Megalophobia: Causes, Treatments, and How to Cope
Phobia. It refers to a person’s irrational fear about a specific object or anything that resembles it in which causes anxiety, stress, and any severe mental health issues. In this article, we will be talking about a specific phobia, not known to most, but people are dealing with it.
Have you ever experienced being anxious about huge objects such as vehicles? Or huge buildings? You might probably have the ‘fear of objects’ or also known as “Megalophobia”. This type of phobia actually causes severe anxiety and fear. Especially if you are regularly surrounded by massive buildings, (if you have a corporate job) so you will be triggered.
Megalophobia could actually be linked to underlying anxiety and it might take some time to recover but this article will help you cope with your fears and anxiety.
The Psychology of Phobias
Phobias are crippling psychological effects that cause intense and irrational fears. The ironic thing about phobias is that most of the things a person has irrational fears of are actually not harmful towards them but that person will think so otherwise, therefore, cause anxiety to them.
The difference between phobias and rational fear is that phobias disrupt your everyday life, and it is usually not life-threatening.
Instead of feeling fear, phobias can cause the following crippling symptoms:
- Shaking or tremors
- Increased heart rate
- Mild chest pain
- Upset stomach
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
What Causes Megalophobia?
The primary trigger for phobias like megalophobia is exposure to the factor that is being feared the most which are massive objects. Megalophobia might be tied to generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety.
If a person suffers from this condition, they might fear the following large objects:
- Tall buildings like skyscrapers or corporate buildings
- Statues and monuments
- Big spaces, so this is like the opposite of claustrophobia; the fear of small spaces
- Huge landforms like hills and mountains
- Large vehicles like garbage trucks, trains, and buses
- Airplanes and helicopters
- Boat, yachts, and ships
- Large bodies of water like oceans, seas, and lakes
- Big animals such as whales, elephants, and giraffes
Treatments for the Phobia
In treating phobias, a combination of therapy sessions and some prescribed medication will be needed to get over the fear of large objects. Therapy sessions will help in easing a person into opening up about their fears to finally let go of them. Medications on the other hand will help ease up the severeness of a person’s anxiety.
These types of therapy sessions may help in overcoming a person’s phobia:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: It is a kind of therapy session where a person is tasked to identify irrational fears and replace them with rational versions of them in order to be more realistic.
- Desensitization, or also known as exposure therapy. This simply means that the person will have to face their fears through images of their fears or they will have to face them in real life.
- Talk therapy works as well. Just sharing the experiences and effects on them will actually help in lessening the burden of the fear and anxiety.
- Group therapy works as well and it could also be a source of emotional support since a person will be surrounded by other people who are dealing with the same qualms or other struggles. A person could also learn from the shared experiences of every single person in the group therapy session.
Medications for the Phobia
There are actually no FDA-approved medications to treat the psychological problem. A person’s doctor or mental health professional might prescribe their patient one or a combination of medications that will help in alleviating the anxiety associated with the phobia. The following medications are what is normally used:
- Beta-blockers or also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents are medications that are used to reduce blood pressure.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used in anti-depressant drugs. They are mostly prescribed to patients diagnosed with depression.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are types of medications that are used in treating eating disorders. These types of medications are also used in treating severe anxiety and chronic pain.
How to Cope with Your Phobias
Sure, it is tempting to avoid large objects that trigger a person’s fear and anxiety however, whenever we look at our surroundings, we are surrounded by them, and avoiding it may actually just prolong the person’s fear rather than confronting it. Exposing and confronting the fears will help in reducing them gradually once the person encounters them again. Their fears will slowly decrease until they no longer bother them.
Another effective coping mechanism is relaxation. It is the simplest form of coping mechanism for every person regardless of what each and every person is going through. Relaxing will help decompress a person or help in unraveling the stress in their minds, making them release the tension and calmer. Sleeping is a great way to relax because it is a way to reset the brain and take care of it. The brain is more active when a person sleeps and because of that, it will do some processes such as unloading the stress and burden. Reading books can also be a great way to release stress since research has proven that people who read most of the time are happy people and can manage their stress better than those who do not read. Another relaxing coping mechanism is to forget about gadgets for a while or some people undergo ‘social media detoxification’ and go for a walk in a park and just surround themselves in nature since nature; trees and plants can actually make a person feel at peace.
