Catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors. The origin of the word catoptro is Greek (meaning mirror) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). This fear could have developed in the early history, when people used to use ponds and still waters as mirrors (or looking glasses). People believed the images they saw in the water were their souls looking back at them and it frighten them.
Symptoms of Spectrophobia
An exaggerated or persistent fear of mirrors can cause many symptoms such as:
- Avoidance of mirrors
- Thoughts of death or dying
- Screaming, crying, trying to flee
- Rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, dilated pupils, sweating excessively
- Full blown anxiety or panic attacks
Treating the fear of mirrors phobia
Taking baby steps is the best way of overcoming any fear. Same is true for Catoptrophobia.
- Gradual exposure therapy can help an individual slowly progress to overcoming his fear once and for all. In this therapy, one starts by looking at images of mirrors, thinking about mirrors and then finally progresses to holding and looking inside one.
- Homeopathic remedies, herbs etc can also help relieve anxiety associated with the phobia. Lavandula, Chamomile, Melissa Officinalis etc are a few examples.
- Talk therapy, online and offline support groups etc can help the phobic give vent to his fears. Family and friends should support the phobic individual rather than teasing or making fun of him.
- NLP therapy, hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy are some other methods that are effective in treating the fear of mirrors.