Genuphobia is the irrational fear of knees, and can take the form of fear of one's own knees, someone else's knees or the act of kneeling. Seeing knees can set off symptoms with no need for situational conditions such as being in church, etc.
Some may fear kneeling because it is looked upon as a form of submissiveness and servility, while others may find them simply unattractive and ugly.
The term originates from the Latin word “genu” meaning "knee". (To “genuflect” literally means to bend the knee”.)
People with genuphobia will worry about keeping their knees covered at all times, and may avoid having to get down on hands and knees.
- extreme anxiety, dread
- shortness of breath
- rapid breathing
- heart palpitation
- 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
Genuphobia 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 or seeing something on the news or on TV and movies.
Genuphobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
- Habit strategies to relax
- Cognitive therapy (CT)
- In vivo exposure
- Response prevention
- Group therapy
- Energy Psychology
The list of books below are hand picked by the staff at Massive Phobia. It's a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Habit Strategies, Trauma Healing, Mindfulness, Meditation, Buddhist Knowledge and Somatic Study. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.