Megalophobia (Fear of Large Objects) : Symptoms, Causes, and Therapy

Celine Saade
By Celine Saade
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What is megalophobia?

Megalophobia is a form of anxiety condition in which a person has a strong aversion to big things. When confronted with or in the vicinity of huge items such large buildings, statues, animals, and automobiles, a person with megalophobia suffers tremendous fear and anxiety. They frequently stay away from situations or locations with huge objects.

What kind of large objects are people with megalophobia afraid of?

Megalophobic individuals may become extremely frightened and anxious when they come into contact with the following items:

  1. tall structures, like skyscrapers.
  2. large monuments and statues.
  3. such as mountains, volcanoes, lakes, and oceans, are large or massive natural phenomena.
  4. Large ships, barges, and boats.
  5. such as buses and trains, which are large vehicles.
  6. Large or expansive areas, like the interior of a stadium.
  7. elephants and whales are examples of large creatures.

Phobias come in a variety of forms, making diagnosis a little difficult. Megalophobic individuals typically dread a variety of enormous objects. Other phobias are defined by a dread of a large object, but the object's size isn't the primary source of the anxiety. You can have thalassophobia, the dread of the ocean, rather than megalophobia, for instance, if you have a strong aversion to the ocean (which is a big "thing"). A precise diagnosis and treatment can be obtained if you visit your healthcare practitioner if you're suffering from severe dread.

Who does megalophobia affect?

Megalophobia can strike anyone at any age, just like other phobias. Megalophobia is one of the specific phobias that tends to manifest itself in teens and young adults. Specific phobias are more likely to affect women than men.

Is megalophobia common?

Megalophobia is a distinct phobia, and it is unknown how many individuals have it. This is probably because many people with phobias like megalophobia don't seek therapy. In general, specific phobias are a widespread mental health issue. A phobia affects 7 to 10% of people nationwide.

Signs And Symptoms Of Megalophobia

What are the signs and symptoms of megalophobia?

People who have phobias frequently go to great lengths to avoid encounters with their fears. A person with megalophobia may exhibit the following symptoms if they are unable to avoid huge objects or are in close proximity to large objects:

  1. Feel a great deal of fear and dread.
  2. Feel your heart beating quickly.
  3. Breathing is labored.
  4. Feel lightheaded and dizzy.
  5. Ill at ease.
  6. Have a strong need to leave the situation.

What causes megalophobia?

Megalophobia's actual cause is unknown to researchers. They contend that having a painful or unfavorable experience involving a huge object may have a role in the development of megalophobia.

How is megalophobia diagnosed?

Megalophobia is identified by asking a comprehensive set of questions concerning the patient's past, present, and symptoms. To be diagnosed with megalophobia, you typically need to have endured a consistent dread and anxiety of huge things for at least six months.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will likely be used by your doctor to make the megalophobia diagnosis. Additionally, any additional physical or mental health issues that might be causing your symptoms will be ruled out by your doctor. CWJKD DCKJWDBCIC DCUWBC DUCWQIKCBKJB

Phobias are often diagnosed using at least four criteria, including:

Extreme and unjustified fear: The terror of the thing or circumstance is ongoing and out of line with an acceptable amount of fear.

Anxiousness in advance: When someone has a phobia, they frequently think about or fear upcoming experiences or scenarios that will involve the thing they are scared of.

Avoidance: Many phobia sufferers may make a conscious effort to stay away from the feared circumstance or thing. Some people will go to great lengths to avoid their fear.

The phobia limits daily activities: For something to be classified as a phobia, a person's fear must restrict them in some way from going about their daily lives.

Is there a test for megalophobia?

Megalophobia cannot be diagnosed with a test that is 100% accurate. Instead, to determine whether you have megalophobia, your healthcare professional will question you about your past, current, and past experiences with your fear of huge items.

Megalophobia Treated

How is megalophobia treated?

Psychological treatment (psychotherapy), such as exposure therapy and/or cognitive behavioral therapy, is typically effective in treating megalophobia. It's not very often, but occasionally people require drugs that momentarily lessen anxiety and phobic symptoms in order to manage phobic feelings while attending therapy.

Exposure treatment

One popular psychological therapy used to treat particular phobias is exposure therapy. People who have phobias typically steer clear of circumstances that could expose them to their fear. This prevents them from understanding that they can control their anxiety when faced with their particular phobia or that their feared results frequently do not materialize. Exposure therapy is used by therapists and psychologists with clients who have phobias to gradually encourage them to enter and attempt to remain in stressful circumstances so they can acquire coping mechanisms.

If you are doing exposure therapy for megalophobia, your therapist or psychologist might start by talking to you about big things. They might then eventually advance to displaying images of big objects. The next step can involve seeing and being close to a big thing in person. Exposure treatment is a slow, progressive procedure. Your psychologist or therapist will adjust the therapy's pace to meet your demands.