For other alternatives, a person may also adopt the following healthy lifestyles in their routines:
- Eating a balanced diet can help in easing up your stress. Refrain from eating too many unhealthy foods such as chips, fast foods, carbonated drinks, and alcoholic beverages because too much intake of these foods can induce stress in your body. Our bodies need nutrients and vitamins in order to function well. They take the nutrients from the food and drinks that we put inside ourselves and deliver them to the brain. However, if you only take unhealthy foods, what would your body gain from them? Nothing but a load of junk. In the end, if you continue to abuse your body with the number of unhealthy foods that you eat will catch up to you and cause you grave health conditions.
- Exercising daily can help in coping with stress and anxieties since we allow ourselves to move which will help increase the function of our internal organs in which produces chemicals in the body that is necessary for our health and in return, will make us less stressed and anxious.
- Not drinking any caffeinated drinks. I know, this seems pretty difficult to let go especially when most of our favorite drinks such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks are delicious but they are heavily filled with caffeine. Caffeine induces the increase of higher blood pressure which makes a person palpitate, increase heart rate, jittery, and anxiety. It is alright to still drink caffeinated drinks, however, some people go way beyond the average intake of the substance which makes them addicted to it and suffers from the worst and most severe anxieties because of caffeine.
- Socializing is another coping mechanism. For extroverts, this will naturally come easily, but hidden introverts out there might find it draining. It does not have to be very often but in socializing about your fears and mental health problems, make sure that you are sharing it with people with whom you can actually trust and are comfortable with such as your family and friends. Opening up about your fears may help in lessening the burden you are carrying and reduce your anxiety because you have been keeping it locked in your heart for too long. The people with whom you shared your conditions might actually help you as well and support you in your journey to coping completely.
- Yoga is a physical activity that is popular in helping with stress and anxiety. Yoga helps a person divert their attention away from the stress and anxiety and instead, focusing on yoga. Yoga exercises include breathing exercises that are critical in handling stress. Breathing in deeply can actually calm the heart rate down because it slows the pumping of the heart. Yoga helps in clearing the mind.
- Trying new hobbies. This activity can help in alleviating the stress brought by phobia because in trying some activities, especially anything artistic or logical. Partaking in these kinds of activities can help pave newer neurological pathways and increase a person’s mental capacity, which basically means improve the brain’s function and with that improvement, the brain could take more information and handle stressful factors better than before.
- For the last coping mechanism, a person could try stress management activities such as creating a solid routine for themselves. A routine that could compose a schedule of what to do on a daily basis such as time-blocking the activities you have within a day. Divide the time for your work, school, extra activities, and most importantly, your time for relaxation or self-care.
Where Can You Seek Help?
If you are still struggling with your qualms about your phobia, you can always seek help and consult health from psychologists or mental health professionals. You can approach the following people in this list:
- Primary care doctors will be at your services for recommendations and knowledge about your situation.
- Friends, family, or a loved one can be approached regarding your situation. Opening up to them will not just help in reducing your anxiety but also just simply talking to them and bonding deeply will improve your relationship with them which helps in improving your cognitive functions and the emotional side of you.
- Seek online for therapists that are possibly around your area to ask for some consultations. Check their client testimonials and try to approach them. Another way is to find online consultancy services if you are too busy at the moment.
- Contact your insurance provider to know which therapists can be consulted and who accepts your insurance plan.
The Bottom Line About Dealing With Phobia
Even if megalophobia is not as popular and discussed unlike other common fears such as arachnophobia and claustrophobia, the fear of large objects is very much real and should be addressed especially to those who experience it intensely, severely, and very often.
If you are someone who has this type of fear, avoiding it or not engaging in anything related to it will surely put you at ease however, it is only temporary and will not completely help in overcoming them entirely. This is why you should try to seek help from mental health professionals to help you with their diagnosis and treatment, drink the prescribed medication, improve your lifestyle to alleviate the stress, seek emotional support from your loved ones to strengthen you in your recovery journey, and most especially, believe in yourself that you can overcome the fear and you are greater than it.
A Short Message to People Who Are Suffering
To the readers out there, please maintain your health. Addressing mental health issues is necessary and must be normalized. They are real, inevitable, and are very crippling to the point that it interferes with our daily lives. If you have a friend who is struggling with phobias or fears, take the time to approach them and check on them. You do not know the impact of the smallest act of kindness and support on a person who is scared.