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H A P H E P H O B I A

DON’T TOUCH ME


What is Haphephobia Haphephobia, is the fear of touch, is an uncommon but often devastating phobia. It is in the class of Phobias which are fears of a specific object or situation. If you where to have haphephobia, you fear being touched by anyone, although some people are only afraid of being touched by those of the opposite gender and strangers. Haphephobia can be extremely difficult for strangers and people close to you to understand. Sadly, the person offering the touch may feel rejected when the one affected shy s away and many with Haphephobia suffer from anxiety and depression. To understand Haphephobia it’s an anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of being touched. Other names for haphephobia include chiraptophobia, aphenphosmphobia, and thixophobia. Think of it like this being touched by strangers or without consent can make many people uncomfortable. However, if the fear is intense sadly it will appear even when touched by family or friends. Allodynia is a similar condition. A person with allodynia may also avoid being touched, but for them being touched courses them pain rather than someone with Haphephobia, being touched will course distress and panic.

Causes Like many other Phobias, they hold a trigger coursed by trauma. In most cases Haphephobia is coursed by sexual assault how ever there are some other traumas that can trigger haphephobia, but more often, it seems to develop without any known cause. This is true for many cases of specific phobias. Most people who cannot trace their haphephobia to a specific event developed the fear in early childhood, but the triggering situation could occur at any point in on life. Haphephobia can also be caused by someone witnessing a traumatic event that involved being touched in both violent and sexual. A person may not remember the event that triggered the phobia, especially if they were very young at the time. For example children from abusive families. Phobias can also run in the family. A person can learn a fear of being touched if they observe a loved one expressing fear or avoidance of being touched as children of young ages are like sponges and soak up there surrounding. Yes haphephobia can occur on its own, it can also be a related to other conditions or is included as a side fear for many other phobias.

Haphephobia can include: •

A fear of germs (mysophobia): A person may avoid being touched due to a fear of contamination or uncleanliness

A fear of crowds (ochlophobia): A person with ochlophobia can feel anxious about being touched by strangers in crowds

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A person with OCD may fear certain situations outside of their control, such as being touched by other people

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A fear of being touched can come from a previous traumatic experience that involved being touched, such as witnessing or experiencing assault or sexual abuse.


Symptoms An irrational fear of someone touching you is unusual in that it is not particularly linked to other anxiety-related conditions such as the social phobia well know as Anxiety or a fear of vulnerability or intimacy. Many people with haphephobia can form warm, tight bonds with others, although they may worry that those bonds are at risk due to their inability to show physical affection. Depending on the person or traumatic event, the symptoms can vary. For example some are able to tolerate touch that they initiate or give express permission for the other person to touch them. Some need to gain trust over a long period of time, to overcome their reactions with one or two specific people. If you thin you may be suffering from Haphephobia your reactions to encountering your trigger could be similar to those of people who suffer from this condition. Symptoms of a phobia frequently include avoidance. In cases of haphephobia, this can manifest as going out of your way to always keep your hands full to avoid handshakes and hugs. Avoiding spending time with people you think have a romantic interest in you. They fear that people might expect some form of physical interaction The need for touch and human contact is innate, and the inability to enjoy that contact can cause additional mental health issues due to the resulting feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Treatment The rate of successful treatment for specific phobia is around 90 percent and, thankfully, haphephobia generally responds well to a variety of therapeutic interventions. Also, couples or family therapy can help those you are closest to understand the fear and develop alternative ways of expressing their affection for you. Look for a therapist with whom you can develop trust and therapeutic rapport, and expect the process to take some time. You may never become fully comfortable with being touched, but with hard work, you can learn to manage your fearful reactions. Therapeutic rapport is an essential part of a healthy therapist-client relationship, leaving the client feeling safe and respected so that therapy can be successful. Therapeutic rapport refers to the empathic caring and shared understanding of issues between a therapist and a client. It implies a team approach to management of these issues in contrast to an adversarial approach. With good therapeutic rapport, a client feels his therapist “has his back� in a way the allows him to face difficult-to-face problems. Likewise, the therapist in a setting with good therapeutic rapport feels respected in a way which allows her to speak clearly and freely.


How Therapy Works Therapy is a thoughtful, mature, open dialogue between you and me. The intent of therapy is to enhance your life, to provide you with greater clarity, to arm you with the skills to face challenges to open the doors to possibility. Studies show that regular therapy sessions, either combined with medication or alone, greatly improve your mental health and your ability to identify and cope with life’s toughest situations and experiences. Your journey in therapy may likely be filled with joy, frustration, anger, success, sadness, and just about any emotion possible. It is not easy, but the outcome of self-acceptance and greater happiness is worth the emotional experiences.

Choosing a Therapist The relationship with your therapist is unique to any other you may have. Feelings of trust and comfort are paramount, and like most interactions between two humans, much of your choice will come down to “feeling right.” If, after the first session, you feel good about our discussion, interaction, and the time you and your therapist have spent together, It’s recommend an additional four to five sessions to see how the relationship continues

Therapy can help: •

Increase your confidence

Provide a sense of peace and well-being

Improve how you manage stress and anxiety

And, our conversations are always confidential.

FOR MORE INFORMATION https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/psychotherapy https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/therapy https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/psychological-treatments-for-anxiety


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