What is Siderodromophobia?

Siderodromophobia is an exaggerated fear of trains, railways, and train travel and it can be caused by any aspect of trains. Trains themselves can seem dangerous, their movement on the rails may be unnerving or the person may be afraid of derailment or a crash. Other fears may be triggered as well, such as Claustrophobia

This is a specific phobia and its name is a combination of the Greek words 'sidero' and 'dromo' meaning 'iron' and 'race course' or 'way' respectively. Additionally, the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'

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Symptoms of Siderodromophobia

  • 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 Siderodromophobia

Siderodromophobia 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.

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

From the outside, people may fear trains partly because they are large, noisy, and imposing (in the manner of a behemoth). On the other hand, some people develop Siderodromophobia as a side-effect of Claustrophobia

The movement of a train can also engender this fear, as the side-to-side swaying of the cars can seem dangerous, as can sudden stops or jerking motions.

Other phobics have cited the fear of train derailment as a reason for their terror.

Learn more about the causes of phobias ›

Treatments for Siderodromophobia

  • 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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