure you keep an open mind. These are some of the ways to help overcome the phobia of being touched.

More articles

Popular Articles