Algophobia/Algiophobia is a phobia of pain – an abnormal and persistent fear of pain that is far more powerful than that of a normal person
What causes Agliophobia?
Like in all other specific phobias, Agliophobia also originates from an intense traumatic experience in the past as well as intrinsic factors.
For example, highly sensitive people could be more prone to the fear of pain phobia. Even seeing their loved ones suffer can lead to a lifetime of fear of pain. Children who have experienced pain at the dentist’s or doctor’s office will be fearful of experiencing that pain all the time.
As stated above, the condition can be debilitating and disruptive for everyday life as the phobic individual constantly thinks about pain, as a result of which his/her condition turns into a vicious cycle that aggravates their mental/physical distress.
The fear of pain phobia is often mistaken for depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, sleeping disorder, schizophrenia and so on. Depending on the extent to which one suffers, the disruptive phobia can lead to many physical symptoms including:
- Shaking, trembling, sweating
- Crying, screaming
- Experiencing a full blown panic attack
- Rapid and shallow breathing, having an increased heart rate
- Experiencing dizziness, nausea and other gastrointestinal distress
- Inability to express self accurately
Additionally, the fear of pain might make the phobic:
- Avoid new experiences
- Fear going to new/different places
- Avoid going to the doctor/dentist
- Feel detached from reality
- Have fearful thoughts about death or dying
Often, medical and dental pain agliophobics end up aggravating their medical/dental condition as they refrain from seeking help for it. Their fear and paranoia about pain might also make them turn to excessive use of pain relievers which could cause an overdose.
Treatment for Agliophobia
A combination of drugs and behavior therapy has been known to be successful in treating the fear of pain phobia. However, most doctors warn that anxiety medicines give only temporary relief and could lead to side effects or adverse reactions.