Phobia is a word derived from the Greek language which means fear. This may be an exaggerated aversion with something. There are various factors that can contribute to developing a phobia. Environmental and genetic factors are likely to pave the way for the development of a phobia. Anyone can expose themselves to any kind of phobia by thinking irrationally about a particular thing. A person with some kind of phobia will try to avoid things that he considers to be hazardous. Phobias are mental disorders that can be cured or overcome. In this article we will discuss fear of mirror
Fear of Mirror
The fear of the mirror is usually denoted as eisoptrophobia or catoptrophobia. Many individuals with the fear of mirrors are not, in reality, frightened by the mirror itself. Rather, he gets the reflections within. The fear of mirrors is relatively rare and highly personalized. Some people are afraid of their own reflection, others of reflected words, and still others of the mirror’s potential link with the supernatural.
The fear of mirrors is normally recognized as eisoptrophobia or catoptrophobia. Many individuals with the fear of mirrors are not essentially frightened by the mirror itself. rather, they get frightened by the replications inside. The fear of mirrors is comparatively uncommon and extremely modified. Some individuals get frightened by their own reflections, others of replicated words, and still others of the mirror’s probable connection with the mystical.
Fear of Mirrors and Body Image
If a person is not comfortable with his image of the body, he may try to evade looking at himself in a mirror. Some people decline to posture for pictures or to permit any sorts of videos or audio footage. Commonly, individuals with fear of mirrors grounded on the image of the body do not mind having mirrors around, though they go out of their way to individually escape mirrors.
Fear of Reflections
Fear of mirrors can be linked with more widespread fear of replications. In addition to mirrors, one might get frightened of any reflecting subject such as an extremely elegant car or some type of shades. Replications fundamentally misrepresent the reproduced objects, triggering them to look slightly weird. Some individuals are mainly frightened of the replicated script, which looks like nonsense.
Symptoms of Fear of mirrors
People with a fear of mirrors will avoid mirrors and whatever that reproduces images wholly. It can adversely distress their societal life. A person may control the mirror in his own house, but once he goes out, he has to go through dangerous strategies to escape seeing the mirror. This individual can possess the symptoms merely upon the reference of a mirror. He would not use anything that is made of crystal.
An individual who is frightened of the ghosts in the mirror would also be afraid of ghost movies and shows like Poltergeist or The Haunting. When he finds himself in a place with a mirror, or he sees what the reflection appears from a mirror, he would experience all the signs of nervousness. His heartbeat and blood pressure will surge. He might become seasick or faint. Most people would feel the urge to escape the place instantly. It can trigger panic attacks if it becomes too severe.
Causes of fear of the mirror
Fears are often produced by shocking events. The aftershocks of the event remain inside the mind of a person, and they live with continuous dread of being exposed to it yet again. Every time they are exposed to something slightly near, their flight or fight reaction comes to play, and they begin having signs of great terror like dripping, heaving breathing, and trembling.
Terror is customized and may be contingent on many aspects. The cultural background of an individual may have a larger influence on what they are afraid of or like. Some individuals have a fear of mirrors because of their beliefs. They may fear the undead or ghosts get into them through the mirrors. Some individuals are more frightened of the mysterious.
Treatments for Fear of mirrors
No specific treatments have been developed to help people get rid of Fear of mirrors. Few are the treatment methods that can help people with Fear of mirrors.
These types of medicines can help people to avoid panic attacks. Anti-anxiety medicines are thought to be vital for people who are having fear of mirrors. Because people who are suffering from this phobia often tend to face anxiety and panic attacks. Medicines made for the treatment of anxiety are not used often but their quantity can be increased if a person feels that fear of mirrors is getting severe.
Antidepressants are also considered to be useful. As these medications are not only designed for people who are suffering from depression but also who are facing anxiety because people with a fear of mirrors also tend to face anxiety. Taking drugs might help in lessening the symptoms of fear of mirrors. These types of medicines can be used daily. These drugs can be helpful in the prevention of panic attacks and anxiety as well.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy
This is a plan based therapy of eight weeks which has so much to offer for the contentment of mind through training of mind and can be helpful for people to deal with their anxiety, depression and stress. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction therapy can also significantly be helpful for a person who is diagnosed with fear of mirrors. Mindfulness training offers meditation which is found to be extremely advantageous for people suffering from anxiety. This therapy offers a productive structure with a variety of skills that are beneficial in lessening the anxiety which is associated with fear of mirrors.
