Fear of Failure (Atychiphobia): Causes & Treatment

Celine Saade
By Celine Saade
Fear Of Failure Atychiphobia Causes Treatment

What is atychiphobia?

Atychiphobia is an intense fear of failure. It comes from the Greek word "atyches" which means "bad luck".

People with atychiphobia may avoid situations in which they believe they may fail, such as: B. Exam or Interview. It can also mean fear of a failed relationship, a failed career, or disappointment in another person.

Fear often becomes self-fulfilling. For example, if you refuse to take a test for fear of failing it, your entire class may fail. Fear of failure can lead to a variety of emotional and psychological problems, including shame, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and low self-esteem. It may have an adverse effect on you.

Are atychiphobia and perfectionism the same?

Atychiphobia and perfectionism have some similarities, but they are completely different  conditions. Perfectionism means you try to be flawless and have an immense focus on being successful. People with atychiphobia put their attention on failure and battle feelings of panic, worry or doom about what could happen if failure happens. Extreme perfectionism can escalate into atelophobia.

What is a phobia?

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder. Arouses an overwhelming sense of fear about an object, situation, or event. Fear may seem irrational to others, but people with phobias feel truly frightened, threatened, and vulnerable.

How common is atychiphobia?

It is difficult to know exactly how many people have a specific phobia such as atychiphobia. However, about 1 in 10 American adults and 1 in 5 teenagers have been found to suffer from a specific phobia at some point in their lives.

What causes atychiphobia?

Possible causes of psychophobia may include:

Family history: If mental health conditions such as phobias, anxiety or depression run in your family, you are more likely to have these conditions.
Learned Behavior: You may have grown up in an environment where people taught you that failure is unacceptable or that anything less than perfect is a failure.
Other phobias: Sometimes phobias occur together. For example, a child with agoraphobia (fear of going to school) may also have psychophobia. Or someone with mysticism (fear of dirt and germs) may develop psychophobia if they feel they are constantly not keeping clean.
Traumatic Experience: If you were abused or severely punished for failure, you may fear that you will suffer those consequences again. Or you may feel like a failure in your past led to a bad outcome, such as death or destruction.

Symptoms Of Atychiphobia

What are the symptoms of atychiphobia?

People with atychiphobia may be:

  • Afraid of doing simple tasks at work, home or school.
  • Easily irritable.
  • Anxious about being judged by others.
  • Depressed or sad.
  • Pessimistic (negative outlook on life).
  • Prone to procrastination if a task or activity seems challenging.
  • Not able to maintain relationships.
  • Unwilling to accept constructive criticism or help.

Atychiphobia can also cause panic attacks, which may lead to:

  • Chills.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Upset stomach or indigestion(dyspepsia).

How is atychiphobia diagnosed?

There is no test to diagnose fear of failure. Your health care provider may diagnose the condition based on discussions with you about:

  1. Your symptoms.
    How long ago did they happen?
    How they interfere with your life.
    Your healthcare provider collects detailed information about your fear of failure. They may ask a variety of questions, such as:
  2. Do you avoid or delay tasks or activities because you think you might not be able to complete them successfully?
    Does your fear of failure sometimes cause feelings of depression, irritation, anger, or despair?
    Does your fear of failure prevent you from relaxing, sleeping in, or doing activities you used to love?
    How does fear affect your life at home, school, or work?
    How long have you been afraid of failure? Your healthcare provider will also try to determine if you have other mental health conditions, such as drug or alcohol addiction.

How Is Atychiphobia Managed Or Treated

How is atychiphobia managed or treated?

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps you change negative thinking about failure. Your therapist can help you see that some things that you consider “failures” are actually positive opportunities for learning and growth. Your therapist can also give you helpful strategies for coping with fear and anxiety such as deep breathing or meditation.
  • Exposure therapy: Gradually exposing yourself to the source of your fear can help you overcome your fear response. For example, your therapist may ask you to recreate a scenario where you feel you failed in the past. You do this in a safe, supportive environment so you can see there’s no real threat or danger in failure.
  • Medication: If you have a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, medication may help you manage the symptoms. However, medication isn’t usually a first-line therapy for phobias.

Is there a way to prevent atychiphobia?

Phobias aren’t usually preventable, but you can take steps to reduce their severity:

  • Create a strong support system of friends and family members.
  • Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol or use drugs, which can make stress and anxiety worse.
  • Get help from a healthcare provider as soon as you notice your fear is affecting your life.
  • Try to stay active, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep.

What’s the prognosis (outlook) for people with atychiphobia?
Most people respond well to treatments such as psychotherapy, lifestyle adjustments, and medications. In fact, studies show that about 90% of people with phobias can overcome the condition with exposure therapy.

When should I call the doctor?

Contact your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Difficulty engaging in your daily life due to fear of failure.
  • Symptoms of a panic attack.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

You might want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • How long will I need treatment for ?
  • Should I consider hypnotherapy for atychiphobia?
  • What is the main cause of my fear of failure?
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Celine Saade
Celine Saade

Celine is a psychologist and a researcher. She likes delving into new topics and her main focus is on developmental and clinical psychology. Her motto is “I don’t empower you,I recognize you are powerful”

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