When traveling at high speed, most people experience feelings of discomfort mixed with fear and stress. However, this is completely different from the fear of speed (Tachophobia). People with this condition have an intense and irrational fear of speed-related situations such as riding a motorbike, bus, plane, or even walking briskly.
What is speedophobia?
Tachophobia is completely different from the fear of speed. In fact, when moving too fast, most people feel fear and insecurity. However, speedphobia does not refer to the condition but is used to describe a psychological syndrome characterized by an unusual and persistent fear of speed.
People with speed phobia (Tachophobia) often have intense fear, even fear and panic when seeing or being on a car or train moving at high speed. Severe cases can cause fear even when walking briskly or jogging.
Speedophobia is often associated with agoraphobia and a number of other phobic anxiety disorders. Experts say that the obsession and irrational fear of speed is linked to negative past experiences.
People can save time and easily explore places hundreds of kilometers away from home thanks to means of transportation. Therefore, the unusual and unreasonable fear of speed will cause a lot of trouble in life. People with agoraphobia will need treatment if they do not want to face psychological problems and self-isolation.
Recognizing the fear of speed (Tachophobia)
Speedophobia is a fairly common condition. However, the extent will be different in each case. This syndrome will be considered for treatment if it has a profound impact on quality of life.
In order to intervene in time with treatment measures, it is necessary to recognize speed phobia early through the following signs:
- Trembling, fear and insecurity at the thought of speed
- Avoid traveling by car, train, plane
- Do not watch video clips or movies with racing content. Because this situation can cause the patient to become panic, lose control and extreme fear.
- Some people isolate themselves and refuse to leave the house for fear of having to travel by means of transport such as cars, trains, planes, etc. Adjust the speed to your liking.
- Often choose jobs close to where they live or choose work from home to avoid having to travel by transport.
When faced with fear-inducing situations, such as flying on a plane or train or seeing a movie with a racing scene, a person with agoraphobia may panic. Panic attacks are characterized by extreme feelings of fear, terror, and a number of physical symptoms.
Common symptoms of a panic attack:
- Chest pain
- Heart beat fast
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting
- Trembling uncontrollably
During a panic attack, the patient may experience thoughts such as fear of death, fear of losing control, and fear of memory loss. Extreme fear urges the person to get out of the current situation immediately.
Causes of fear of speed
Like other phobias, the cause of the fear of speeding is unknown. Because some people have the same life situation and the same negative experiences, but not everyone develops this syndrome. Therefore, experts are still doing research to clarify the cause and pathogenesis.
Through the studies that have been done, experts have found that the fear of speed is related to the following factors:
- Negative feeling: Past events such as being in an accident or losing a loved one due to high speed driving will cause the brain to form “unconscious” fears and phobias. After these events, the amygdala in the brain will remember the emotion and “replay” the feeling of fear and anxiety when seeing vehicles moving at high speed.
- For fear of driving: Speedophobia can develop from a fear of driving. Like people who are afraid of heights will have a fear of flying.
- Family history: Speedophobia often occurs in people with a family history of anxiety disorders – especially phobias and panic disorders.
Is agoraphobia dangerous?
In essence, phobias do not pose a direct threat to health. However, if not treated early, the syndrome can lead to a host of health problems and a decline in quality of life.
The first effect of the syndrome of fear of speed (Tachophobia) is to interfere with daily activities, work and study. Because they cannot use means of transportation such as motorbikes, cars, buses and planes, patients can only do jobs close to where they live or choose jobs from home. This limits the profession and affects the patient’s income.
In addition, the person with agoraphobia itself cannot experience life like everyone else. They cannot participate in games or travel. Constantly refusing to meet and play makes the sick person feel guilty, shy, isolated and isolated from everyone.
Patients tend to abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes and use drugs to relieve feelings of extreme stress and anxiety. However, these unhealthy habits “accidentally” add to stress, anxiety and depression. If not improved soon, it is more likely that the person will develop depression, anxiety disorders and other phobias.
Diagnosis of the fear of speed
There is no specific test for the diagnosis of agoraphobia. Therefore, this syndrome will often be identified by clinical presentation. In addition, the doctor can also assess the risk by taking personal and family history.