Meditation for Fear of mirrors
A variety of meditation exercises exist which are considered to be extremely beneficial for patients who are dealing with Fear of mirrors. Especially, mindfulness training has been found to be very helpful for people to get relaxed and put their minds at ease. There are various ways to apply mindfulness meditation. Meditation is a source of contentment for the mind and it can significantly impact a person’s state of mind and help them divert their spam of thoughts from their fear to those thoughts which are constructive and productive.
To apply this meditation in order to help a patient lessen his stress and symptoms, one can do this by concentrating on his breathing process that how his muscles get contracted in his abdomen and his chest contracts and focusing on being relaxed while breathing in and breathing out.
Apart from paying attention to breathing one can also be focused on the voices in the surrounding, how it feels to you when you touch the objects, how food tastes, and how different aromas smell. Putting attention on all five senses can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety-related with Fear of mirrors. To benefit from meditation it is important to be regularly and be persistent.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
The aim of Cognitive therapy is to assist people in the identification of their feelings related to anxiety and enabling them to change these feelings with more realistic thoughts and positive vibes.
An individual who is diagnosed with Fear of mirrors may also be shown a few examples or evidence that being in around vegetables does not necessarily mean that it can give rise to negative thoughts and can lead to negative results.
Cognitive restructuring is the part of cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps individuals suffering from Fear of mirrors as they have developed negative thought patterns about vegetables. Moreover, many individuals do not know how capable they are of coping with such situations when they get around mushrooms. Cognitive restructuring helps help to get to understand the value of countering their negative thoughts and then to change them to productive or positive thoughts which resultantly reduce stress and avoid anxiety.
Phobias exist in the subconscious mind of a person which means that it is impossible to understand that a specific phobia is not dangerous doesn’t matter how much we tell ourselves. Our bodies and our mind will still react to fear. Hypnosis intends to directly get in touch with our subconscious and try to alter our thinking patterns about phobias.
Hypnosis consists of the mechanism of getting a person into a relaxed state of mind. The therapist will get into a conversation with the person about the Fear of mirrors without letting him lose control of himself as long as the process of hypnosis continues. If the person does not exactly aware of the root cause of phobia then it might be a lengthy process to reach the reason behind the phobia.
As the therapist is successful in getting to know the root cause of phobia he will advance further with the treatment methods and will be applying various techniques to alter the responses of the client. This will make the client to slowly and peacefully confront the phobia while being in a normal and calm state of mind.
This is a simple and convenient method to deal with phobias. In this method of treatment taking deep breaths can be helpful for people with Fear of mirrors. It is very useful for managing the apparent symptoms and also it can help to manage stress and anxiety which is associated with Fear of mirrors.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
Dialectical Behaviour therapy has been found to be extremely advantageous with the people who are struggling with their emotional regulation while confronting their phobias. This therapy is also useful in treating patients suffering from borderline personality disorders. However, this is extremely beneficial for the patients who are struggling with their anxiety disorder particularly in the cases of Fear of mirrors. The reason behind using this therapy for treatment purposes is that this therapy has to offer a variety of coping skills that one can learn and apply to deal with Fear of mirrors. The process of treatment through dialectical behavioral therapy is lengthy and is spread over around forty-eight weeks and this therapy is usually applied in groups. These groups may consist of two to several people depending on the availability of people and how many of them are willing to be part of group therapy. Half smiling is considered to be the most powerful and extremely helpful part of this therapy. This technique is applied to a patient by making him think about the things he is afraid of or makes him upset by lightly bringing a smile on the face. Thus this is referred to as half smiling. Although, in half-smiling, it isn’t enough to just think about fear it is also important to curb from arising those painful emotions that may be evoked by the fear.
FAQs about Fear of Mirror
Q1. Why do I have a fear of mirrors?
Some people fear mirrors because of their culture. They may fear the undead or ghosts accessing them through the mirrors.
Q2. What is Eisoptrophobia?
An abnormal and persistent fear of mirrors. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational.
Q3. Is it bad to look in the mirror too much?
People with BDD may look at themselves in the mirror too much, or some people with BDD may actually try not to look in the mirror.
Theresa Smith (2018): “ Spectrophobia: The Fear of Mirrors”
Lisa Fritscher (2020): “ The Fear of Mirrors or Catoptrophobia”