What is Anablephobia?
Anablephobia is the extreme or irrational fear of looking up. A person with this fear may develop this phobia as a reaction to the vastness of space above them since the infinity above us could generate a feeling of being small and insignificant.
Others with this fear may be responding to what might fall from above. This can include rain, snow, hail or even items that rarely fall such as meteorites, trees or aircraft, with an underlying fear of injury or death.
The root word is “ana”, Greek for “up”. The Latin “ble” means “result of the act of”. And phobia is Greek for "fear."
Symptoms of Anablephobia
Extreme Anxiety, Dread
- Shortness of Breath
- Rapid Breathing
- Heart Palpitations
- Excessive Sweating
- Dry Mouth
- Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
- Lack of Focus
- Feelings of Powerlessness
- Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
- Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
- Avoidance Behavior
Causes of Anablephobia
Anablephobia is categorized under situational phobias, which are created cognitively. Self-repetition in internal dialog, for instance, may generate greater fear over time.
Anablephobia is a specific (or “isolated”) phobia, centered on non-social key factors. Isolated phobias tend to have some previous trauma (often in childhood and often physically injurious) as a root cause; a fear of bees may stem from an injury in childhood, for instance.
Upbringing can also play a role, such as parental warnings about a direct threat (such as “snakes can bite and kill you”) which is especially notable in cases where a threat is more imminent. (An allergy to bees or peanut butter, for instance, would naturally reinforce a real medical concern.)
It is thought that genetics and hereditary factors may play a role in specific phobias, especially those related to a danger of injury. (A primal “fight or flight” reflex may be more easily triggered in those with a genetic predisposition, for instance.)
By contrast, social phobias (like a fear of body odor or touch) are less well understood, are driven by social anxiety and are broadly labeled as “social anxiety disorder”.
In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.
Anablephobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
Treatments for Anablephobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology