Mental Health

Bibliophobia: What Are The Causes, Symptoms And How To Overcome It?


What Is Bibliophobia?

The idea of reading a book puts some people in fear. This condition is known as Bibliophobia. The root of the term is Biblion or Biblio which is greek for the book. Phobia is greek concerning fear. Phobias are a kind of anxiety disorder. A phobia is an intense, irrational, and uncontrollable fear of an animal, object, person, activity, environment, or location. In reality, the phobia stimulus confers little. Most people with phobias understand their reaction is disproportionate, but they feel weak to conquer it or control it.

Bibliophobia is classified as a simple or special phobia. Bibliophobia is definite to books and no other kinds of media, such as computers. Simple phobias are the most basic type of phobia.

What Are The Causes Of Bibliophobia?

The definite cause of the phobia is unknown. As another area of mental health, the cause is likely a union of genetic and environmental impacts. Some people have very special experiences in their past that they correlate with the fear of books such as an embarrassing situation reading out loud in front of others. In this case, fear means an area of the brain is called the amygdala. The tiny section records your responses to experiences. When you have a related experience in the future, the amygdala tells you what you thought.

Other people are not capable to relate any specific experience with the fear of books. This is where genetic power could be at play. Personality traits and temperament have inherited features. This could describe why simple phobias appear to run in families. However, people also learn behaviors and responses from their relatives. In fact, the amygdala records the fear and worry character you notice in people throughout you. So, it is often difficult to know whether phobias are acquired or inherited.

Symptoms Of Bibliophobia

People with Bibliophobia, like in all different phobias, experience intense fear about having contact with books. They are incapable to control this anxiety and thus, end up feeling more concerned. This anxiousness, in extreme cases, can provide rise to full-blown panic attacks.

The difficulty goes into flight or fight mode because of an adrenaline rush. In this state, the body’s physiological responses help one make judgments when in fear-causing situations. They either choose to escape the site or stay and combat their fear.

In the case of Bibliophobia, the physiological symptoms that are created when exposed to books cause the person to escape that situation. Sufferers do not have the courage to fight with their worry because of the unpleasant, terrifying events the body goes through. Including anxiety, Bibliophobia has a symbol of other physiological signs which include:

  • Extreme anxiety on an encounter with books.
  • Extreme anxiety by just imagining books.
  • Avoiding books
  • Full-blown panic attacks
  • Inability to handle anxiety
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased heartbeat
  • ¬†Breathlessness
  • Feeling of dizziness
  • Screaming
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach

One of these, one should have at most limited 3-5 symptoms and anxiety remaining for at least 6 months to be diagnosed with Bibliophobia.

How To Overcome Bibliophobia?

Like all the specific phobias, these phobias are also treated by a number of distinct therapies that include Cognitive behavioral therapy and or medications that lower down the stress.

 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

It is one of the most commonly used treatments for patients with around all kinds of mental disorders. The therapists help the patient in replacing these irrational beliefs with more rational ones. The patient is instructed to maintain a thought diary with ABCD columns which presents them with a replacement for every irrational feeling they have when considering a particular situation.

The ABCD stands for:

  1. A- antecedents: A situation
  2. B- belief: The thought that comes to one’s mind when in that triggering condition.
  3. C- consequences: The sensations caused by that thought
  4. D- dispute: Alternative thoughts provided by the therapist in an effort to challenge those irrational beliefs.

This last section of the thought diary is what really plays a role in helping the person feel good.

Exposure Therapy

It is also one of the most accepted ways of treating patients with Bibliophobia. In this therapy, the patient is revealed to the source of his fear over a certain span of time. To start the therapy, the therapist presents the patient to the least triggering stimuli, a picture of the book as an example.

As the therapy advances and the patient is able to control his anxious feelings, imagery can be used to make the practice a step considerably. In this part of the treatment, the patient is asked to assume a situation in which he notices or reads a book. While the patient is being presented with different strengths of stimuli during the various stages of therapy, the therapist guides them in coping.