What is Dystychiphobia?
Dystychiphobia is the abnormal and irrational fear of accidents. While caution to avoid accidents is normal, people with this fear excessively worry they might hurt themselves or someone else. They also obsessively fear causing property damage.
Dystychiphobia is considered a specific phobia and is comparable to Amaxophobia (the fear of riding in a vehicle) or Hodophobia (the fear of traveling).
The Greek root words 'dys' means 'bad' and 'tych' means 'accident' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'
Symptoms of Dystychiphobia
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 Dystychiphobia
Dystychiphobia 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.
Dystychiphobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
Dystychiphobia is most often directly associated with a traumatic accident in the past which can form a subconscious overprotection mechanism and hence creating the phobia. In spite of the seeming clear-cut nature of this fear, no such previous trauma is required for the development of an irrational and obsessive level of fear.
Treatments for Dystychiphobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology