How many people do we meet each day? We took to the streets and ran into hundreds, if not thousands, of people circling around us. Among them we find men and women of very different ages, races, conditions, preferences and tastes.
For most people, this is not a problem, but there are people who experience feelings of intense panic when they see someone with specific characteristics appear. Some people experience these feelings when confronted, for example, with a man. And not with one in particular, but with any. This is what happens to people with arenophobia, A very limiting phobia which we will talk about in this article.
What is arenophobia?
Arenophobia is understood as irrational and extreme fear or panic towards all men. It is a specific phobia in which uncontrolled and disproportionate aversion, fear and panic appear towards men in general, continuously and persistently for at least six months. In the presence of a human or the possibility or thought of a person appearing, the affected person may suffer from disorders such as tachycardia, hyperventilation, dizziness, sweating and tremors, nausea and vomiting, and may have a seizure. anxiety. Because of this fear, the subject systematically avoided his approach to people and places where they may be particularly prevalent.
This phobia is rare and occurs mainly in womenBut it can also be the case in men who are afraid of exposing themselves to other men. It is important to keep in mind that we are faced with a real and totally unintentional problem, not a chosen disregard for the male figure. In other words, it’s not that this person doesn’t like men, but that they feel excruciating and uncontrollable panic every time they see him approaching them.
Unlike other phobias, which although generally limiting are not a great threat on a daily basis (for example, we usually don’t have to fly or bleed every day), the phobia in l man or arenophobia, also known as androphobiaIt is a severe limitation in all walks of life, and in virtually every activity we do we find both men and women. School, work, leisure … all this will be experienced with a very high level of anxiety on the part of those affected, who will often have to endure contact with very anxious men.
The avoidance that is performed may lead to the use of strategies such as working from home, going to gyms or female-only environments, isolating oneself and / or avoiding intimate contact and relationships. And this also obviously affects the emotional and couple level, avoiding intimate contact and engagement. Many of these people choose to remain single due to the panic generated by the male figure. It doesn’t mean that they don’t want a partner or that they don’t like men, just that their own pain reaction prevents them from doing so or makes it greatly difficult to be close to one. And it can lead to great suffering.
What are the causes of androphobia?
The causes of arenophobia are not, like other phobias, clear and known. However, in this particular case, a relationship has often been observed between the emergence of fear in men and suffering from some kind of trauma or extremely aversive experience which caused a man to the affected person.
In this way, it is common (but not necessary) for us to speak, both among women and men who suffer from this phobia, of people who have suffered sexual abuse or kidnapping, domestic violence (whether this violence is directed against another) or paternal abandonment. It is also important to distinguish arenophobia from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can also appear due to the experience of these traumatic events: if post-traumatic stress explained the alterations better, we would not be talking about this phobia. .
It is also associated with culture: the traditional gender figure and the role of man can cause panic in educated people, so they must be submissive and obedient. Men who suffer from this phobia they may come to feel it when they consider themselves inferior to what a man should be to them or what he considers other men.
Arenophobia is a condition that involves severe limitation for the person who suffers from it and can lead to a lot of suffering. This is why treating this phobia is a necessary thing, and luckily there are many methods to do it.
As in other phobias, exposure to the feared stimulus without resorting to avoidance strategies long enough for the anxiety level to drop to make it unnoticeable is something that can be of great help. The use of systematic desensitization is recommended, which allows gradual exposure to increasingly phobic stimuli. If the anxiety level is very high, you can start by making an exhibition in imagination, gradually approaching the exhibition live or as an alternative in itself.
But in this phobia, and especially in those cases that have arisen as a result of experiencing some kind of abuse or neglect, it is also essential to work on dysfunctional beliefs that the person can have respect for men and respect for himself. Cognitive restructuring is very helpful for this.
Also, learning relaxation techniques can help the patient relieve the tension he feels about exposure. Hypnotherapy has also been used in some cases.