The fear of speed is different from the feeling of insecurity and anxiety when traveling at high speed. This syndrome will be diagnosed when the following criteria are met:
- Dodge fast-moving vehicles such as buses, motorbikes, planes, etc.
- Anxiety or fear of speed must last for at least 6 months. This criterion is used to distinguish from short-term feelings of fear and phobia due to psychological trauma
- The fear of speed must be great enough to have significant effects on life
- The fear of speed is often disproportionate to the threat (e.g., feeling fear even when vehicles are moving at allowed speeds, etc.)
As mentioned, agoraphobia will often develop concurrently with several other phobias. Therefore, the doctor will also use other diagnostic criteria to make a final diagnosis. Diagnosis includes identifying complications and accompanying psychological problems such as depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.
How to improve the fear of speed
The fear of speed is considered to be a phobia that causes the most profound effects on life. Because of the strong fear and excessive obsession with speed, the patient can only walk. This affects every aspect from work, study to relationships.
To improve the fear of speed, the doctor will consider some of the following methods:
Most phobias are treated with psychotherapy. This therapy is carried out in the form of conversation, communication between the patient and the specialist. After the psychological investigation and assessment process, the specialist will choose the appropriate intervention to help the patient eliminate unreasonable and abnormal fear of speed.
Psychotherapy used in the treatment of agoraphobia includes:
- Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy or systemic desensitization therapy is the first choice in the treatment of anxiety disorders in general and Tachophobia in particular. Statistics show that about 90% of cases improve significantly when applying this therapy. Exposure therapy allows patients to be exposed to fear under expert guidance so that the brain adapts and no longer feels fear in the face.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is considered for most cases of agoraphobia. In this therapy, the therapist helps the patient identify negative thoughts about speed. From there, change your thinking in a more positive and correct direction. CBT is often done at the same time as exposure therapy so that the patient adapts and learns to manage their own irrational fears.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is rarely applied in our country but is still sometimes considered. This therapy puts the patient in a highly suggestive state, then the specialist will give advice to make the patient better receptive rather than in a state of full consciousness. Hypnotherapy helps patients change their thinking about speed, thereby reducing anxiety and fear responses when traveling by means of transport.
Psychotherapy is highly effective in treating psychological problems. However, this method takes a lot of time, so the patient needs to be patient. Psychotherapy is also effective in managing accompanying problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, panic disorders, etc.
2. Drug use
The drug is often used for cases of concomitant depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, patients with symptoms of panic, anxiety, and emotional instability during therapy will also need to take medication to help them feel better.
Drugs to be considered for patients with agoraphobia:
- Benzodiazepine tranquilizers
- Beta blockers
- Motion sickness medication (H1 antihistamine)
3. Self-care measures
Not only does agoraphobia cause feelings of fear and insecurity, but it also causes the patient to experience prolonged stress. Besides, obstacles in life also make patients become pessimistic, self-deprecating and depressed. For this reason, people with agoraphobia should have self-care measures in addition to medication and psychotherapeutic interventions.
Self-care measures for people with agoraphobia:
- Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep a day to reduce feelings of stress and depression.
- Relieve stress and anxiety by meditating, breathing exercises, nourishing hair shampoo, acupressure massage, etc. In addition, essential oils can be used to reduce stress to regain balance and stabilize emotions. .
- A well-balanced, nutritious diet will help patients have a healthy body. Besides, eating right will help patients improve their mood and reduce the level of anxiety, stress, fear, etc.
- Stress caused by agoraphobia can lead to a variety of physical problems such as muscle pain, neck pain, headaches, etc. To improve these symptoms and improve mental health, the patient should exercise. exercise regularly. Subjects of moderate intensity such as walking, swimming, yoga, etc. will be very suitable for people with fear of speed.
- Connecting with people through volunteering activities, protecting the environment, etc. In addition, people with speed phobia can join groups to share and gain more experience in the treatment process.
Tachophobia needs to be treated early to prevent life and health consequences. Active treatment and proper self-care will help the person overcome this fear easily.