algophobiaIt is a restrictive anxiety disorder. It belongs to a specific type of phobia, characterized by the manifestation of irrational, excessive, unfounded and uncontrollable fear. People with this disorder are afraid of feeling or experiencing pain.
Fear of experiencing painis not exactly a psychological disorder. In fact, every human being avoids pain to some degree. This is because although pain is a basic instinctive response to warn the person of harm to the human body, it is not a pleasant feeling.
Fear of pain can be dangerous when it begins to impact a person’s life on a social, personal, professional or family level. When a person’s fear becomes excessive, he or she may avoid doing any activity or even taking action for fear of a painful accident. This problem is a fear that directly affects people’s quality of life. Although there are many types of phobias, some are very common and some are very rare. Algophobia is also a very rare type of phobia.
What are the characteristics of algophobia?
According to Capafón (2001), the features that distinguish algophobia from non-pathological fears are as follows:
- The fear would be completely disproportionate.
- People can’t explain this. This problem is beyond people’s voluntary control.
- It leads to avoidance of the feared object or situation.
- This continues and grows over time.
- The disharmony continues.
- It is not dependent on any particular age or factor.
What are the symptoms of algophobia?
Algophobia symptoms It generally consists of:
- Increased heart rate,
- Increased respiratory rate causing discomfort,
- excessive sweating,
- stomach contraction,
- Presence of high blood pressure,
- Using negative expressions when describing yourself,
- negative belief,
- Unnecessary and frequent bad thoughts,
- Increasing concerns,
- Constant state of alarm.
The above symptoms fall into two categories. These are physiological and cognitive symptoms.
Physiological symptoms of algophobiadirectly triggers a variety of individual and physical reactions. The cognitive manifestation of a phobia, on the other hand, is characterized by a set of ideas, thoughts, or beliefs that a person has regarding pain.
The classification of the symptoms of a phobia may also include the person’s behavioral reactions to the feared situation. The most common responses are avoidance or escape behavior. Often the person with the phobia accepts such reactions because they provide relief. But in reality, this is only a temporary solution as long as the problem persists.
Causes of algophobia
Causes of Algophobia One of the main explanations for this is classical conditioning. In this view, a phobia is believed to be a result of the patient’s history of a traumatic situation involving pain. With the problem of algophobia, the patient has probably suffered a lot. Because in fact, this fear will cause him pain for the rest of his life.
Another explanation for the cause of algophobia is that it may be the result of implicit learning. In this way, the patient observes how others are affected by pain or avoids certain situations for fear of triggering events that cause pain. Learning to fear pain usually develops in childhood.
As with all specific phobias, the source of algophobia may be increased sensitivity to seriously stressful situations. In this case, individuals react with alarm reactions (fear or panic) and thoughts of uncontrollability and uncertainty.
How is algophobia treated?
Psychiatrists, algophobia treatment It adopts two approaches. By using these methods, which are psychotherapy along with medication, the person can easily overcome these obsessions if he/she participates voluntarily and does not give up.
In drug treatment antidepressant Medicines called are used and positive results begin to be seen 1 or 2 months after starting the treatment. This period may be longer in some people, and lack of initial results does not mean that the drug treatment has failed. Immediate or premature discontinuation of the drug after a positive result may cause the phobia to reoccur.
More severe than antidepressants anxiety medications can also be used. However, since tolerance develops to these drugs and their effects are short-lived, such drugs are used only for short periods of time in serious emergencies.
People who cannot achieve results after drug treatment behavioral therapy is applied. Behavioral therapy means that people become desensitized to what they fear. This therapy is an effective method. However, it is very difficult to implement. Since it is a method that requires the cooperation of the patient, it is also a method that requires more time and effort. Therefore, drug treatment is preferred first. People’s phobias should not generally be considered as temperament or character, but professional help and necessary treatment should be sought.
These strategies are extremely useful in correcting patients’ misconceptions about the object of their phobia (pain). Guidelines for cognitive intervention are as follows:
- Patients are invited to learn about the causes of phobias. For example, the specialist tries to answer questions about pain in the case of a person suffering from algophobia.
- The patient is told to identify the thoughts that trigger their anxiety rather than helping them.
The anxious thoughts that characterize some phobias have two characteristics. The first is to overestimate the probability. This means that the victim overestimated the likelihood of the frightening event occurring. To change this cognitive pattern, patients are taught to evaluate evidence for and against anxious thoughts. For example, patients may analyze all predictions, supportive or unsupportive, for a real fear of pain.
The second type of anxious thought that people with phobias often experience is dramatic thinking. This means that the negative impact of the feared thing will increase. For example, a patient may believe that the sensation of pain is terrible.
Algophobia, like any other, is a disease that is perfectly treatable, allowing the person to live a fully functional and healthy life. As with most phobias, patients with algophobia have difficulty enjoying a good quality of life. Therefore, it is always important to consult an expert.