My Worst Fear: Athazagoraphobia

Everyone in life fears something. Even the strongest beings alive fear something. There is no one in this world who fears nothing. Arachnophobia, acrophobia, trypanophobia, social phobia, aquaphobia, and thanatophobia are a few common fears. But the one thing people fear subconsciously is the fear of being forgotten. Athazagoraphobia or the fear of being forgotten is one fear which is the root of many other fears. The fear of forgetting, fear of missing out (FOMO), the fear of the uncertain, the fear of rejection, social interactions, and social life, in general, all stem from this fear.

What causes athazagoraphobia?

Environmental and genetic factors both can cause this phobia. Childhood trauma, a child left alone, social outcasts, and lack of attention can be the environmental causes. A child having no friends or being bullied, having people walk out of its life repeatedly can cause them to be insecure and get this phobia. Family members having Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other similar conditions can also cause this disorder.

What are the symptoms? How is athazagoraphobia diagnosed?

This disorder is generally seen in shy and introverted people. The symptoms depend on the severity of the phobia, the most common being anxiety. Others include panic attacks, nausea, body ache, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, nervousness, restlessness, depression, lack of focus, and avoiding social interactions.

The diagnosis is based on its severity. A review of the health and symptoms along with the patient life and family history can help diagnose the patient.

How to cope?

A healthy balanced diet, practicing meditation and exercise like yoga, aromatherapy, and breathing exercises helps calm the mind and body. Having a thought diary, support system, and learning to deal with stress and phobia triggers or avoiding them also helps cope healthily.

Treatment:

Treatment can range from cognitive behavioural therapy, breathing and meditation techniques, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressants. Doing soothing activities like having a cup of tea, listening to soothing music, going for walks, aromatherapy, and joining apps and support groups that help deal with anxiety are some ways of coping. In serious cases where the disorder affects daily life and health, seeking the help of medical professionals is beneficial. They help in discussing the cause of the phobia, educating you about it, and ruling out other medical problems after a medical examination.

Every person fears something and every fear leaves a mark. Our fears make us humans and fighting them is what makes us better humans. It is just the depth of the fear and the lack of a cure that harms people the most. If we practice and promote diagnosis and coping, we can become something akin to fearless.

‘Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.’

By Hritika Dujodwala

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