What is Apeirophobia?
Apeirophobia is the extreme or irrational fear of infinity. Phobics tend to make their lives as predictable as possible (and possibly as “ordered” as possible, as with OCD) to counteract an inability to control the infinite.
The origin of this phobia is from Greek 'ápeiros' meaning 'infinite' or 'boundless' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.' is the fear of infinity or eternity.
Apeirophobia is often connected with Thanatophobia (fear of dying) since many sufferers would believe that eternity follows life, especially learning that the afterlife would never end.
Symptoms of Apeirophobia
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 Apeirophobia
“Loss of control” phobias may be connected with fear of injury as well as with thanatophobia (fear of dying), and in this case the fear may be based on the concept that “an eternity” follows life.
Films and books that focus on the theme of infinity or death can trigger Apeirophobia.
Apeirophobia 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.
Apeirophobia, 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 Apeirophobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology