Have you ever heard of people who live happily in a relationship and then disappear when they have to get married? Or who, when they take a step towards assumption and responsibility in relationships, develop inexplicable symptoms that gradually seem to shape anxious profiles? For example, the emergence of unexplained abdominal pain, headaches, sleep disturbances, etc. Well, these people may fear relationships, and this fear becomes exaggerated, is somatized and can go as far as a phobia. Find out more about photophobia – an emotional disorder that may be more common than we think.
What is philophobia?
Philophobia mainly refers to the fear of being responsibly involved in a love relationship and of loving or falling in love. Still, it can sometimes extend to other types of relationships.
This phobia includes fear somatization and anxiety bumps and can manifest itself in various non-specific symptoms:
- Abdominal disorders
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
- Concentration and memory disorders;
- Unexplained tiredness;
What is the cause of philophobia?
The cause is not precisely known, but experts say several theories exist.
One of them is past trauma, a painful unresolved situation.
For example, the person may have suffered a divorce or parental separation, grown up in a single-parent family or with an abusive stepparent, or suffered abuse in a relationship that caused intense negative emotions.
Also, leaving a partner whom the person in question adored, idolized and to whose level it seems no new partner rises. In this situation, the philophobe quickly relinquishes any possible relationship when certain principles are violated. He may seem picky in his choice of partner, seeming more like he is looking for a specific person and not the values of his partner.
The person in question may be afraid to get involved in love relationships or romantic relationships or may get applied to a certain point, a specific limit beyond which they cannot go.
So either they fail to have long-lasting relationships, or they may have long relationships. Still, when they do result in marriage, they can’t move on.
Do you know people who have been in long relationships but who, faced with marriage, have broken up? Or people who fail to get emotionally involved in the relationship they have? Or are they in several connections at once?
This person most likely suffers from a blockage of the capacity to engage in relationships or philophobia.
Other experts believe that philophobia develops from a deep fear of rejection. Both of these theories regarding the causes of phobophobia are unproven and speculations from patients’ accounts.
Other fears are also behind the phobia: fear of abandonment, fear of being disappointed and low self-esteem.
How can we treat philophobia?
Photophobia can be overcome through a series of psychotherapies carefully supervised by the therapist. The therapist helps the sufferer to identify their fears, observe them, to dissect them (when they appear, when they intensify, how they manifest themselves physically and mentally, whether there are triggers for reassurance, etc.).
Psychotherapists also seek to change negative thoughts into positive ones, which leads, step by step, to a change in behaviour and overcoming the phobia.
The most commonly used therapies for treating photophobia are desensitization therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming and antidepressant medication.
One or more therapies may be helpful in combinations tailored to the patient.
It is also known that people with philophobia often associate other disorders with these therapies.