Metallophobia (Fear of Metal)
Metallophobia is the irrational fear of metal. Someone suffering from this condition will find it extremely difficult to be near metal of any kind. In fact, in some extreme cases someone suffering from an irrational fear of metal may even experience a full blown panic attack if their anxiety is intense enough. However, this will vary from person to person.
People suffering from metallophobia may not discriminate between metals as they may be equally fearful of iron, copper, gold, silver, and mercury, along with every other metal. Being in the presence of metal is not the only way that someone suffering from an irrational fear of metal can experience distress and terror as merely thinking of it can give them a high influx of unwanted anxiety.
Symptoms of Metallophobia
As is the case with virtually all other phobias, someone suffering from an irrational fear of metal can expect anxiety to be the number one symptom. Their intense fear of metal may motivate them to avoid it at all costs. For example, someone suffering from metallophobia may refuse to purchase any products that are made of metal or they may make sure they have no metal decor in their home.
Their intense fear of metal may make their life much more difficult as they will likely be very limited to things they can purchase as well as to places they can go as metal is often found in most places. They may also have issues with traveling seeing as how all cars have metal components.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of metallophobia:
Anxiety when around metal
Anxiety when thinking of metal
Unable to cope with their anxiety
Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating
May experience panic attacks
Causes of Metallophobia
There is no known cause of someone to have an irrational fear of metal. However, genetics and one’s environment may play very significant roles. For instance, if someone has a family history of mental illness, especially of phobias, then they may have a higher chance of developing an irrational fear of metal.
If someone were to have a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness due to them having a family history of it, then it may only take them experiencing some sort of traumatic event for them to develop a full blown fear of metal.
Though we do not definitively know what causes metallophobia, the consensus among most mental health professionals is that both genetics and environmental factors play very significant roles in the development of virtually any mental illness.
Metallophobia Treatments (abridged)
Exposure therapy is likely to be one of the best forms of treatment for someone suffering from phobias, including the phobia of having an irrational fear of metal. This form of treatment would call for the therapist to gradually expose the patient to metal over a specified amount of time. Theoretically, the more someone is exposed to that which they fear the less it will bother them over time.
If you think you may be suffering from an irrational fear of metal, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Metallophobia
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 metallophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with metallophobia 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 metallophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Metallophobia
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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 Metallophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of metallophobia.
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 metallophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Meditation Techniques for Metallophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from metallophobia. 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia, 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 metallophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Consuming Less Caffeine for Metallophobia
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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Metallophobia
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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia. 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 metallophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Exposure Therapy for Metallophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as metallophobia. 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their metallophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with metallophobia 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.
Working Out for Metallophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including metallophobia. 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia, 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 metallophobia over time.
Yoga Practice for Metallophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from metallophobia. 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia 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 metallophobia.
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 metallophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.