Philophobia (fear of falling in love): what it is, common causes and symptoms

The philosophy this is another example of a very curious phenomenon: wherever the human imagination and our ability to think through complex concepts, a specific phobia based on abstract ideas can exist. We are able to develop irrational fears in the face of things that are neither material nor that have happened yet: phobias can arise from the simple anticipation of a fact that should never happen.

And what is the fear that drives philophobia? Nothing more and nothing less than the fear of loveThis can lead us to isolate ourselves and reject any possibility of meeting new people because of the terror that produces the possibility of establishing an emotional bond that is too strong.

What is philophobia?

There are many types of phobias that people can experience, and many psychologists treat patients who suffer from them on a daily basis. As we saw a few weeks ago, the chemistry of love alters hormonal and chemical levels in the brain and can produce amazing side effects at 9:00 am.

One of the most curious phobias is love phobia or philophobia. This anxiety problem can have an effect on the social and emotional life of the person who suffers from it. In severe cases, the philophobic may not only avoid possible romantic adventures, but may also stop forming relationships with colleagues, neighbors, friends and family.

The act of falling in love can be one of the most amazing experiences humans can have, but for a philophobe it can become a situation that causes it. a terrible feeling of discomfort and high levels of emotional and physical stress.

Philophobia can be very disabling and, in severe cases, lead to a situation of social isolation. This type of alteration is able to generate a snowball effect which ends up generating emotional and relationship problems.

Is it a psychological disorder?

Philophobia is not mentioned in the most widely used diagnostic textbooks in clinical psychology and psychiatry, so there is no consensual and “official” definition of what an anxiety management problem is. and emotions. however, it can be included in specific phobias, which appear with their own section in these books.

And is that phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that can take an almost endless variety of forms, just as much as phobic stimuli can produce anxiety or fear in some people. That is why, in psychotherapy, it is possible to treat patients with philophobia even without needing to use this word; it simply helps the person by adapting the psychological intervention to his case and by assuming certain principles of mental health encountered in the case of phobias and similar problems.

Some common ‘symptoms’ of philophobia

This brings us to the fact that there are people out there who are afraid to indulge, fall in love, or build strong personal relationships. They only live in relationships without commitment, they speak little of themselves, they avoid showing themselves as they areThey put up an “insurmountable barrier” against feeling vulnerable, they tend to build simultaneous relationships out of fear of being abandoned, and their relationships are a roller coaster of emotions with constant ups and downs.

On the physical level, they show symptoms when they are in the presence of the person of the opposite sex to whom they feel a physical and emotional attraction. Some of these symptoms would be: classic panic attacks, gastrointestinal upset, irregular heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath and wanting to leave the situation as soon as possible, as a defense mechanism to avoid feeling all of these. anxiety symptoms.

In psychology and psychiatry, there are different opinions regarding this disorder. But it seems what triggers the philophobia is an intense sense of failure in a past relationship that hasn’t been overcome. This school of thought maintains that the patient with philophobia has wounds as a result of divorce or a painful process of lack of love which helps to avoid any potential situation of being hurt again by a lover. Other professionals believe that philophobia arose out of an intense fear of being rejected.

Neither of these two theories has been proven, so there is no definitive answer as to why some people who experience traumatic relationships hold on to pain and fail to overcome it.

What can I do if I suffer from philophobia?

If you are one of those people who is afraid of falling in love, you have to keep in mind that you are not alone, that there are a lot of people who are the same as you and that if you follow a series. of advice and guidance, you will probably be successful in overcoming philophobia.

Below I offer a total of four tips and strategies for you to overcome this fear of getting into romantic relationships, although you should keep in mind that this problem can only be put back if you put it into it. your part; neither reading on the Internet nor the words of a psychotherapist will do magic. It is your responsibility to implement certain habits and strategies in your life to make philophobia stop being a problem.

1. Expose yourself to fear

In less severe cases of the disease, simple exposure to fear is a good way to overcome. Often times we think too much about the negative consequences and then realize that there weren’t as many.

