As its finish indicates, xyrophobia it’s a kind of phobia. Remember that phobias are intense, irrational fears or fears, in some cases becoming pathological for things, situations, or even people.
In this article, we will look at what this psychological disorder is: its consequences, the possible origins of gyrophobia and the treatments for this type of phobia.
Syrophobia: what is it?
Syrophobia is a very specific phobia; pathological fear of barber razors. This disorder implies the existence of an unjustified, abnormal and persistent fear in the razors used to cut the beard. This fear can range from contempt, panic, rejection, aversion, even hatred or disgust.
Those who suffer from xyrophobia are afraid of shaving: in the case of women, for example, the legs or armpits, which are areas usually shaved, and in the case of men, usually the beard or mustache.
Shaving involves the possibility of cutting or injuring yourself with a razor blade, so the phobia focuses on the ability to hurt yourself in this way, More than in the object itself used -navaja-.
Why does fear arise?
Fear is considered to be an adaptive reaction of the body, a warning reaction, caused by a feeling of imminent danger.
In a normal state, this reaction helps us adapt to the environment and aims to prevent something bad from happening. In this way, it keeps us away from negative stimuli and helps us identify stimuli that hurt us for our survival.
Therefore, fear is a reaction that takes place before many unpleasant sensations, as it causes us to anticipate so that we can react quickly to danger signals.
Fear is therefore a reaction consistent with the stimuli of our environment. The problem is when the phobias come in. The phobia is considered overreacting to a situation that is not really dangerous or potentially dangerous, even if our brain perceives it that way. This response is not adaptive.
There are almost as many types of phobias as there are types of objects, situations or people. What all phobias have in common is that they stop being adaptive, as disproportionate and exaggerated reactions occur. These phobias, like xyrophobia, produce unnecessary discomfort, as there is a relentless and obsessive preoccupation with a certain stimulus.
Many phobias end up triggering avoidant behavior in places or situations without real danger., Just a danger that the brain perceives. This is why it is important to know how to distinguish between fear – as an adaptive response to the environment, and phobia, a disproportionate and inappropriate response.
Symptoms of gyrophobia
The consequences of developing a phobia such as xyrophobia are varied.
On the one hand, a phobia produces feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable. The brain of a person with xyrophobia is put on alert, and in some cases, it acts quickly. This reaction is similar to stress in that it focuses attention on certain stimuli and quickly sets the mind in motion.
This state of alertness can lead to sleep disturbances such as insomnia. In extreme cases, these reactions can end up triggering anxiety disorders.
On the other hand (and this is a long term consequence) an untreated phobia may become more noticeable over time, Causing in the patient a number of symptoms which affect his mental health and even his interpersonal and social relationships.
Not coping with xyrophobia can cause the person to see their social relationships altered, for example by avoiding the fear of affecting to show this phobia and be judged. This fact could have negative impacts on the person’s self-esteem and lead to the fact that this person is separated from his professional, personal and family environment.
In more severe cases, depression can even occur, and in extreme cases, these phobia sufferers may seek refuge in the use and subsequent abuse of addictive substances such as alcohol or drugs. That those would be the only things that would allow them to do it. “Deal” with this phobia.
Several causes can cause gyrophobia: on the one hand, it can be a phobia coming from another phobia. For example, bellophobia, which is the fear of sharp objects such as needles, can give rise to gyrophobia.
Another associated phobia is hemophobia, which is an irrational fear in the blood. One way or another, the fear produced by contact (physical or visual) with blood, is associated with a consequence that must be cut with a razor. For this reason, these phobias can converge.
Another cause is the traumatic experiences that penetrated the memory of the person; an episode from the past that may have been very painful. In this episode, the person may have made a deep cut or be injured in some way while handling razors, and as a result may develop chirophobia.
Sometimes the origin is idiopathic, that is, it is not known for sure what or what are the triggers of the phobia.
Finally, we will talk about treatments that can be used to treat gyrophobia in psychotherapy.
It is important to remember that the treatments usually used in certain types of phobias cover two types: on the one hand, we have exposure therapy and on the other hand, there is cognitive behavioral therapy.
In the first case, exposure therapy, the treatment consists of exposing the gyrophobic person to the stimuli of which they are afraid. In this case, the contact with the razors would begin, from a superficial shape to its use.
In the second case mentioned, cognitive behavioral therapy, we mean modulate poorly established beliefs and ideas in the brain, Associated with the phobic stimulus, in this case the razor, potentially harmful element.
In any case, as we have seen, fear is an adaptive process, but when it ceases to be so, it is necessary to act and initiate psychological therapy. So faced with a situation of chirophobia, it must be faced with therapeutic action on the part of qualified professionals in the field of mental health.
- American Psychiatric Association -APA- (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
- Belloch, A., Sandín, B. and Ramos, F. (2010). Manual of psychopathology. Volumes I and II. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
- Horse (2002). Manual for the cognitive-behavioral treatment of psychological disorders. Flight. 1 and 2. Madrid. 21st century (chapters 1-8, 16-18).