What is Chronomentrophobia? (A Comprehensive Guide)

In this blog we will deliberate on the causes, symptoms and treatment intervention of Chronomentrophobia.

Chronomentrophobia is an irrational fear of clocks and the passing of time.

The person suffering from Chronomentrophobia is afraid of the ticking of clocks, watches, time pieces that tell the time and the ticking sound denotes the passing away of seconds.

Their fear emanates from the losing of time, fearing that they have not yet done what they intended to do with their life and fear that time will run out before they are able to do something.

It is an overblown fear that the person may have very less time. This also could be a fear of aging or growing old.

As the ticking of the clock is equivalent to the passing of time. 

Chronomentrophobia is an intense fear of clocks and the person suffering will make sure that he is not around clocks or watches, is anxious not to see the time and also avoids the clocks and the like as much as he can. 

Chronomentrophobia is a word derived from the Greek words, ‘chrono’ meaning ‘time’ and ‘phobos’ meaning ‘fear’.

Symptoms of Chronomentrophobia

To avoid the experience of anxiety itself the individual may develop Chronomentrophobia, so as to avoid the very cause of the uncomfortable condition.

Even the image of clocks and watches brings about the symptoms with an intensity that reels the sufferer. 

Physical Symptoms

These are intense and can begin without any prior warning.

The person suffering from Chronomentrophobia experiences the full physical intensity of either all of these or some of these in combination with others.

  • hot flashes or chills
  • Headaches when thinking of deadlines
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • shortness of breath a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness 
  • dry mouth
  • ringing in ears
  • confusion 
  • hyperventilation
  • raised blood pressure

The Psychological Symptoms

During panic attack the person suffering from Chronomentrophobia may experience the following

  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying
  • guilt 
  • shame
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of harm
  • fear of illness
  • Self-blame on not meeting deadline
  • withdrawn
  • feeling Of hopelessness
  • feeling of disconnect
  • confusion
  • lack of concentration
  • anger
  • irritability
  • mood swings

Causes of Chronomentrophobia

Chronomentrophobia is a specific phobia related to clocks and timepieces that tell the time.

People who are scared of meeting deadlines and punctuality may also go through this extreme fear.

Scientists believe that a combination of genetic tendencies, brain chemistry, and other biological and environmental factors could cause such fears to develop. 

These people find it difficult to finish their tasks on time and due to the anxiety run by this ineptness, they develop a fear of clocks, the very device that tells them of their tardiness.

Chronomentrophobia is common in these people. They do not keep clocks in their offices and homes and totally suffer from the lack of discipline required to live a fulfilling life.

Time never stands still for anyone. No one has any control over time.

People may also be afraid of losing control because this is something that is not in their hands and not controlled by them, no matter how powerful a person is.

Thus, at the time he is suffering from the symptoms of Chronomentrophobia, he/she feels totally helpless, aggravating their already hiked anxiety.

What is Chronomentrophobia? (A Comprehensive Guide)

As is common in specific phobias, the cause Chronomentrophobia may lie deep in the person’s childhood or its onset may be due to an environmental factor.

Genetics also plays a pivotal role in the cause of developing Chronomentrophobia

Other causes can be as follow:

• Learned behavior

• Traumatic experiences

Etiological Models of Chronomentrophobia

1. Biological (Genetic) Model

Genetics also determines how a person reacts and feels. Therefore, people inherit fears and phobias as well from their families.

The brain cells (neurons) release certain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Serotonin and Dopamine are two neurotransmitters that in depleted states can cause anxiety like symptoms.

2. Psychodiagnostics Model

If a person has suffered from a traumatic experience in early childhood it can have a severe dire impact on his later life. 

A childhood traumatic experience could be where children experienced a negative impact of events due to a change in their life.

This may leave a long lasting impression. Therefore to avoid this anxiety they start fearing and evading what they fear.

It could also be that the parents or significant others were always late and a trauma could have occurred due to this. Also a fear of aging is prevalent in these people who develop Chronomentrophobia. 

3. Behavioral Model

According to this model, irrational fears may be caused through behaviors that are learned by replication.

Children often replicate unique behaviors of their adults, parents or a favorite aunt or uncle.

If a family member is already suffering from anxiety or is scared of one or another thing, then chances are higher that only by observing this, the child may develop fears.

Treatments of Chronomentrophobia

Chronomentrophobia can be treated through different treatments.

These include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction MBSR) and forms of meditation.

1) Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

In CBT the therapist helps the client to amend his thoughts so that a desirable behavior can be achieved.

This therapy is effective, because if the thoughts or cognitions alter then there will be a lasting impact on behavior.

The therapist helps the client to discover the reason for this thought, his behavior in regards to changes in life.

This therapy is goal oriented and short termed. Therefore, the results are seen soon. It changes the way a person thinks and feels.

CBT does not focus on probing the past to resolve current problems, rather it concentrates on the present situation. 

Our thoughts determine how we act or react to certain stimuli and situations. Therefore, negative thoughts bring about a negative behavior response or an undesirable behavior.

Whereas, positive thoughts propagate desirable and healthy attitude and response.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of CBT and designed by Albert Ellis. According to Ellis, “people are not disturbed by things but rather by their view of things.” This is what subjective perspective is. 

2 Exposure Therapy 

It is one of the most frequently used ways of treating patients with Chronomentrophobia.

In this therapy, the patient is exposed to the source of his fear over a certain span of time. To begin with the therapy, the therapist exposes the patient to the least triggering stimuli, a picture of clocks.

As the therapy progresses and the patient is able to control his anxious feelings, imagery can be used to take the treatment a step further.

In this part of the treatment the patient is asked to visualize/imagine a situation in which he is surrounded by clocks.

During this process of imagery, one actually feels being in that particular situation or place, experiencing various senses.

Once the person successfully, without feeling anxious clears this step of the therapy, he is then exposed to a real time clock or watches. 

While the patient is being exposed to different intensities of stimuli during the various stages of therapy, the therapist simultaneously teaches them coping exercises.

These include, breathing techniques or muscle relaxation methods to lower their anxiety, when in an actual fear/anxiety causing situation.

This teaches them how to remain calm when exposed to the fear stimuli.

Before actually starting the exposure therapy, the therapist needs to figure out the intensity of the patient’s fear, as to deduce whether they will be able to undergo this treatment, without any physical or psychological harm caused to them during the exposure processes. 

3) Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP)

In this therapy the client is asked to 

  1. Access the phobia in a safe environment.
  2. Help them to replay the phobia along with happy emotions.
  3. Disassociate from the phobia.

4) Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR involves being aware of one’s own thoughts, feelings and reducing the interference from around the environment.

We do not pay attention to how we process the various stimuli that affect us. 

We do not process the way our bodies feel and respond, there is no focus on our thoughts and how these thoughts are influencing our emotions. 

In MBSR, the client is ‘woken up’ to actually experience the various senses. ‘Focus’ is the keyword!

In Chronomentrophobia treatment, the client is made conscious to pay attention to his thoughts when he is thinking of what he is afraid of.

Awareness helps to alleviate the stress symptoms. 

5) Meditation

For meditation to be effective during treatment, the mind is cleared off all the clutter of random thoughts.

The mind and body are made to be ‘in sync’ with each other, so that the feared stimulus does not invoke a negative thought.

The client will meditate during the thoughts of death and concentrate on his breathing patterns in the presence of the feared stimulus. 

What is Chronomentrophobia? (A Comprehensive Guide)

6) Self-Help Groups

Self Help groups are an effective type of therapy, in which the client does not find himself as a lone sufferer.

These groups are individuals who are afflicted with the same types of phobias. 

They come together to share their thoughts, experiences and their coping strategies.

This also helps in developing a ‘sense of I am not the only one’ suffering.

