Megalophobia is a term that refers to a strong, irrational fear of big, huge things. People with this syndrome always feel fear and anxiety when seeing large objects such as tall buildings, ships, container trucks, etc.
Megalophobia – What is the fear of big things?
In fact, there are many people who form a fear of things that are harmless and do not pose any danger such as clowns, empty spaces, narrow spaces, oceans, etc. In which, fear of big things. Megalophobia is a rare but annoying syndrome in life – especially for people living near seaports and big cities.
People with this syndrome always feel fear, insecurity, anxiety when seeing large things such as ships, planes, tall buildings, oceans, mountains or even statues of the same size. great. Some people even feel afraid of limousines, containers or large animals such as elephants, hippos, whales, etc.
Megalophobia syndrome is one of the forms of phobic anxiety disorder also known as specific phobia. Because patients are afraid of big things, in today’s context, the appearance of airplanes, buildings or big things is not uncommon. As a result, if left untreated, patients may self-isolate and refuse to go outside for fear of encountering something huge.
Recognizing the syndrome of fear of big, giant things
Big things have symptoms similar to other specific phobias. Among them, the characteristic symptom is an extreme and irrational fear of seeing huge things, even though these things are completely harmless and do not pose any danger.
Signs of the syndrome of fear of big, giant things:
- Permanent fear, even obsession when thinking about huge and big things (including animals, constructions or natural elements such as oceans, mountains, valleys, …)
- Rarely mentions and tends to avoid mentioning big things like buildings, statues, animals, etc. in conversations.
- Do not go to certain places for fear of seeing something of enormous size such as buildings, ships, barges, valleys, large statues, etc.
- Some people choose jobs that work from home or close to home to avoid going out a lot. In addition, the patient also rarely meets and plays with friends for fear of seeing something big.
- Avoidant behaviors will cause many problems in the patient’s life, loss of close relationships, and limited career opportunities.
When the patient sees large, giant things on television or in person, the patient will develop a panic attack. In this case, the patient will experience symptoms such as:
- Extreme fear
- Dizziness, dizziness
- Want to quickly get out of the current situation
- Nausea, vomiting half
- Discomfort in the epigastric region
- Shortness of breath, rapid breathing
- Increase heart rate
- Chest pain
It can be seen that, in essence, Megalophobia is similar to other phobia disorders. The only difference is the source of the fear and this also governs how the disease affects quality of life.
People who have a fear of things that rarely appear such as clowns, fear of the sea, etc. can avoid it completely. However, dodging huge and large things is almost impossible. Therefore, if treatment is delayed, patients may face a range of psychological problems and a decline in quality of life due to self-isolation.
Some images can trigger Megalophobia syndrome
When seeing big, giant things, whether directly or through images, people with Megalophobia syndrome are still extremely afraid. Here are some examples of images that can trigger symptoms of Megalophobia – the fear of big, giant things:
What Causes Megalophobia?
Megalophobia can occur at any age but is more likely to occur in children and women. Until now, experts have not identified the exact cause of the fear of big and giant things. However, theories about heredity, family factors, negative past experiences, etc. have received much support.
Factors that can cause bigophobia:
1. Negative experiences from childhood
Most phobic anxiety disorders develop from past negative experiences. When experiencing an event that causes fear and distress, the amygdala (the organ responsible for determining and providing emotional responses including anger, anxiety, and fear) remembers emotions in these situations.
When this situation repeats, the amygdala activates the same emotion to alert the brain to potential danger. This is considered an unconscious defense mechanism formed from psychological trauma.
If you’ve ever had an accident involving huge things or witnessed catastrophic disasters involving ships, tall buildings, huge statues, etc., some people may develop an overwhelming fear. about super big, giant things.
Most psychological problems will be more or less influenced by genetics. People with Megalophobia often have a family with this disease or similar psychological problems such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, depression, other phobia disorders, etc.
3. Family factor
In addition to genetics, children can learn an excessive fear response to big, giant things from their parents and siblings. Therefore, even if they are not related by blood, some children can still develop Megalophobia syndrome due to family influences.
