You can pretty much be afraid of anything, and that’s a fact.
There’s no rhyme or reason to why some people suffer form certain phobias, when other people have absolutely no problem with that particular thing.
That’s why they’re called phobias; they’re irrational fears. Sometimes they’re fears of something completely harmless, and sometimes these can include some of the strangest things.
For example, did you know that some people are deathly afraid of something as everyday as mirrors? Maybe you’ve never heard of that, but it’s a real thing! It’s called Spectrophobia.
To some people, that sounds almost impossible. I mean, mirrors are everywhere, they’re so common, so how could a person actually be afraid of a mirror? Well, it’s actually a bit more complicated than you may have first thought.
Spectrophobia, which is sometimes also called catoptrophobia, is known as a fear of mirrors. There are other signs and symptoms that a person might have this phobia, including associated fears of minimal lighting, wooded areas, dark rooms, and hearing loud or unexpected noises.
A person’s phobia of mirrors can also be closely related to a strong fear of ghosts or spirits. Weird, right? Well, maybe it’s not quite as strange as you first think.
For centuries, people have recognized that there’s something just a little uncanny about looking at your own reflection. That’s you, but it’s not, right?
And if you think about it, lots of tense movies and horror movies involve frightening scenes involving ghosts and mirrors.
Even the word Catoptrophobia comes from the Greek word Catropto which means mirrors, and spectrophobia actually comes from the Latin word for ghosts, Spectro.
So spectrophobia can be a fear of catching one’s own reflection, looking at others in the mirror, or the fear of the unknown.
Although some people may find this an irrational fear, if it’s not treated it can even lead to serious problems with a person’s mental and physical health.
For those suffering from Spectrophobia, looking in the mirror can commonly trigger panic attacks. This can also come with other symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.
They may even feel so stressed out that they will want to flee away from that stressful situation.
Fear of mirrors can also stem from a person’s psychology, in that they are displeased with their own appearance or have body image issues, so this psychological stress can also be linked to self-esteem issues.
This fear may also be linked to an underlying fear of self-knowledge. So basically, they might be afraid to see what they look like, because of a deep rooted fear of personal criticism.
This connection between mirrors, spirits, and negativity may stem from an ancient human fear of seeing our reflection in still waters.
Just think of when we were hunters in primitive times, the amount of things that could emerge from waters to do harm to us. So when humans became more advanced, it was often thought that your reflection staring back at you was actually your soul.
But since your distorted reflection in a film of water looks strange, this was usually interpreted negatively.
Certain tribes associate reflections in dark still waters with bad luck or death. They avoid looking into the water for fear that the gods could snatch their souls away.
In some cultures, children under the age of one are not shown their reflection for fear that this would cause them to die in some mysterious way.
There are even several folk tales that involve the disturbing of a person’s reflection leading to impending doom.
All of this could be what leads to the fear of shattered or broken mirrors in Spectrophobia.
Plus, just think of all the superstitions that we still have in the modern world to do with mirrors and reflections.
A bride for instance is not supposed to see what she looks like in her wedding dress until after the couple have been married.
Then in some cultures, mirrors are veiled during a funeral, so that family members do not have to see their own reflection, as it is believed they will follow their kin over to the other side.
There are even urban legends and spooky children’s stories that involve mirrors too. Who wasn’t scared of Bloody Mary when they were younger?
So what should somebody with this fear do in order to overcome it? Well, small steps are the best way to begin. Thankfully, many therapy methods have been successful in curing spectrophobia before.
To overcome this phobia, the individual who suffers from it are encouraged by therapists to begin by gradually looking at images of mirrors, then thinking about them, next holding them, and finally looking into one.
It’s important, not to do too much at once, and also remedies including herbal teas and oils will aid in relaxation. In more extreme circumstances, sufferers will even be given hypnotherapy in order to overcome their fear.
Does any of this sound like something familiar to you? Maybe you recognize that you have this fear, but you never knew it was a real phobia until now! Well, now you know that you are not alone and that there is definitely hope for you.
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