What is Medomalacuphobia?

Medomalacuphobia is the irrational and abnormal fear of losing an erection. While erectile dysfunction is a normal male concern, the phobic fear passes the degree of a simple concern and becomes a true fear. Having this phobia can lead to psychosomatic reactions in which the fear itself causes the condition, but a true phobia can lead to complete isolation from others, an overriding fear of sex, fear of relationships, etc.

Medomalacuphobia is also spelled Medomalacophobia and is related to Ithyphallophobia (fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis), Medorthophobia (fear of an erect penis), and Phallophobia (fear of a penis).

The name originates from the Greek word 'malaco' meaning 'softness' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'

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Symptoms of Medomalacuphobia

  • 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 Medomalacuphobia

Medomalacuphobia 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.

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

Medical root causes such as erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, etc., are possible, but not required. This phobia can develop from and be related to concerns about performance in general, fears of rejection or ridicule, etc.

Learn more about the causes of phobias ›

Treatments for Medomalacuphobia

  • 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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