Chrometophobia is the irrational fear of money. Someone experiencing this disorder may find it extremely difficult, if not impossible to be around large sums of money or to even think about it. In fact, it may not merely be the physical appearance of money that induces a great deal of fear in them. It may also be objects that are very expensive and rare, such as high clarity diamonds or expensive cars. They may find that these objects give them extremely high amounts of intrusive anxiety and dread.
Chrometophobia is not a very common phobia like aerophobia (fear of flying) or cynophobia (fear of dogs) for instance. Chrometophobia is likely to be as common as pupaphobia (fear of puppets) or sesquipedalophobia (fear of long words). In fact this disorder may be just as rare as eleutherophobia (fear of freedom). This is due to the fact that virtually everyone on Earth desires freedom, as well as financial security.
The more revenue someone earns the more resources they have to improve their lives, as well as the lives of others (e.g. providing food for their family, paying bills on time, paying for medical expenses, purchasing items in their local community, etc.).
Someone with chrometophobia may realize that their fear of money is irrational, but when in the midst of money or an expensive object, they will likely be unable to realize this. In fact, depending on the severity of their condition they may even experience full blown panic attacks which will leave them needing to be hospitalized.
Symptoms of Chrometophobia
As is the case with virtually all other phobias, anxiety will be one of the main symptoms experienced with chrometophobia. Someone with this condition may find it extremely difficult to be around other people who spend money frivolously or who own expense things. This may be due to these things reminding them of their intense fear of money.
Someone with chrometophobia may find it extremely difficult to hold a job due to the immense amount of anxiety they may experience knowing that they are earning money from their efforts. For some people, their chrometophobia may be merely toward large sums of money and very expensive objects, while others may be extremely fearful of money in general.
It may also not be uncommon for someone suffering from chrometophobia to also suffer from additional phobias or anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, this will likely vary from person to person. As you can imagine, someone with chrometophobia may find it very difficult to cope in their day to day life as much of the civilized world greatly depends on people earning and spending money.
Below, you will find some more common symptoms of chrometophobia:
Intense anxiety at the sight of money
Anxiety when around expensive objects
Intense anxiety at the thought of money
Unable to cope with strong emotions
May experience panic attacks
Muscle tension, sweating, and shaking
Causes of Chrometophobia
There is no known cause of chrometophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may both play very significant roles. For instance, someone may have a higher chance of developing this phobia if they have a family history of mental illness, especially anxiety disorders. This is due to them also having an increased chance of having a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness. If they were to have such a genetic predisposition, then it may only require that they experience some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown chrometophobia.
A traumatic experience may be the tipping point that will allow someone to develop this very unique disorder. It is important to note that what one person believes to be very traumatic may not be traumatic at all for someone else. So, there is no definitive list of experiences that are sure to lead someone to develop this disorder. Nevertheless, there is a consensus among many mental health professionals that environmental factors are likely to play strong roles in the development of nearly any given mental disorder.
It is also plausible to conceive that someone may be able to develop chrometophobia as a result of them already suffering from an anxiety disorder. For instance, someone who suffers from OCD may develop chrometophobia if they find themselves overthinking about money to the point to where it develops into a full blown obsession. Their OCD may make it extremely difficult for them to stop thinking about money, thus opening the door for them to develop chrometophobia.
Chrometophobia Treatments (abridged)
There is no treatment specifically designed for chrometophobia. However, exposure therapy may be very advantageous at reducing many of the intrusive symptoms associated with this disorder. Exposure therapy works by having the therapist slowly expose the patient to their fear over a given period of time. Though this method may give the patient a great deal of anxiety, it will allow them to become desensitized from their fear so that when they are exposed to it in the future, it will have less of an effect on them.
It is imperative that exposure therapy be implemented by a very adept and experienced therapist who has a diverse history with treating phobias. This is very important due to the fact that if the patient is exposed to too much too quickly, then this may only worsen their chrometophobia in the long run as opposed to helping them become desensitized to it.
Anti-anxiety medication may also be very beneficial at reducing some of the symptoms associated with chrometophobia as well. However, merely taking medication alone may not be enough to truly improve their condition in the long run. This has to do with the fact that they will likely need to learn the skills necessary for them to cope with their strong emotions, among other things.
If you think you may have chrometophobia or if you have some of the symptoms described in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. Upon seeing your doctor, he may refer you to see a specialist such as a psychiatrist or a therapist.
Yoga Poses for Chrometophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from chrometophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with chrometophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with chrometophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with chrometophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of chrometophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Chrometophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from chrometophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with chrometophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of chrometophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Meditation for Chrometophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from chrometophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from chrometophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with chrometophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of chrometophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with chrometophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Exposure Therapy for Chrometophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as chrometophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with chrometophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with chrometophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their chrometophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with chrometophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Chrometophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with chrometophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with chrometophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with chrometophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with chrometophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Psychiatric Medications for Chrometophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe chrometophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their chrometophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as chrometophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of chrometophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of chrometophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Exercise for Chrometophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including chrometophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of chrometophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of chrometophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with chrometophobia over time.
Limiting Caffeine for Chrometophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with chrometophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with chrometophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Chrometophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like chrometophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with chrometophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with chrometophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with chrometophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your chrometophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
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