What is Placophobia?

Placophobia is an intense, irrational worry of cemeteries and tombstones or grave markers. The Placophobic person may be intensely frightened of death. This person may additionally fear anything related to death, akin to caskets or a hearse. Individuals coping with this phobia may avoid going to the cemetery service of a loved one or could avoid ever visiting the grave.

Placophobia is also related to Coimetrophobia (fear of cemeteries or burial grounds, Necrophobia (fear of death or dead things), and Taeniophobia, Taphiphobia, and Taphophobia (fear of cemeteries and being buried alive).

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Symptoms of Placophobia

  • 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

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Causes of Placophobia

Placophobia 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.

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

Maybe the particular person coping with this phobia is superstitious concerning the dead and with symbols relating to death. It could also be that the individual went through the death of a loved one and the cemetery service that followed. Another reason may be that, as a child, the person coping with Placophobia was frightened at Halloween by made-up scenes in cemeteries. Additionally, this particular person could have watched negative and fearful reactions of others and learned to imitate that response.

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Treatments for Placophobia

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

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

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