Common Fears For Children Of Primary School Age
As a child learns more about the world, the list of things they fear tends to grow. Some fears are real and some are imaginary. Common fears include fear of the dark, burglary, war, death, separation or divorce of their parents, and supernatural beings .Suggestions for helping your child include:
- Let your child know that you take their fears seriously.
- Give your child truthful information on topics such as death or war, and let them know you are willing to answer any questions.
- Encourage your child to confront the object of their fear, such as dogs, one step at a time at their own pace. For example, perhaps start with pictures, then try a very small, gentle dog that is tied up, so the child decides how close to get.
- Allow your child some control. For example, if they are afraid of intruders, make shutting and locking their bedroom window one of their night-time responsibilities.
- Daily routines and rituals give a child a sense of stability and security, and may ease general anxiety.
Kathisophobia: Fear Of Sitting Down
While you look forward to sinking into a comfy chair after a long day, some people experience the fear of sitting down. While phobias can sometimes severely disrupt daily life, theres something to be said for not sitting for long periods of time. Harvard Medical School experts warn about the dangers of prolonged sitting, stating that habitual inactivity raises risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome.
Funniest Phobias And Fears Just To Make You Feel Better
by M. W. Byrne
Were all afraid of something. Spiders, the government, clowns, the clowns in government, commitment and while all fears are valid, theres a few out there that are pretty hilarious.
Though its wrong to mock someone in the throes of terror, unless theyre making a really amusing face, the ability to laugh at a strange fright is helpful to the healing process, since even sufferers often admit that these deep-seated anxieties often come from a place thats as much amusing as it is abhorrent.
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Why You Should Never Make Fun Of Someone With A Phobia
Most of my friends are aware I am terrified of moths. Yes, moths. It is not uncommon after learning this not so great fact about my anxiety for people to either laugh, tease or even try to confront me with moths.
Im not upset with any friends who have done this in the past. I can recognize it is difficult to empathize with something you cant fully understand. However, I believe it is important for everyone to strive to be compassionate toward others and to develop an understanding of mental illnesses. I admittedly dont know much about phobias in a scholarly sense, but I am definitely qualified to testify my own personal experiences of my phobia.
Firstly, Id like to go through some myths and misconceptions I have come across regarding my phobia:
1. Moths wont hurt you!
Oh, cool, thanks. I had no idea that philosophical insight has now decreased my anxiety levels and I am cured of my phobia.
Heres a fun fact phobias irrationally exaggerate danger. I am fully mentally aware that I am in no danger when there is a moth in the room, but my body reacts uncontrollably as I am triggered into feeling frightened, uncomfortable and anxious.
2. Im scared of ______, I know exactly how you feel.
It is true that everyone is afraid of something. Fear is a normal and good aspect of humanity and it helps us to protect ourselves without it, we wouldnt have seatbelts or stair railings. However, just because you are scared of something, that doesnt mean you have a phobia.
Chorophobia The Fear Of Dancing Is A Real Thing
Director Michael Allcock has a problem hed like to share with the world. At a Christmas party, he was asked to dance by an attractive coworker. I knew right there and then that, if I was going to go anywhere with this woman, I needed to get on that dance floor pronto, he remembers. But I couldnt do it. I stood there, utterly frozen in my tracks. I was simply paralyzed with fear and anxiety.
Allcock has chorophobia in Greek, chorós means dance which is defined as a fear of dancing. He has rarely danced in public since he was a child. Dancing is supposed to be fun, he says. Dancing is supposed to be liberating. Dont I want to have fun? Dont I want to feel free? Why cant I dance? But then I found out I wasnt alone.
He decided to turn the camera on himself and go on a global quest to understand why he is so terrified by the simple act of dancing a story told in the documentary Channel film Fear of Dancing.
Chorophobia is more common than you think
Allcock estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of chorophobes. Among them is British actor and author Stephen Fry. I really, really, really hate dancing and have not the slightest milligram of envy for those who can do it, he says.
Another chorophobe Allcock encounters is American singer-songwriter Be Steadwell. Shes even written a song about it.
Humans have been dancing for a very, very long time
Fear of dancing develops as we grow older
Ways to help chorophobes learn to embrace dancing
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What Is Selective Mutism
Some kids and teens are so extremely shy and so fearful about talking to others, that they don’t speak at all to some people or in certain places . This form of social phobia is sometimes called selective mutism.
People with selective mutism can talk. They have completely normal conversations with the people they’re comfortable with or in certain places. But other situations cause them such extreme anxiety that they may not be able to bring themselves to talk at all.
Some people might mistake their silence for a stuck-up attitude or rudeness. But with selective mutism and social phobia, silence stems from feeling uncomfortable and afraid, not from being uncooperative, disrespectful, or rude.
