Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

Spectrophobia
Shweta Chhabra

Shweta Chhabra is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with an M.phil in Clinical Psychology. She has worked in hospitals and has vast experience in working with adolescents and addicted patients. Her therapeutic expertise is in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy and Mindfulness.

This article will give a brief idea about Spectrophobia. Then it will focus on the causes and symptoms of Spectrophobia. Then it will highlight the treatment of Spectrophobia, both psychotherapies, and medications.

Spectrophobia:

Spectrophobia refers to the irrational fear of mirrors or spectres. This fear has roots from religious beliefs and superstitions as many people believe that mirrors serve the portal for souls and that ghosts can travel through mirrors.

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that can disturb a person’s life miserably. It includes panic like condition in which people suffering from this disorder experience a high amount of anxiety or panic-like condition from the mere thought of mirrors, the sight of mirrors or even from their own reflections.

People suffering from Spectrophobia make conscious efforts to avoid mirrors at any cost, they even try to put mirrors inside their closets so that they can only see their reflection when they are heading out and rest of the time they stay away from this horrific object. 

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

CAUSES OF SPECTROPHOBIA:

There is no particular cause that has been found so far for Spectrophobia, but environmental factors and genetic factors are responsible for it as it is for almost all other phobias. 

If a person’s family history has had some anxiety or phobic disorder or as a matter of fact any mental disorder, it is more likely for the individual to develop Spectrophobia.

Environmental factors might include childhood experiences where they have heard horror stories from their grandmothers and parents about the mirrors and why they have been using mirrors so less in the family. The reasoning of the superstitions which have been provided by the family becomes the root cause of the development of the phobia.

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

SYMPTOMS OF SPECTROPHOBIA:

The symptoms depend on the severity of the phobia and the most common symptom would be panic attacks. 

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Severe anxiety with a mere thought of mirrors, a sight of a mirror or even with their own reflection 
  • Muscle tension, body aches
  • Breathlessness, choking sensations
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweating, nausea, fainting
  • Dizziness, restlessness, nervousness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Avoidance of places where there are high chances of having mirrors.

There are chances that a person suffering from Spectrophobia makes a conscious choice of where to go and where not to go and they even choose what things they bring and what things they would avoid. These individuals have high chances of developing OCD as well.

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

TREATMENT FOR SPECTROPHOBIA:

There is no particular treatment that has been found for this phobia but a mixture of treatments that have been found helpful for the people suffering from phobia and anxiety can be helpful for Spectrophobia as well.

Psychotherapies:

  • Talk Therapy:

Talk therapy seems very simple and easy but it’s quite opposite. A person is about to talk about his weaknesses, it’s not easy at all. But it sure does wonders to the client as once he lets out all the emotions, childhood memories and superstitions, it becomes easy for him to focus on the bright side of life.

  • Exposure Therapy:

Although exposure therapy is one of the best therapy for anxiety and phobias it’s a bit tricky in this case. In this case, the therapist might start with the imagination of mirrors placed near or in front of the client, then the therapist might try with photos and videos of mirrors, then finally placing the mirror in front of the client until his anxiety provokes. This way the individual slowly desensitizes with the fear.

  • Relaxation Therapy:

Relaxation Therapy, on the other hand, can be very helpful with these patients as it helps in calming down the racing of thoughts. JPMR helps a person in focusing on his breathing and his one muscle at a time, which helps the client in letting go of the negative thoughts of being forgotten and the focus stays on himself only. This helps in the long run with acceptance.

  • Mindfulness:

Mindfulness might be a good choice for the patients with the fear of mirrors, as the main purpose of mindfulness is to accept everything and being in the present. It makes sure that a person’s senses are widened and opened. This will again help the client with acceptance.

  • CBT:

CBT is one of the best Therapy which focuses and challenges the negative automatic thoughts and it has proven to be helpful with all kinds of anxiety and phobias and it can be helpful with Spectrophobia as well. 

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

Medications:

  • Antidepressants:

These medicines are not only used for the patients suffering from depression or have a comorbidity of depression, but it also helps with the patients suffering from anxiety and phobias as well.

  • Anti-anxiety medicines:

These medicines help the client in controlling the symptoms of anxiety but it cannot cure the phobia. To get a cure from phobia one has to mix the treatment of medications with psychotherapy. Although one must not take any medication without consulting with the Doctor.

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)

CONCLUSION:

For some people, mirrors play an important role in day-to-day life but for some, it is a symbol of bad luck and horror.

This blog has briefly been described Spectrophobia. Then it has focused on the causes and symptoms of Spectrophobia. Then it has highlighted the treatment of Spectrophobia, both psychotherapies, and medications.

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CITATIONS:

e-counseling.com

Spectrophobia (A complete guide)