Chronophobia (A complete guide)

This article will give a brief idea about Chronophobia. Then it will focus on the causes and symptoms of Chronophobia.

Then it will highlight the treatment of Chronophobia, both psychotherapies, and medications.


Chronophobia refers to the irrational fear of time. It has been found more in people living in prison as they fear the time goes by.

It is so common in a prison population that it is also sometimes known as ‘prison neurosis’.

The terminally ill patients also fear the time as it passes by because it is the symbol of death.

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that can disturb a person’s life miserably.

It includes panic like condition in which people suffering from this disorder experience a high amount of anxiety or panic-like condition from the mere thought of passing time. 

This fear of time can lead to serious difficulties in everyday life, as fear always makes a person lose a track of time which is basically harmful to the people.

It makes difficult for the people to stay focused.

This fear of time is very evident in the midst of a natural disaster or severe trauma, particularly if the daily routine has been seriously disrupted.

In the middle of epidemic as well as Quarantine, the fear of time increases and it takes the shape of phobia of time.


There is no particular cause that has been found so far for Chronophobia, but environmental factors and genetic factors are responsible for it as it is for almost all other phobias. 

If a person’s family history has had some anxiety or phobic disorder or as a matter of fact any mental disorder, it is more likely for the individual to develop Chronophobia.

Environmental factors as earlier described, during natural disasters, nationwide crisis, epidemic, Quarantine, etc. these situations occur the fear and if a child has experienced it in his childhood then there are chances that he had suffered from PTSD.

These traumas haunt a person to the core and it leads to the developer of a phobia.

There are chances that the person suffering from Chronophobia also suffers from GAD, OCD or Depression.

Or that person might develop any of these disorders as a comorbid disorder.


The symptoms depend on the severity of the phobia and the most common symptom would be panic attacks. 

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Severe anxiety with a mere thought of passing time 
  • Derealization, depersonalization
  • Breathlessness, choking sensations
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweating, nausea, fainting
  • Dizziness, restlessness, nervousness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Racing thoughts especially haunting thoughts
  • Panic attacks

There are chances that a person suffering from Chronophobia makes a conscious choice of how to spend their day.

These individuals have high chances of developing OCD as well.


There is no particular treatment that has been found for this phobia but a mixture of treatments that have been found helpful for the people suffering from phobia and anxiety can be helpful for Chronophobia as well.


  • Talk Therapy:

Talk therapy seems very simple and easy but it’s quite opposite. A person is about to talk about his weaknesses, it’s not easy at all.

But it sure does wonders to the client as once he lets out all the emotions, it becomes easy for him to focus on the bright side of life.

  • Relaxation Therapy:

Relaxation Therapy, on the other hand, can be very helpful with these patients as it helps in calming down the racing of thoughts.

JPMR helps a person in focusing on his breathing and his one muscle at a time, which helps the client in letting go of the negative thoughts of time or losing time and the focus stays on himself only.

This helps in the long run with acceptance.

  • Mindfulness:

Mindfulness might be a good choice for the patients with the fear of time, as the main purpose of mindfulness is to accept everything and being in the present.

It makes sure that a person’s senses are widened and opened. This will again help the client with acceptance.

  • CBT:

CBT is one of the best Therapy which focuses and challenges the negative automatic thoughts and it has proven to be helpful with all kinds of anxiety and phobias and it can be helpful with Chronophobia as well. 


  • Antidepressants:

These medicines are not only used for the patients suffering from depression or have a comorbidity of depression, but it also helps with the patients suffering from anxiety and phobias as well.

  • Anti-anxiety medicines:

These medicines help the client in controlling the symptoms of anxiety but it cannot cure the phobia.

To get a cure from phobia one has to mix the treatment of medications with psychotherapy.

Although one must not take any medication without consulting with the Doctor.


Time is ever-changing and nobody can control it and that is why it creates fear, but some have this fear more than others that is why they are categorized as having chronophobia.

This blog has briefly described Chronophobia. Then it has focused on the causes and symptoms of Chronophobia.

Then it has highlighted the treatment of Chronophobia, both psychotherapies, and medications.

Please feel free to comment or leave a suggestion below. We would really appreciate it.