Zeusophobia (Fear of God)
Zeusophobia is the irrational fear of God or Gods. Someone suffering from this mental disorder may experience extreme amounts of anxiety as a result of their condition. In some severe cases, they may even have full-blown panic attacks that require hospitalization. Religion is all around us and it is more common in some countries as opposed others. So, the country someone lives in may be a pertinent factor as to how much anxiety they will inevitably experience.
Someone experiencing zeusophobia may be either extremely religious or they may merely consider themselves to be deists. Regardless of their specific beliefs, they will undoubtedly experience extreme amounts of distress due to their irrational fear of either the god they believe in or of gods in general. Someone with zeusophobia may find that even going to church to be a very dreadful experience as they may be in constant fear in such an environment.
Someone who has zeusophobia may also be suffering from scrupulosity as well. Scrupulosity is characterized by someone having deep religious guilt or a fear of sinning. Depending on how severe their zeusophobia is, they may very well develop scrupulosity, which will inevitably make them feel even more guilty and shameful about themselves.
Such strong emotions may even lead them to developing full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, this will depend on many different factors, such as the severity of their condition, genetics, and environment, among other things.
Symptoms of Zeusophobia
There are many different symptoms of zeusophobia that can make life quite distressing. Someone suffering from this phobia can expect to endure long bouts of anxiety, stress, guilt, and shame. They may feel as though they are worthless and that nothing they do matters or has meaning. Their fear of god may also evoke strong irrational fears of the number 666 and of hell as well. They may feel that their zeusophobia has damned them to rot in hell for all eternity.
Besides the very strong emotions that may be associated with zeusophobia, someone with this condition can also expect to have a very low self-esteem due to their feelings of worthlessness. Though not everyone with this phobia will feel such a diverse array of symptoms, it is still plausible to think that such symptoms could manifest, especially in someone who considers themselves to be very religious. Theoretically, the more religious the person with zeusophobia, the more guilt and shame they can expect to experience as a result.
Someone with an intense fear of god may begin to question whether or not they are “worthy” enough to involved in their religion. They may become very self-critical and may even develop a deep self-hatred toward themselves. This may especially be the case for those who also suffer from scrupulosity in addition to their zeusophobia.
Below, you will see some common symptoms of zeusophobia:
Intense fear of god
Anxiety when thinking of god
Feelings of worthlessness
Guilty and shameful
Causes of Zeusophobia
There are no known causes for someone developing zeusophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may play crucial roles. For instance, someone who has a family history of mental illness, especially with anxiety disorders or phobias, may have a much higher chance of developing zeusophobia than if they had no family history of mental illness.
If this were to be the case and they also had a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness then all that may be required for them to develop full-blown zeusophobia may merely be a traumatic experience of some sort.
Such a traumatic experience may be that they committed some act in the past that is deemed immoral according to the religion they adhere to. Such an act may be that they harmed someone, stole from someone, or that they blasphemed the name of god. Every religion is somewhat different, which will most likely influence the scope of the individual’s zeusophobia.
Other things that may cause someone to develop zeusophobia is that they may already be suffering from OCD or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). As previously discussed, someone with scrupulosity OCD may easily develop an intense fear of god by obsessing about it day in and day out. Someone suffering from GAD may already be a hyper-anxious individual. So, it may only be natural that they concentrate their fear toward one particular thing, especially if they are already deeply religious.
Zeusophobia Treatments (abridged)
There are no known treatments specifically designed for someone suffering from zeusophobia. However, talk therapy, exposure therapy, and anti-anxiety medication may be able to help reduce the intensity of the symptoms experienced.
For instance, talk therapy may be able to help reduce the symptoms associated with zeusophobia by helping the patient to understand the true reasons of their fears, as well as learning many different coping skills that can be very helpful in the midst of a panic attack. Although, it may be very important that your therapist has experience with treating people with phobias.
Another very lucrative form of therapy that is commonly used to treat phobias is exposure therapy. Just as the name implies, the therapist works with the patient by slowly exposing them to their fears. In the context of treating someone with zeusophobia, the therapist may expose the patient to depictions of god or of paintings of god. This may either include the god they themselves fear or it may include a multitude of gods from varying religions.
Depending on the severity of their zeusophobia, medications such as anti-anxiety or antidepressants may be able to help reduce the intensity of symptoms experienced with this phobia. This may deem to be even more of a relevant form of treatment for someone if they also suffer from depression or OCD. If this is the case, then medication such as this may be able to help treat both conditions.
If you think you may suffer from this disorder, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can get properly diagnosed and treated.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Zeusophobia
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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia. 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 zeusophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Yoga for Zeusophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from zeusophobia. 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia.
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 zeusophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Zeusophobia
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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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 Zeusophobia
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 zeusophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Exposure Therapy for Zeusophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as zeusophobia. 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their zeusophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with zeusophobia 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.
Reducing Caffeine for Zeusophobia
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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia.
Psychiatric Drugs for Zeusophobia
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 zeusophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of zeusophobia.
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 zeusophobia, 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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.
Exercise for Zeusophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including zeusophobia. 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia, 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 zeusophobia over time.
Meditation for Zeusophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from zeusophobia. 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia 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 zeusophobia, 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 zeusophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.