Kinetophobia (Fear of Movement)
Kinetophobia is the irrational fear of movement. This fear can be either the fear of actually moving, the fear of other objects moving, or both. People who suffer from this phobia may have a very difficult time in their day to day life as movement is an essential component to overall well-being. They may find themselves confined to their bed or they may never leave their home in an attempt to “protect” themselves.
Someone suffering from kinetophobia may realize that their fear of movement is completely irrational and pointless. However, the intense dread and anxiety that they experience supersedes their ability to think logically about their woes.
This inability to think rationally about movement makes it extremely difficult for them to develop healthy relationships with others. This, as well as having a lower their self-esteem only exacerbates their anxiety and symptoms of kinetophobia.
Kinetophobia is among one of the less common phobias such as the fear of long words, the fear of the color blue, and the fear of bathing, among many other uncommon phobias. Nevertheless, the symptoms of intense anxiety and dread are just as common with kinetophobia as they are with the more common phobias like cynophobia (fear of dogs) and kakorrhaphiophobia (fear of failure).
Symptoms of Kinetophobia
People suffering from kinetophobia may find it very difficult to do normal tasks such as walking, taking a bus, driving, flying in a plane, or even watching other people or objects move. Their intense fear of movement may force them to pressure other people such as family or close friends to perform the tasks that they are too afraid of performing. Such tasks may be having a friend leave the house to get groceries or household supplies for them.
As with most phobias, if not all, avoidance of that which gives them anxiety will be one of the most prevalent symptoms of kinetophobia. Though doing so will often give them momentary relief from their fears, it will only make things worse in the long term as their symptoms will more than likely become exacerbates due to them reassuring themselves of their fear of movement by avoiding movement itself.
Below, you will see some of the most common symptoms of kinetophobia:
Irrationally fearful of movement
Afraid to leave the house
Unable to do some tasks that involve movement
Anxious when seeing other things/people move
Feelings of helplessness
Causes of Kinetophobia
There is no known cause of kinetophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may play significant roles in the development of this disorder. You may be genetically predisposed to develop this phobia if you have a family history of mental illness, such as anxiety disorders or phobias. If this is the case, then it may only take a traumatic experience for you to develop kinetophobia. This would be the environmental portion of the potential causes of this phobia.
Such traumatic experiences that may cause someone to develop this phobia may be that they were involved in a horrific car crash that totaled their car and left them in the hospital for weeks, perhaps they saw a plane crash, or maybe they saw someone on a bike get hit by a car. Such experiences affect everyone differently. So, for some people, getting in a massive car accident would scar them for life and make it extremely difficult for them to do anything that may be potentially dangerous. With kinetophobia, their convictions are clearly irrational as they often take things to extremes.
Regardless of the many different potential causes of kinetophobia, the common consensus in the mental health community is that both genetics and one’e environment are likely to play a role in someone developing any given mental disorder. To find out more about the different causes of kinetophobia or what may have caused you to develop this disorder, then you should first talk to your doctor.
Kinetophobia Treatments (abridged)
There is no known treatment specifically designed for kinetophobia. However, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and/or anti-anxiety medication may be able to help reduce the symptoms associated with the fear of movement. CBT may be beneficial for those suffering with kinetophobia as it can help to teach the patient coping mechanisms for when they experience the symptoms associated with this phobia. CBT can also be advantageous for someone suffering with kinetophobia as they therapist can use techniques to try and help the patient find out the underlying reason or cause of their fear.
Another common form of therapy that is often used to help treat phobias is exposure therapy. Just as the name implies, this type of therapy works by slowly exposing the patient to the color blue over a certain amount of time. Though doing this will most likely make the patient feel very uncomfortable and anxious, the goal with exposure therapy is to try and desensitize their fear of the color blue by getting them used to seeing it.
Taking anti-anxiety medication may also be able to help treat some of the symptoms associated with kinetophobia, such as anxiety and/or nervousness. However, as is the case with virtually all phobias, the patient will need to learn how to think differently about movement. Such a change may not be able to manifest by merely taking anti-anxiety medication. Thus, why it is so important for the patient to be involved in some sort of therapy.
If you feel as though you may have kinetophobia, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly treated. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor first before you decide to undergo any sort of therapy or take any medication. Also, upon seeing your doctor she may refer you to a specialist such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a social worker. However, the course of action taken to treat your kinetophobia will depend on many different factors (i.e. what insurance you have, severity of symptoms, length of time suffering with kinetophobia, etc.)
Reducing Caffeine for Kinetophobia
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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Kinetophobia
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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia. 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 kinetophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Meditation for Kinetophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from kinetophobia. 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia, 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 kinetophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Kinetophobia
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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Kinetophobia
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 kinetophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Exposure Therapy for Kinetophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as kinetophobia. 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their kinetophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with kinetophobia 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.
Exercise for Kinetophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including kinetophobia. 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia, 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 kinetophobia over time.
Medication Therapy for Kinetophobia
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 kinetophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of kinetophobia.
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 kinetophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia 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.
Yoga for Kinetophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from kinetophobia. 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia 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 kinetophobia.
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 kinetophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.