What is Chronomentrophobia? (A Comprehensive Guide)

7) Changing Lifestyle

Breaking down the dullness of the daily, helps break down anxiety as well. 

• Take up jogging or go for daily walks:

Developing a walk routine can damper the way our negative thoughts control our behavior.

• Indulging in an exercise regime:

Vigorous exercise like aerobics has proved to reduce or alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Exercise helps the mind to cope with stress and stressful situations better.

This is what the American Psychological Association has to say about inducting exercise to eliminate stress or phobias.

• Altering eating and drinking habits:

Cutting down on fatty foods and caffeine can improve self-image, that in turn leads to a raised self-esteem.

This finally diminishes the symptoms of stress to a bare minimum. With high intake of caffeine, the body resembles a ‘fight or flight’ response, thus giving way to anxiety.

• Improving the sleep cycle:

When we get proper rest, our concentration improves. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

8) Psychiatric Medication 

There are a number of medicines that the Psychiatrist can prescribe if the symptoms of Chronomentrophobia are severe.

Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs)

These should only be taken after the consultation with the doctor and shouldn’t be initiated or discontinued as per personal discretion.

Antidepressants 

These medicines are not only used to treat depression, but also to alleviate the symptoms of Chronomentrophobia as well as other phobias.

Medicines alone might not be as effective, but if used in conjunction with therapies then the results will be better. 

9)  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This kind of therapy is used to regulate the emotions. A technique called “half-smiling” is used where the client is asked to lift the corners of his mouth when the feared thought comes to his mind.

Apart from this the mind is to be trained to refrain from thinking about the painful stimulus.

Coping Ahead is another technique in DBT that requires the client to sit quietly and think of the feared situation and strategize what he will do.

What is Chronomentrophobia? (A Comprehensive Guide)

We are always here to answer if you have any queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chronomentrophobia?

Chronomentrophobia is an irrational fear of clocks and the passing of time.

The person suffering from Chronomentrophobia is afraid of the ticking of clocks, watches, time pieces that tell the time and the ticking sound denotes the passing away of seconds.

Who has Chronomentrophobia? 

People who are scared of meeting deadlines and punctuality may also go through this extreme fear.

Scientists believe that a combination of genetic tendencies, brain chemistry, and other biological and environmental factors could cause such fears to develop. 

What is Chronomentrophobia the fear of?

Chronomentrophobia is a fear of clocks and passing of time or even aging in some people.

Is Chronomentrophobia curable?

Yes. Chronomentrophobia is curable with therapeutic interventions available. 

Examples of other interesting phobias

Enetophobia
Hobophobia
Kolpophobia
Kopophobia
Kosmikophobia
Negrophobia
Zelophobia

Titles to Read 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Guide to Getting Rid of Depression, Anxiety, Overcome Worry and Panic. Get Free from Intrusive Thoughts, Anger, and Fear. Reach Peace of Mind and Retrain Yourself with CBT! by George Bachman and John M. Moore
  • Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic by Reneau Peurifoy | Feb 1, 2005
  • Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia by Barbara G. Markway, C. Alec Pollard, et al. | Oct 1, 1992
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry by Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D  | May 22, 2018
  • The CBT Deck: 101 Practices to Improve Thoughts, Be in the Moment & Take Action in Your Life by Seth Gillihan | Jun 11, 2019

What we recommend for Phobias

Professional counselling

  • If you are suffering from Phobias then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you address the fears you are facing.

Panic Courses

  • Phobias and anxiety go hand in hand and in the end they result in Panic. A panic course such as this may help you alleviate those feelings of fears as it has with over 50,000 people.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted Blankets may help you sleep better if your phobias are affecting your quality of sleep. Weighted blankets apply enough weight on you that they make you feel much more relaxed and calm at night.

Citations 

  • www.psychtimes.com
  • www.fearof.net
  • www.amazon.com
  • www.apa.org
  • www.albertellis.com

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