Support groups

One coping mechanism could be getting support from other people who are also living with a phobia. (After all, there are millions of people living with a phobia right this minute).

If you think you’d benefit from a support group like this, consider checking out some online platforms for people with anxiety.

Coping techniques

Although these coping strategies won’t directly help you overcome the phobia, they could help manage your overall stress and anxiety level, which could help with managing your phobia.

Some coping methods include:

  1. journaling
  2. meditation
  3. deep breathing
  4. taking a walk outside
  5. listening to calming music
  6. taking a long shower or bath
  7. practicing yoga or another form of exercise

Coping methods will work differently for everyone, which is why one trick is to find the one that works best for you.

Once you’ve uncovered a coping tool that feels good, consider adding it to your daily routine — that’s the second trick.

Adding your coping tool(s) into your life, even in small ways, can help you maintain a more calm and relaxed state, making it easier for you to manage anxiety related to big objects.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is an approach to psychological care. Your therapist or psychologist will assist you in gaining a new perspective by listening to you talk and by encouraging inquiries. As a result, you develop the ability to better manage your tension and anxiety when you are exposed to situations that make you afraid.

What medications are used to treat megalophobia?

Megalophobia and other unique phobias are not typically treated with medications. However, in some instances, people with megalophobia may use drugs to momentarily ease their anxiety and dread sensations while undergoing psychological therapy to alleviate their phobia. Megalophobia may occasionally be managed with the aid of medications like:

Some beta blockers are prescribed to treat or prevent the physical signs and symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heartbeat.

Benzodiazepines, or sedatives: A sedative known as benzodiazepines can help you unwind and experience less anxiety.

Is there a cure for megalophobia?

Megalophobia does not yet have a known treatment, however exposure therapy, a type of psychological therapy, is effective in treating it. In general, exposure therapy is recommended as the primary line of treatment for certain phobias.
What are the risk factors for developing megalophobia?

The precise reason of megalophobia is currently being investigated by medical professionals. They have thus far discovered that the following are potential risk factors for developing megalophobia:

  1. Bad occurrence with a heavy object, especially if experienced or witnessed as a child.
  2. A history of anxiety disorders in one's family.

What is the prognosis (outlook) for megalophobia?

Because many people with specific phobias can avoid the thing or circumstance they are afraid of, only 10 to 25% of them seek treatment. Megalophobia can make it difficult for you to enjoy certain aspects of life, such as traveling, and can also reduce your general quality of life if you avoid situations that involve enormous items. It is crucial to seek treatment for this reason. Everybody is entitled to a high standard of living. Megalophobia and other particular phobias can be successfully treated with exposure therapy, according to research. Megalophobia sufferers are twice as prone to experience anxiety disorders and depression as those who don't seek treatment.

How can I take care of myself if I have megalophobia?

Even though it might be uncomfortable, it's crucial to discuss megalophobia with your doctor if you're showing any of the warning signs or symptoms. You can get over your megalophobia with therapy.

If you already have a megalophobia diagnosis, there are several things you can take to treat your symptoms and feel better, such as:

Get enough rest and work out.

Make regular appointments with your therapist if you are receiving psychological treatment for your megalophobia.

Engage in mindfulness exercises like meditation.

Use relaxation methods like yoga and deep breathing.

Ask for help from your family and friends.

If you suffer from megalophobia or other specific phobias, you might want to consider attending a support group.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

Speaking about your mental health can be unsettling and frightening. It's crucial to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional because your mental and physical health are equally essential. If you suffer from megalophobia, it may be useful to ask your doctor the following questions:

  1. What kind of medical care do you suggest?
  2. Should I visit a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for psychologists, therapists, or psychiatrists that I might consult with?
  4. How long will the procedure last?
  5. Do you know of any support groups for phobias in general or megalophobia specifically?
  6. Do you have any books or articles I may read to learn more about megalophobia?

You are not alone if you suffer from megalophobia. Many people worldwide suffer from phobias. Avoiding big things can help in the short term, but this doesn't go to the root of your dread and anxiety. It's crucial to discuss your megalophobia with your doctor and get the right treatments, even if it can be challenging and uncomfortable. You may regain control of your life as soon as you get treatment.

References:

  • Eaton WW, Bienvenu, OJ, Miloyan B. Specific phobias. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233312/) Lancet Psychiatry. 2018; 5(8): 678-686. Accessed 9/23/2021.
  • Society of Clinical Psychology. Exposure therapies for specific phobias. (https://div12.org/treatment/exposure-therapies-for-specific-phobias/) Accessed 9/23/2021.
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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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