Satanophobia (Fear of Satan)
Satanophobia is the irrational fear of Satan. Someone with this condition may find day to day life to be quite difficult as their fear of Satan may be at the forefront of their thoughts. This is especially true for those who consider themselves to be very religious. Someone suffering from satanophobia who is also religious will not merely have an aversion to Satan, but will be so paralyzed by their fear that they may even experience a full blown panic attack because of it.
People who suffer from satanophobia may also suffer from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia also, which is the fear of the number 666. In Christianity, this number has been said to be the mark of the beast (Satan). So, these two phobias are likely to go with one another.
Typically, the more religious someone is, the more difficulty they will have with their satanophobia. In fact, it may also not be uncommon for someone suffering with this phobia to also suffer with the symptoms of scrupulosity OCD insofar they have the genetics to do so.
Someone suffering with this condition may see satanic symbolism in places where there is none. For example, their fears of Satan may be so grand and over bearing that they may walk around in their day to day life while observing the world through the lens of satanophobia. This may greatly hinder the overall quality of their life as they may be overly concerned that Satan is trying to deceive them in some capacity.
Symptoms of Satanophobia
Anxiety will be the main symptom experienced for someone suffering with satanophobia. As previously mentioned, their anxiety may be so intrusive and intense that they may even experience a full blown panic attack that may require hospitalization. Though this may be a rare occurrence, it is still possible to occur depending on the severity of their symptoms.
Someone with satanophobia may take things to an extreme by being overly cautious in places where there is no reason to. For instance, someone with severe satanophobia may abstain from watching movies such as Harry Potter because they contain witchcraft and spells even though such things are clearly fiction. However, someone with this condition will likely be unconvinced by such an argument.
Their fear of Satan may be so extreme that they may decide to only speak to people who are of the same religion or who share the same beliefs as them. This may be so due to it being an additional type of “security” to ensure that they are not associated with someone who is not as religious as them.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of satanophobia:
Intense anxiety when thinking of Satan
Anxiety when hearing discussions about Hell or Satan
Unable to cope with their feelings of fear
Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating
May experience panic attacks
Causes of Satanophobia
There is no known cause of Satanophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may both play significant roles. For instance, someone who has a family history of mental illness, especially of anxiety disorders, may have a higher chance of developing satanophobia. This is likely due to them also having a higher chance of being genetically predisposed to developing mental illness in general.
If they were to have such a genetic predisposition, then all it may take for them to develop this disorder could be them experiencing some sort of traumatic event. For example, someone may develop satanophobia after being extremely frightened by certain world events, such as religious wars for instance. Someone may also develop this condition due to them merely being extremely religious and also having a genetic predisposition to developing mental illness.
Though we do not know the exact cause of satanophobia, most mental health professionals agree that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in someone developing virtually any given mental illness. With that being the case, it may be beneficial to take a close look at your family history’s mental health, as well as your past and present environment. Doing so may give you a better idea as to whether or not you are at risk for developing this disorder.
Satanophobia Treatments (abridged)
For people suffering from phobias, exposure therapy is often the most common and effective form of therapy. Exposure therapy works by having the therapist gradually expose the patient to their fear over a given period of time. Though this may give the patient a high amount of anxiety, it will also help them to become desensitized to their fear in the long term.
With regards to satanophobia, the therapist may expose the patient to their fear of Satan by showing them pictures or videos of depictions of Satan. It may be extremely difficult for the patient to be exposed to these things. However, the goal with exposure therapy is that the more they are exposed to their fears, the less it will bother them over time.
Another form of therapy that may be advantageous to treat the symptoms associated with this condition is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of therapy may be able to help with recognizing the distortions in their thinking, as well as learning better ways to cope with their anxiety when their symptoms of satanophobia become exacerbated.
Anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants may also be able to help someone suffering with this disorder. It may be able to greatly minimize the intensity of their symptoms. However, though these medications may be able to help someone suffering from this condition, merely taking medication with no form of therapy may not be very effective at improving this condition in the long term, but this is something that should first be discussed by you and your doctor.
If you think you may have satanophobia or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms of this disorder, 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 psychologist or a psychiatrist for further treatment.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Satanophobia
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 satanophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with satanophobia 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 satanophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Satanophobia
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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 Satanophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of satanophobia.
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 satanophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Meditation Techniques for Satanophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from satanophobia. 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia, 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 satanophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Consuming Less Caffeine for Satanophobia
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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Satanophobia
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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia. 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 satanophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Exposure Therapy for Satanophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as satanophobia. 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their satanophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with satanophobia 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 Satanophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including satanophobia. 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia, 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 satanophobia over time.
Yoga Practice for Satanophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from satanophobia. 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia 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 satanophobia.
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 satanophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.