Aphenphosmphobia – Fear of Being Touched
This is a rare, specific type of phobia that makes you feel abnormally afraid of touching or being touched by someone. This is interpreted by some experts as protection of personal space that turns extreme.
In the early stages it can make one feel uncomfortable on being touched but as the fear aggravates your quality of life begins to suffer. Handshakes & other forms of social greetings are frequently avoided by a phobic.
A person with this phobia finds it difficult to interact with people in an intimate manner and this can be taken as rudeness or a lack of etiquette.
Know Aphenphosmphobia Causes
In some, the fear consists is of being touched by people of opposite sex. In women, aphenphosmphobia is often linked with a fear of violent sexual encounters.
Boys, who have been victimized with sexual abuse, also have a fear of being touched. It can cause one to freeze or respond with aggressiveness.
Among primary aphenphosmphobia causes are incidents of physical abuse in the past or childhood. Many children develop this phobia as they experience inappropriate touching, either sexually or otherwise.
It is easy for such people to relate human touch to abuse they experienced in the past, triggering restrained memories.
Identify Aphenphosmphobia Symptoms
An aphenphosmphobe will retract from a person trying to get too close. During physical examinations, they may become distressed and become increasingly anxious, on being touched.
Symptoms may become apparent & surface when the phobic person fears coming into contact with someone.
Here are some aphenphosmphobia symptoms:
- Panic attack
- Fast heart beat
- Intense fear
Depending on the intensity of fear, a person with this phobia may begin to cry or try to run away prior to getting touched.
Treatment for aphenphosmphobia consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy and systematic desensitization method.
All forms of aphenphosmphobia treatment focus on reducing and eliminating fear. In cognitive behavioral therapy the affected person is made to gradually replace fearful habits with newly learned behavior that increase level of relaxation.
Once the patient displays positive results and shows improvement, the therapist introduces exposure therapy & desensitization technique to remove remaining fear. The patient becomes confident in a gradual way and eventually overcomes the phobia.