In other cases, philophobia is mainly generated by having had a bad experience in the very rare attempts to have romantic contact with someone, so being more exposed to love helps this terrifying mirage of people. emotional relationships to fade.

What is clear is that running away or avoiding these situations will only cause this disorder to reassert itself more and stay alive. Therefore, we cannot refuse to experience love just because it scares us.

2. Live in the present

To try to have some emotional control you have to live the relationship on a day-to-day basis, that is, live the present. We must try to leave behind irrational thoughts created by past experiences and future expectations. Every situation and every person is different from the others, which is why we should focus our attention on the present moment without looking much further. In this way, we will control the anxiety associated with this phobia.

Mindfulness, or mindfulness, is a therapeutic procedure that seeks first and foremost to ensure that emotional aspects and other processes of a non-verbal nature are accepted and experienced in their own condition, without being avoided or trying to control them. These psychological techniques based on oriental meditation will help you live the day and improve your interpersonal relationships. If you have the chance to try it, don’t hesitate.

3. Express your fears

Communication is a key factor in any relationship and in being able to feel stronger in front of it. hem to share with our partner or loved ones what is happening to us. Letting someone else know our fears will help us understand our reactions better and, as a result, emotional stress will be reduced.

4. Give yourself the time you need

These types of emotional blockages often occur because we still have painful episodes that cloud our minds. It is not a good idea that we want to overcome our fears overnight. Emotional conflicts can take days, weeks, and even months to heal. Forcing yourself to have intimate relationships with others is not a good idea if we are still emotionally devastated.

Give yourself the time you need to focus on your life properly, don’t you don’t worry about something that time, little by little, will resolve. But once there has been the meaningful recovery that takes place in the first few weeks, we need to step out of our comfort zone and admit that overcoming these irrational fears will require us to do more than good intentions: we must act.

5. Go to a professional

Since philophobia is an anxiety disorder caused by previous negative experiences, family, or relationships, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional if it cannot be overcome on your own. Cognitive behavioral therapy and emotional desensitization have been shown to be very effective in overcoming phobic disorders.

However, the case of The psychotherapeutic intervention of philophobia is more complex, because it is not so easy to be exposed in a controlled way to the possibility of falling in love; after all, what produces fear is not an animal or object that is easy to identify and watch. This means that the work carried out outside the psychology consultation and agreed with the therapist is of particular importance.

The fear of falling in love: an abstract fear

Our most irrational fears don’t necessarily have to be related to specific animals, objects, or environments, but can awaken from the possibility of feeling certain emotions. And how many emotions are more intense than love? One thing that makes philophobia a very problematic thing is the inability to “isolate” the source of fear, as might be done for example in the case of spider phobia. In philophobia, any perceived situation that can trigger the consolidation of the emotional bonds inherent in the fall in love is totally rejected in advance.

The latter is harmful in two ways. On the one hand, it makes falling in love impossible, a state of emotional activation that has moments associated with very intense happiness. People with philophobia may think that they refuse to fall in love and at the same time wish they can experience it without fear so that they can enjoy their good things. On the other hand, this fear predisposes people to social isolation, which can lead to the appearance of a feeling of loneliness and sadness and which, moreover, is correlated with the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle habits and lower life expectancy.

Thus, philophobia can become a disabling problem for the person who suffers from it, as long as its intensity is very high. Knowing how to detect this problem and decide to resolve it through psychotherapy is the first step alleviate his symptoms and re-embrace a lifestyle capable of generating happiness.

Bibliographical references:

  • Cavallo, V. (1998). International manual of cognitive and behavioral treatments of psychological disorders. Pergamum. pages 5-6.
  • Dalgleish, T., Dunn, B., Mobbs, D. (2009). Affective neuroscience: past, present and future [Electronic Version]. Emotion review, 1 (4), pages 355-368.
  • Gendron, M. and Barrett, E. (2009). Rebuilding the Past: A Century of Ideas on Emotion in Psychology [Electronic Version]. Emotion review, 1 (4), pages 316-339.

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