What is Electrophobia?
Electrophobia is the irrational and overpowering fear of electricity. Although common appliances and work tools are most often powered by electricity, some people do manage to form a phobic obsession with avoiding electrical power.
Since electricity is so pervasive in modern life, the phobic personality may make exceptions or “work-arounds”, and may only consent to be around electrical environments (such as offices, etc.) as long as someone else is responsible for flipping the switch, plugging it in, etc.
In extreme cases, Electrophobes may move “off the grid” and use propane powered appliances, etc.
The root word 'electro' is Greek meaning 'electricity' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'
Symptoms of Electrophobia
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 Electrophobia
Electrophobia is a specific (or “isolated”) phobia, centered on non-social key factors. Such 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 or seeing something on the news or on TV and movies.
Electrophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
Sufferers may have experienced electric shock-related accidents, but this experience is not necessary for the phobia to develop. The knowledge of accidental electrocution through news, etc., may contribute to or reinforce this concern.
Treatments for Electrophobia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Habit Strategies To Relax
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)
- In Vivo Exposure
- Response Prevention
- Group Therapy
- Energy Psychology