Some phobias, like is arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders, are pretty well known; however, there are far more phobias than you may think: case and point, Trichophobia, which is the fear of hair. As one might suspect, having this particular fear can cause problems in one’s everyday life.
What’s it like to have trichophobia?
Someone suffering from trichophobia may become immensely uncomfortable touching or seeing loose hair on their person, on objects, or in their environment. However, trichophobia can also mean the immense fear of losing one’s hair. As with many phobias, it can come with both physical and emotional symptoms, such as feeling nauseous, sweating, panic attacks, increased heart rate, anxiety, increased blood pressure, and more. As a result of the fear, a person with Trichophobia will likely go out of their way to avoid places that specialize in hair, such as salons.
What causes Trichophobia?
A bad experience could cause one to grow negative emotions regarding hair. For example, if a person had a bad experience at a salon, with haircuts, or a traumatic experience involving hair, like hair loss, they may develop this particular fear. Another factor could be the family. If a person has a history of phobias or even anxiety in their family, there is an increased chance that said a person could develop a phobia.
Additionally, information can be a risk factor. Have you ever heard the expression “ignorance is bliss?” Sometimes not knowing can spare you a lot of anxiety. There have been many cases in which people have developed phobias because they read, watched, or otherwise heard about a traumatic or extremely off-putting situation regarding the object of the phobia.
There are many treatment options available. First and foremost is therapy. Therapy comes in many forms; however, when dealing with a phobia, you may find yourself mostly benefiting from either cognitive-behavioral therapy or exposure therapy. Both types of therapy involve exposing the patient to the fear causing stimuli however the primary difference between the two is that a cognitive behavioral therapist will provide the patient with tools, coping mechanisms, and techniques to combat the fear so that a person can live and function even when they are experiencing the fear. A person undergoing exposure therapy will be exposed to the fear causing stimuli repeatedly and, likely, more often than a person undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. However, the aim of exposure therapy is to work through the associated feelings and possibly get to the root cause of the phobia.
There is also a plethora of medications, from Beta-Blockers which inhibit the effect of adrenalin, the primary cause of increased blood pressure and heart rate. Adrenaline is responsible for that fight or flight feeling we get when exposed to hazardous or dangerous situations, however, living in that state frequently or for too long can have some adverse effects on one’s health. Some sedatives will help combat anxiety. Medications are very likely short term solutions to help a person deal with their particular fear and may be utilized on an as-needed basis.
There are also ways that a person can help themselves if they are dealing with a phobia. Deep breathing exercises and yoga are excellent ways to help refocus the mind and center one’s self. Like any treatment, this will take time.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a phobia, remember that there is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have vastly different experiences, and we all have hurdles in life to overcome. Having a phobia does not make someone any less of a person or any less deserving of love and compassion.