Decidophobia: Fear of Making Decisions

  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Making decisions is one of the most difficult things we do daily. Every decision, big or small, has consequences- some we can see immediately and others that take longer to manifest. This is what makes decision-making so daunting: the fear of making the wrong decision and regretting it later. For some people, this fear becomes so great that they develop a phobia- decidophobia: fear of making decisions.

People with decidophobia often find themselves paralyzed by indecision. They may endlessly weigh all their options, trying to find the perfect solution and outcome, but there is no such thing as a perfect solution. Inevitably, they will have to make a choice and face the possibility of regret.

This can be a very difficult and stressful experience and can sometimes lead to full-blown panic attacks, excessive sweating, an unhealthy dependence on others, feelings of loss of control, or simply the inability to decide.

What is the Cause of Decidophobia?

Decidophobia: fear of making decisions

Decidophobia, also known as “the fear of making decisions,” is a relatively common phobia that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. While the exact cause of decidophobia is not known, it is believed to be the result of a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental factors, a traumatic event, life-threatening situation, family history, and personal experiences. However, every person is different.

For one person, the fear of the decision-making process may be related to a specific event or situation, such as choosing between two equally desirable options. For another person, it may be more generalized, causing them to avoid making any decision whenever possible, causing intense anxiety, a panic attack, or increased dependence on others to make decisions.

There is no single cause of decidophobia. It can be triggered by a variety of things, such as a bad experience with making a decision, witnessing someone else make a bad decision, or even just hearing about someone else’s bad experience. For some people, it may be related to anxiety or depression. Indecision can also be a symptom of other anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

What Are Some of the Symptoms of Decidophobia?

People with decidophobia may experience a variety of symptoms, both physical and psychological. Of course, every person is different. Physical symptoms may include increased heart rate, excessive sweating, muscle tension, and difficulty breathing. Psychological problems may include anxiety, intense fear, blurred thinking, and panic attacks.

People suffering from decidophobia may also avoid making decisions altogether or might have simple indecisiveness on something most people take for granted, such as a meal plan. This can have a major impact on their quality of life on a daily basis, as they may be unable to make simple choices, such as what to eat for dinner or what to wear to work.

In addition to being unable to make simple choices, people with irrational fears like decidophobia may also have difficulty making more important decisions, such as whether to accept a new job or where to live. This can lead to major disruptions in their life and cause them a great deal of stress that can affect their physical and mental health, as well as affect people their closest with.

Treatment of Decidophobia

As a specific phobia or irrational fear, decidophobia can be treated with a variety of different methods, depending on the severity of the phobia and the individual’s preferences. However, it is important to seek professional help if the phobia is interfering with your quality of life or causing you distress. Here are some treatments to pursue if you are dealing with the fear of decision-making.

CBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common ways to treat symptoms of decidophobia. CBT focuses on changing the way you think about and react to situations that trigger your fear. This can help you to better manage your anxiety and make decisions more confidently without the fear of making the wrong decision.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is another type of treatment that may be recommended for those suffering from decidophobia. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your fear, such as making decisions. This can help you to overcome your fear and learn to cope with sensations felt during anxiety-provoking situations.

Medication

Specifically designed medication may also be an option for treating decidophobia, especially if it is severe or causing you significant distress. There are a variety of different medications that can be used to treat anxiety, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drugs. Your doctor can help you to determine which medication is right for you.

Mindfulness Meditation

Some people with decidophobia find that mindfulness meditation or being in a meditative state can help to overcome the specific phobia of decidophobia (or at least its common symptoms). If you practice yoga, there are some specific postures and breathing exercises that can be very helpful in managing anxiety. Hatha yoga can be beneficial, as well as Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose).

Several different alternative treatments may also be effective in treating specific phobias like decidophobia. These include acupuncture, aromatherapy, and massage therapy.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. This is thought to help to improve the flow of energy and promote healing. It is one of the potential options when it comes to treating an irrational fear like decidophobia since it can help to reduce stress.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and improve mood. This can be done by diffusing essential oils, applying them to the skin, or inhaling them. Some of the best essential oils for anxiety relief include lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. For those looking to treat decidophobia, aromatherapy can be a helpful complementary treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another option that can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. This can be an especially good choice for people who have trouble relaxing on their own. Massage therapy can help to increase circulation, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle tension. All of these things can help to reduce stress and anxiety events like panic attacks.

I Think I Have Decidophobia. What’s Next?

If you think you are suffering from decidophobia, there are several small steps you should take.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you are experiencing symptoms of decidophobia, the first step is to talk to your doctor. He or she can help you to determine whether you have a phobia and, if so, what type of treatment may be best for you.

Get a Referral to a Mental Health Professional

If your doctor determines that you have a phobia, he or she may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional can provide you with therapy and other treatment options.

Make an Appointment

Once you have a referral, the next step is to make an appointment with a mental health professional. This is usually done by calling the office and scheduling an appointment. Be sure to ask about the therapist’s experience in treating phobias and whether he or she uses CBT or exposure therapy.

What to Expect During Treatment

The treatment of decidophobia will vary depending on the severity of your phobia and your preferences. However, there are some general things you can expect during treatment.

Your therapist will first work with you to identify the things that happen to trigger your fear of making decisions. Once these triggers are identified, you will begin working on overcoming your fear. This may involve gradually exposing yourself to situations that trigger your anxiety or learning new coping skills that will help you decide without dealing with panic attacks or something similar.

Your therapist will also help you to develop a plan for dealing with situations that trigger your anxiety. This plan may include techniques for managing your anxiety and making decisions more confidently.

With treatment, you can learn to manage your anxiety and make decisions more confidently. If you suffer from the fear of making decisions, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Talk to Others Who Suffer from the Same Phobia

If you are dealing with decidophobia, you are not alone. Many others have this phobia (as well as other phobias like verbophobia). Talking to others who have the same phobia can be helpful. You can share tips for coping with anxiety and making decisions. You can also find support and understanding from others who know what you are going through.

Join a Support Group

Several organizations offer support groups for people with decidophobia. These groups provide an opportunity to meet other people with the same phobia and share tips for coping with anxiety and making decisions on a daily basis.

Some of the most popular organizations for people suffering from mental illness include:

Support groups are a great way to meet other people suffering with the same phobia and share tips and advice for coping with anxiety. If you suffer from decidophobia or other specific phobias, consider joining a support group.

Remove Social Factors that Increase Symptoms of Decidophobia

Several social situations in one’s environment can increase the symptoms of decidophobia. These factors include:

  • the mere thought of perfectionism
  • low self-esteem
  • fear of failure

If you’re suffering from decidophobia, it is important to get rid of these social cues since they can increase your symptoms and impede a positive outcome. You can do this by:

  • setting realistic goals
  • making a point to accept yourself for who you are
  • taking a risk and learning from mistakes that happen

Final Thoughts

Decidophobia is a fear of making decisions that can lead to feelings of a loss of control. This phobia can be debilitating and make it difficult to live a normal life. However, treatment can help you to overcome your fear, overcome decidophobia, and learn to cope with anxiety-provoking situations, putting you back in control of the things that matter to you.

If you think you may be dealing with decidophobia, talk to your doctor about treatment options. With treatment, you can learn to manage your anxiety and make decisions more confidently without worrying so much about making the wrong decision.