What Are The Causes Of Cherophobia
Sometimes cherophobia can stem from the belief that if something very good happens to a person, or if their life is going well, that a bad event is destined to happen. As a result, they may fear activities related to happiness because they believe they can ward off something bad from happening. This is often the case when someone has experienced a past physical or emotional traumatic event.
An introvert may be more likely to experience cherophobia. An introvert is a person who typically prefers to do activities alone or with one to two people at a time. Theyre often seen as reflective and reserved. They may feel intimidated or uncomfortable in group settings, loud places, and places with a lot of people.
Perfectionists are another personality type that may be associated with cherophobia. Those who are perfectionists may feel happiness is a trait only of lazy or unproductive people. As a result, they may avoid activities that could bring happiness to them because these activities are seen as unproductive.
Because cherophobia hasnt been largely detailed or studied as its own separate disorder, there arent FDA-approved medications or other definitive treatments that a person may pursue to treat the condition.
However, some suggested treatments include:
However, if the symptoms of cherophobia are related to a past trauma, treating an underlying condition may help to treat cherophobia.
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What Are The Complications Of Phobias
If not treated, a phobia can worsen to the point in which the person’s quality of life is seriously impaired, both by the phobia itself and/or by attempts to avoid or hide it. For example, a fear of flying can result in the sufferer being unable to travel. Some people have problems with their relationships, have failed in school, and/or been unable to maintain employment as the result of a severe phobia. While there may be periods of spontaneous improvement, a phobia does not usually go away unless the individual gets treatments that are specifically designed to address this condition. Alcoholics can be up to 10 times more likely to develop a phobia than nonalcoholics, and phobic individuals may be twice as likely to suffer from alcoholism or another addiction than those who have never been phobic. It has even been found that phobic anxiety can be life-threatening for some people, increasing the risk of suffering from heart disease in both men and women.
Gelotophobia: Living A Life In Fear Of Laughter
Being in the middle of a group of laughing friends is usually a happy experience, but for those with an unusual phobia it is anything but. They are people with gelotophobia – a fear of laughter.
Drummond* , 18, from the US, told researchers: “I hear people laughing and I assume they are laughing at me. I tense up and get ready for a fight, I can feel the adrenaline.
“I hardly ever talk or do anything that could cause me to be laughed at. I remain stone-faced most of the day.
“I see other people having fun. Sometimes I want to change and be like them.
“But I don’t want to get there and be made fun of because I am different.”
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Arachibutyrophobia: Fear Of Peanut Butter Sticking To The Roof Of Your Mouth
Phobias are much more than just being afraid of something. Almost all people feel afraid at some point, depending on their exposure to certain things or threatening situations. People with phobias, on the other hand, have a marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation that can lead to clinically significant distress. They can have an impairment in their ability to function in daily life, including socially or at work. Certain phobias are more common than others, including ones related to airplanes, elevators, or spiders other phobias are less so.
For example, its an uncomfortable feeling for everyone, but some people have phobias, like the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Some people can handle eating small amounts, but others avoid peanut-based products like peanut butter sauces and ice creams. It can be rooted in a broader phobia, like the fear of sticky textures or choking, or it can occur independently.
How To Overcome Cherophobia
While there arent any FDA-approved medications to take for cherophobia, Swainston does recommend a few helpful treatments.
- Exposure Therapy: This is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that pushes you to deliberately confront your fears head-on rather than avoid them. You do this through direct and repeated exposure to said fear. So, in the case of cherophobia, this would mean gradually exposing yourself to joyful situations.
- Relaxation Techniques: This could be in the form of meditation, yoga, and other breathing exercises.
- Journaling: Sometimes, putting your fears and anxieties down on paper can prove to be very therapeutic.
- Practice Being Present: This allows you to take in joyous moments without complicating your happiness with thoughts of the past or future. Being present is one of the ways we can train ourselves to fully accept our joy and ward off feelings of guilt. You can practice by adding affirmations to your daily routine, like I am in the perfect place at the perfect time, or I allow myself to feel my feelings at this moment.
- Hypnotherapy: This may not work for everyone, but it could definitely be worth a try.
The bottom line is that cherophobia may not be something widely discussed, but it is certainly real. So, no matter what, take heart in knowing that you are not alone.
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Nostophobia: Fear Of Returning Home
Home might be where the heart is for some, but others have the fear of returning home. These people might have experienced abuse there. Or, they may fear that others will view their return as a failure. Sadly, returning home may truly up negativity and family discord. A study published in a 2018 issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine states that children who return home may alter a parents quality of life. This is probably because parents became used to independence after their children left. Therefore, when children enter the picture again, it can upset the dynamic.
