Crystallophobia (fear of glasses): symptoms, causes and treatment

Crystal is a type of material that is very present in our daily life, which makes up different objects, such as glasses and cups (dishes), pots, decorative objects such as vases, etc.

As everything that “exists” can be dreaded, an irrational fear can also present itself to glasses: it is about crystallophobia, phobia of glasses. In this article we will see what are its characteristics.

    Crystallophobia: symptoms

    Crystallophobia can be related to the fear of breaking glass, the noise they make while doing so, or tearing / hurting yourself with any of them.

    The symptoms of crystallophobia are those corresponding to the symptoms of a specific phobia. In this case, irrational fear appears in front of the glasses. Glasses, as we know, are hardened, transparent and colorless glasses, which are used to make prisms, lenses, dishes, etc.

    Notable symptoms of crystallophobia are:

    • Vivid and persistent fear in glasses: this fear is excessive or irrational.
    • anxiety: Exposure to the phobic stimulus (glasses) causes marked anxiety.
    • avoidance: Situations that can lead to sin are avoided or endured with great discomfort.
    • Interference in normal routine.
    • Minimum duration of symptoms 6 months.

    Crystallophobia as a specific phobia could be included in the group of phobias to “other” stimuli, within the DSM classification.

    Characteristics of specific phobias

    Specific phobias they frequently co-morbidly with other anxiety disorders, Mood and substance-related disorders.

    However, specific phobia is the anxiety disorder with the lowest degree of disability, compared to other anxiety disorders (which is more panic disorder with agoraphobia).

    This is because if the person avoids the phobic stimulus or the so-called phobic stimulus is not common in some places (you don’t have to witness it very often), their day-to-day functioning does not have to be altered. In addition to the type of symptoms, which is not that severe or disabling.

    As for the course, they usually appear in childhood or adolescence, And at an earlier age in women than in men. Having a crystallophobia in adolescence (or another type of specific phobia) increases the likelihood of having a persistent specific phobia or developing a new specific phobia, but does not predict the development of another disorder.

      the causes

      As for the causes that can cause crystallophobia, like many other specific phobias, they are not reliably known. However, it could be related to having had negative, highly traumatic or emotionally charged events or experiences related to glasses (e.g. a large cut with a glass, breaking a glass during a theft, injuries, etc. .).

      For genetic phobias, a certain genetic predisposition to the harmful effects of stress has also been considered, which forms a basis for the appearance of the phobia.

      On the other hand, other factors must be taken into account to understand the origin of crystallophobia, such as the personality of the person, cognitive styles, Learning by imitation or classic conditioning, which can promote the appearance and development of an irrational fear in glasses, as well as in any other type of object or situation.


      Crystal phobia must be treated as a specific phobia, using concrete tools. Psychotherapy can be effective, according to a lot of research. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be the most effective, And generally includes relaxation techniques, cognitive techniques (eg, self-study) and exposure techniques (the latter being the most effective).

      As for exhibition techniquesThe objective will be to gradually expose the person to the feared stimulus, in this case to different types of glasses (in terms of shape, size, etc.), arranged hierarchically (at least to the most anxious or phobic for the patient) .

      The ultimate goal is that the person with crystallophobia is exposed to glasses (during different therapy sessions, as well as outside the “homework” consultation), until they cause him fear or anxiety. In the case of crystallophobia, for example, the first stimulus in the hierarchy may be a small, slightly pointed crystal, and gradually increase in size, as well as the risk of cutting it.

      We will seek that ultimately the person it can touch the glass without showing any leakage, avoidance or discomfort.

      Through the exposure, the person is able to verify for himself that he is not in danger in front of the phobic object, and so little by little the fear disappears and we learn that the glasses are not synonymous. of danger or harm.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Horse (2002). Manual for the cognitive-behavioral treatment of psychological disorders. Flight. 1 and 2. Madrid. 21st century (chapters 1-8, 16-18).
      • Belloch, A .; Sandín, B. and Ramos, F. (2010). Manual of psychopathology. Volumes I and II. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
      • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-5. Masson, Barcelona.

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