This is also the reason most children raised by mothers with depression, anxiety disorders will have a depressed personality, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc. Studies have been conducted to some extent possible. confirmed that the influence of the family always plays a role in the pathogenesis of psychological and mental disorders.
4. Have psychological and mental problems
Most people who have a fear of big, giant things have psychological and mental problems associated with it, such as:
- Anxiety disorders (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.)
- There are other phobia syndromes such as fear of airplanes, fear of the ocean, fear of heights, etc.
5. Negative information from the press, movies
Fear of big, giant things can be related to negative information from newspapers, movies, etc. Information such as the appearance of giant monsters under the sea, strange accidents, etc. You can inadvertently “inoculate” an excessive fear of big things. In particular, children and women with weak and sensitive personalities are often easily affected by this information.
Is fear of big things dangerous?
There are no specific statistics on the number of people with fear of big, giant things. However, about 10-25% of people suffer from phobias. This shows that many people have irrational and extreme fears about situations/objects that are not potentially dangerous.
The fear of big things profoundly affects the quality of life – especially when patients live near the sea and in big cities. Excessive fear of seeing large things causes the person to spend a lot of time at home and only go out when absolutely necessary.
Patients often refuse to see friends, prefer to order online and choose work from home to avoid having to see big things like airplanes, buildings, trucks, large cars, etc. … In the long run, the patient will form a self-isolation mentality and social isolation. These avoidance behaviors also increase psychological problems such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder and increase the rate of alcohol and drug addiction.
In addition to the annoyances in life, the person with Megalophobia himself also has to face fear and prolonged suffering. Because the patient is aware of his own irrational fear but cannot control it. Feeling helpless and thinking of yourself as a strange, eccentric person causes physical and mental health to be depleted and reduced.
Megalophobia and life in the city
In fact, people have a lot of very strange psychological fears. Some people are afraid of heights, afraid of the sea, afraid of speed, afraid of symmetrical objects, etc. However, one of the fears that can cause a lot of trouble for people living in urban areas is the fear of super big things. , giant – Megalophobia syndrome.
In urban areas, especially megacities, there are always high-rise buildings as well as large architectural works. Moreover, when going to the street, large vehicles such as passenger cars, container trucks, etc. also appear a lot. This can cause people with Megalophobia syndrome to fear, even panic
Many people want to quickly get rid of the fear of Megalophobia, so they choose to leave the city to live in the countryside. However, according to experts, this is not a good solution. The best thing that the patient should do is to actively intervene in treatment instead of running away.
Diagnosis of Megalophobia syndrome
Megalophobia is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Therefore, psychologists and psychiatrists will often use diagnostic criteria for phobic anxiety disorder.
The diagnosis of bigophobia is based primarily on symptoms, personal and family history, and negative past experiences. In addition, psychometric testing is sometimes performed to obtain additional data.
In general, all phobic anxiety disorders are diagnosed when the following 4 criteria are met:
- Unreasonable, abnormal fear: People often have a fear response to potentially dangerous things such as standing in front of wild animals or being threatened or intimidated. However, phobias cause excessive fear, which is disproportionate to the potential danger of the object/situation, but here are big things like airplanes, buildings, giant statues. huge,…
- Avoidance: Excessive fear of certain objects/ situations will cause the person to avoid these situations and objects.
- Panic Outbreaks: When seeing big things, patients often experience increased fear, panic, loss of control and are accompanied by physical symptoms such as headache, dizziness, increased heart rate, pain angina, nausea…
- Impediments to life: Obsessive-phobia disorders all interfere in life, more or less. In particular, Megalophobia will make patients lock themselves in the house, rarely go out and often choose jobs that can be done at home. Due to the fear of seeing big things, patients rarely go to supermarkets, commercial centers, airports, train stations, seaports, etc.
Treatments for the fear of big things
Unreasonable fear of big, huge things seriously affects the enjoyment and experience of life. If left untreated, this syndrome also causes many effects on physical and mental health.