What Is Social Phobia
It’s natural to feel self-conscious, nervous, or shy in front of others at times. Most people get through these moments when they need to. But for some, the anxiety that goes with feeling shy or self-conscious can be extreme.
When people feel so self-conscious and anxious that it prevents them from speaking up or socializing most of the time, it’s probably more than shyness. It may be an anxiety condition called social phobia .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cherophobia
Some medical experts classify cherophobia as a form of anxiety disorder. Anxiety is an irrational or heightened sense of fear related to the perceived threat. In the case of cherophobia, the anxiety is related to participation in activities that would be thought to make you happy.
Someone who has cherophobia isnt necessarily a sad person, but instead is one that avoids activities that could lead to happiness or joy. Examples of symptoms associated with cherophobia could include:
- experiencing anxiety at the thought of going to a joyful social gathering, like a party, concert, or other similar event
- rejecting opportunities that could lead to positive life changes due to fear that something bad will follow
- refusal to participate in activities that most would call fun
Some of the key thoughts a person who experiences cherophobia may express include:
- Being happy will mean something bad will happen to me.
- Happiness makes you a bad or worse person.
- Showing that youre happy is bad for you or for your friends and family.
- Trying to be happy is a waste of time and effort.
In an article from the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, the authors created a Fear of Happiness Scale. Created to compare fear of happiness across 14 cultures, the scale can also help a person or their doctor to evaluate if they have symptoms of cherophobia. Some statements include:
Common Fears For Toddlers
Children aged around two to three years are only just starting to learn how to cope with their strong feelings, such as anger. A common fear for a toddler is that they will be overwhelmed by powerful emotions.Toddlers have a limited understanding of size and may develop seemingly irrational fears, such as falling down the plughole or toilet.Suggestions for helping your toddler include:
- Encourage your child to talk about their fears and anxieties.
- Appreciate that fears like falling down the plughole feel genuine to the child, because young children dont yet understand about size and space.
- Dont force the child to confront their object of fear, because this may make things worse. Help them to get used to it slowly.
- Accept that you may have to help your child avoid the feared object for a while.
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The Role Of Personality In Cherophobia
While an aversion to happiness has largely been attributed to culture, emerging research also indicates that personality factors can moderate the relationship between fear of happiness and the experience of happiness.
In a study by Agbo and Ngwu , participants completed self-report measures of affect, fear of happiness, and the Big Five personality inventory , which has been extensively used in personality research .
They found differential moderating effects of personality across positive and negative affect.
Whereas higher levels of agreeableness and neuroticism strengthened the influence of fear of happiness on positive affect, higher levels of openness, conscientiousness, and extraversion were associated with a weakened effect.
In contrast, aside from higher levels of extraversion, which also undermined the effect of fear of happiness on negative affect, fear of happiness and negative affect were positively related for all of the personality dimensions.
Fear Of Happiness Underlies Some Mental Illnesses
Learning to embrace good feelings can lay the groundwork for future therapy
Unhappiness is often viewed as something to be prevented, avoided or eliminated. Yet recent studies reveal that for some people, feeling good is what scares them. Recognizing this fear and targeting it with therapy may be a critical first step before other mental illnesses can be treated.
People fear positive emotions for many reasons, such as feeling unworthy or believing good fortune inevitably leads to a fall, according to two new studies. Mohsen Joshanloo, a psychology graduate student at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, developed a Fear of Happiness Scale, on which participants indicate their level of agreement with statements such as Having lots of joy and fun causes bad things to happen. Such beliefs can plague people in many countries, according to a study by Joshanloo published online in October 2013 in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. The study found the scale to be reliable in 14 different cultures.
This article was originally published with the title “Afraid of Happiness” in SA Mind 25, 1, 18
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The Value Of Happiness Across Cultures
To understand why some people feel opposed to happiness, we can begin by examining the value placed on happiness across cultures.
In Western society, happiness is often viewed as the ultimate life goal, one to which all humans strive . It is considered one of the most important objectives guiding individuals lives. This notion is backed up by empirical data, which indicates that North Americans value happiness highly .
Accordingly, there has been a noteworthy increase in psychological research investigating the concept of happiness over the last few decades.
However, how do other cultures value happiness?
It has been argued that for many non-Western cultures, the salience of happiness is reduced or at least takes an inferior position compared to other social goals. This may be, in part, due to the fact that personal happiness is promoted in individualistic rather than collectivistic cultures.
For instance, in individualistic societies such as the U.S. and Western/Northern Europe, each individuals rights, freedom, and personal preferences are emphasized over an in-groups needs and expectations such as family, peer groups, or community .
In contrast, in collectivistic societies such as East Asia and Central/South America, the needs and aspirations of an important in-group take priority over the individuals principles. As such, while personal happiness may be the main goal for Westerners, other cultures place more value on belonging and social harmony.