X-Ray Phobia or Radiophobia: Fear of X-Rays

  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Fear of x-rays is not uncommon. People with radiophobia may be afraid of the radiation exposure or the idea of having an x-ray taken. For some people, the fear may be so severe that it prevents them from getting the care they need.

If you have a fear of x-rays, you’re not alone. Many people share your fear. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little anxious about having an X-ray. After all, you are being exposed to a small amount of radiation.

However, for some people, that anxiety can be so severe that it prevents them from getting the medical care they need. If you have X-ray phobia, know that you are not alone and there are ways to overcome your fear.

What is Radiophobia? 

X-ray phobia, also known as radiophobia, is the extreme fear of X-rays or any type of medical imaging that involves exposure to radiation. People with this phobia may experience anxiety just thinking about having an X-ray or other medical imaging test. In some cases, the fear is so severe that they will avoid necessary medical care altogether. 

The level of fear can vary from person to person. Some people with x-ray phobia may only feel mildly anxious, while others may experience a full-blown panic attack. 

Symptoms of X-ray Phobia

radiophobia, or the fear of radiation like x-rays

The symptoms of x-ray phobia can vary in intensity from person to person. They may range from mild anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. X-ray phobia can vary from person to person but generally fall into three categories: physical, psychological, and behavioral.

  • Physical symptoms may include shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness.
  • Psychological symptoms may include fear, anxiety, and panic.
  • Behavioral symptoms may include avoidance behaviors such as refusing to get needed medical care or only visiting doctors who don’t require X-rays or other types of medical imaging. 

Other symptoms of radiophobia can include: 

  • pounding heart 
  • sweating 
  • shaking 
  • shortness of breath 
  • dizziness 
  • nausea 
  • dry mouth 
  • tingling in hands and feet 
  • feeling of impending doom 

Most people with x-ray phobia will do whatever they can to avoid having an x-ray. This can lead to delays in getting necessary medical care or treatment.

What Causes X-ray Phobia? 

There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of radiophobia. Often, it is rooted in a previous bad experience. Maybe you had a particularly painful or traumatic X-ray in the past. Or perhaps you know someone who has had a negative experience with medical imaging.

Other times, feelings of anxiety and control can play a role in the development of radiophobia.  For example, some people may feel like they have no control over their situation when they are getting an X-ray. This can trigger feelings of anxiety

How is X-ray Phobia Treated? 

person getting a full-body x-ray

If your fear of X-rays is preventing you from getting necessary medical care, it’s important to seek treatment from a mental health professional who specializes in phobias and anxiety disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for X-ray phobia and can help you learn how to manage your anxiety so that you can get the care you need. 

EEG neurofeedback is another promising treatment for radiophobia that has shown to be effective in reducing anxiety without any adverse side effects. This type of therapy uses real-time feedback from brainwave activity to help establish new patterns of relaxation response which can eventually help extinguish the fear response altogether. 

Living with X-ray Phobia 

If you have radiophobia, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from this condition and there are effective treatments available. If your fear is preventing you from getting the medical care you need, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about ways to overcome your fears.

Phobias Similar to X-ray Phobia 

There are a number of other phobias that share similarities with X-ray phobia.

  • If you have a fear of medical procedures or hospitals, you may have nosocomephobia.
  • If you have a fear of needles, you may have trypanophobia.
  • And if you have a fear of doctors, you may have iatrophobia.

X-ray phobia can also be related to other types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Conclusion

If you suffer from radiophobia, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in treating anxiety disorders and phobias. With proper treatment, you can overcome your fear so that you can get the medical care you need, you’re not alone.

Talk to your doctor about your options and how to best manage your anxiety during an x-ray procedure. Drug therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy may help you ease your fears and get the medical care you need without causing undue stress or anxiety. Many people share your fear but there are ways to overcome your fear and get the care you need.

FAQ: X-Ray Phobia or Radiophobia

What is the phobia of X-rays?

X-ray phobia, also known as radiophobia, is the extreme fear of X-rays or any type of medical imaging that involves exposure. Not only can this phobia be debilitating, but it can also prevent people from getting the medical care they need.

Should I be scared of X-rays?

If your fear of X-rays is preventing you from getting necessary medical care, it’s important to seek treatment from a mental health professional who specializes in phobias and anxiety disorders. They can help you manage your anxiety so that you can get the care you need.

Is x-ray harmful for brain?

X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation, which has the potential to damage tissue and cause cancer. However, the risks from a single X-ray are very low. One thing to keep in mind is that children are more sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation than adults, so it’s important to make sure that any X-rays that are ordered for children are absolutely necessary.

What is the difference between an MRI and an X-ray?

An MRI does not use ionizing radiation, so it does not carry the same risks as an X-ray. MRI is also able to provide more detailed images than an X-ray. However, MRI is more expensive and is not always necessary. Your doctor will order the test that is best for your particular situation.