What is Dishabiliophobia?

Dishabiliophobia is the abnormal and persistent fear of undressing in front of someone. The fear of embarrassment can have medical roots, such as skin conditions, deformities, etc., but such roots are not required for this phobia to form. Shyness regarding nudity seems normal enough, but the phobic will develop this concern to extreme degrees, even to the point of Agoraphobia and the avoidance of any social contact.

Dishabiliophobia is considered a social phobia and it is also spelled “Dishabillophobia”.

The Latin root words 'dis' and 'habil' mean 'to separate' and 'clothing' respectively, while the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'

If you have this phobia, you most likely have one of these phobias too ›

Symptoms of Dishabiliophobia

  • Extreme Anxiety, Dread

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
  • Lack of Focus
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of Powerlessness
  • Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
  • Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Headaches

Learn more about phobia symptoms ›

Causes of Dishabiliophobia

Dishabiliophobia is a social anxiety disorder. Social phobias result in avoidance of social situations due to fear of being embarrassed in public affect men and women equally. Extreme social anxieties often start in childhood or adolescence due to social traumas, embarrassments, etc., and may be accompanied by other anxiety disorders or depression.

The origins of social anxiety disorders are not as well-understood as specific (or “isolated”) phobias, where a direct fear of injury from some specific animal, thing or situation forms a clear basis for the fear. Even so, hereditary factors may be present, such as a genetic tendency to be “high strung”, nervous, etc.

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.

Dishabiliophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.

This fear has many causes and is generally a sign of poor self-esteem.

Females tend to be more susceptible to this phobia. Societal expectations of what a woman should look like may vary, but it’s safe to say that Dishabiliophobia-like concerns are a global issue for most women, at least to some degree.

For some, body image and undressing in front of others can be one of the reasons eating disorders develop, with physical consequences that can reinforce the fear.

Learn more about the causes of phobias ›

Treatments for Dishabiliophobia

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Habit Strategies To Relax
  • Cognitive Therapy (CT)
  • In Vivo Exposure
  • Response Prevention
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Medication
  • Meditation

Learn more about phobia treatments ›

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