Although the cause is unknown, Megalophobia can be treated with psychotherapy. This method is highly effective and helps a lot in dealing with and controlling irrational fears. In addition, the doctor will also consider some supportive measures in necessary cases.
Here are the methods commonly applied in the treatment of the fear of big, giant things:
1. Systemic desensitization therapy
Systemic desensitization therapy is also known as exposure therapy and exposure therapy. Most phobias and anxiety disorders will be treated with this method. The purpose of exposure therapy is to reduce the response to fear, anxiety, or insecurity by exposing the patient to repeated exposure to fear.
When exposed to fear (which here is the big, huge things), the person will become anxious, afraid and panic. At this time, the role of the specialist is to help the patient control emotions and control fear and anxiety. Gradually, the patient will adapt to the feared situations and no longer avoid avoidant behaviors.
Exposure therapy is highly effective and safe. However, due to being exposed to objects/situations that cause fear, many patients voluntarily quit treatment. Therefore, this therapy is usually only performed by experienced professionals so as not to increase the anxiety level of the patient.
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is applied in the treatment of many different psychological and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, personality disorders, etc. If you have bigophobia, CBT will be considered for possible relief of irrational anxiety and fear.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is done entirely in the form of conversation. The specialist will ask questions to assess the patient’s thoughts and feelings. Then, the therapist will help the patient see the fear from a different perspective. After changing negative thoughts about big, giant things, patients can experience less anxiety and stress on exposure.
In this therapy, the therapist will also teach the patient relaxation techniques to release and manage emotions in a healthy way. Only then will patients realize the benefits of treatment and be more persistent in the treatment process. CBT is often performed in parallel with exposure therapy to reduce anxiety and fear for patients.
3. Drug use
Very few patients with Megalophobia require medication. However, some patients may experience excessive fear and panic during therapy. So your doctor will consider using some of the following medications:
- Benzodiazepines: This class of medication is used to relieve anxiety, stress, and fear caused by bigotry. Sedatives are highly effective but have many potential side effects and can be addictive. Therefore, this group of drugs is often used short-term.
- Beta Blockers: Beta blockers are used to relieve the physical symptoms associated with Megalophobia such as angina, increased heart rate, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, etc.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants are rarely used by people with bigophobia. However, medication will still be used if the patient is depressed and distressed. Unlike sedatives, antidepressants work quite slowly, so they are usually taken for about 6 months.
Using medication is not the main option but only a supportive measure. Therefore, patients should persevere in therapy so that they can overcome their own fears.
Care regimen for people with Megalophobia syndrome
Like other phobic anxiety disorders, Megalophobia also causes the patient to fall into a state of extreme stress, insecurity and anxiety. These negative emotions greatly affect quality of life and mental health.
Psychotherapy can help patients manage negative emotions and relax mentally. However, to achieve greater effectiveness, patients should have a scientific care regimen to support the treatment process.
Care regimen for patients with the fear of big, weird things:
- Exercise daily to relax muscles and reduce stress. Moderate intensity subjects will be suitable for people with Megalophobia syndrome such as yoga, walking, swimming, etc.
- Meditate and practice deep breathing to relax your mind and reduce stress, anxiety, and fear. In addition, these relaxation techniques are also very helpful in improving related physical symptoms such as angina, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, insomnia, etc.
- Have a reasonable diet, moderate activities, avoid staying up late and reduce the workload.
- Talk to family and friends about your health status for support.
- A psychologist can be contacted so that they can join a group of people with phobias. Because everyone experiences irrational and abnormal fears, it is easy for patients to share and express their thoughts. In addition, participating in groups will also help patients better understand their own health problems and have the experience to deal with fears.
Megalophobia – The fear of big, giant things is one of the rare psychological problems. Although the incidence is not high, this syndrome can be completely treated. Therefore, patients should take the initiative to examine, avoid the psychology of procrastination, which will seriously affect their health and life.