Haphephobia, or the fear of touched, is an uncommon but often devastating phobia. It is in the class of phobias known as specific phobias, which are fears of a specific object or situation. If you have Haphephobia, you fear being touched by anyone, although some people are only afraid of being touched by those of the opposite gender.
An irrational fear of someone touching you is unusual in that it is not particularly linked to other anxiety-related conditions such as social phobia (social anxiety disorder) or a fear of vulnerability or intimacy. Many people with haphephobia can form warm, tight bonds with others, although they may worry that those bonds are at risk due to their inability to show physical affection.
- Able to tolerate touch that they initiate or give express permission for the other person to initiate
- Able, over a long period of time, to build enough trust to overcome their reactions with one or two specific people
- Uncomfortable with any form of touch at all
- Freeze up
- Run away
- Going out of your way to always keep your hands full to avoid handshakes and hugs
- Avoiding spending time with people you think have a romantic interest in you
- An aversion to any social interactions where you fear that people might expect some form of physical interaction