Hagiophobia (A complete guide)

This article will brief about Hagiophobia. Then it will focus on the symptoms and causes of hagiophobia.

Later it will highlight Treatment methods, both psychotherapies, and medications.


Hagiophobia refers to the irrational fear of saints or holy things.

People suffering from this can experience a very high amount of anxiety and even panic strikes from just mere thought of saints or holy things.

Having a full-blown panic strikes as a result of Hagiophobia can have high blood pressure, muscle tension, trembling, sweating, nausea to name a few symptoms.

People suffering from Hagiophobia try to avoid their fear by ensuring that they are not exposed to anything holy or saints in any way.

For example, people with this condition may refuse to go to churches or any other place that reminds them of holy or have any sign of it.


Anxiety and panic strikescan be seen as the most prominent symptom of their condition.

Based on the severity of the strikes, they may also get hospitalized. Though this is different for every individual and depends on many factors.

Some common symptom is:

  • Anxiety or Panic strikes with mere thoughts of saints or holy things
  • Constantly avoiding holy places
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle tension and sweating/trembling


There is no definite or particular cause for Hagiophobia, although genetics and the environment play an important role in this.

If a person’s family has a history of anxiety disorder or phobias, there are high chances of that person to develop a phobia including Hagiophobia. 

Some emotionally painful memory of traumatic events in the past also plays an important role in it.

For example, a person has witnessed some sort of evil happenings or witnessed any exorcism or had seen some horrible movie which included scenes of the holy places or saints.

These experiences impact a person’s mind and can lead to developing a phobia.


As there is no definite cause of Hagiophobia, similarly there is no definite treatment for Hagiophobia.

But the treatments which are useful for anxiety disorders and phobias can be helpful with Hagiophobia as well.


  • Exposure Therapy:

It is one of the most common and effective therapy with patients suffering from anxiety and phobias.

In this, the therapist slowly exposes the thing which the individual fears.

In this case, it is holy places or saints, starting with showing pictures of the places or saints, then videos, followed by sitting inside the place or meeting a saint.

This way the therapist desensitizes the fear of holy places or saints.

  • CBT:

CBT is another very common therapy that is used for GAD and OCD patients.

It may also be effective for conditions like Hagiophobia as well.

It works by helping the patient to uncover why do they behave, think and feel the way they do with regards to a particular fear or concern they have.

Psychiatric Medications:

  • Anti-anxiety medications:

These medications are very helpful in preventing panic strikes and anxiety issues. It is very helpful when the condition is very severe.

Some common anti-anxiety medications are Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, etc.

These medications should be taken only in the supervision of a medical professional.

  • Antidepressants:

These medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders such as Hagiophobia.

Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.

These types of drugs are taken on a daily basis and can be helpful in preventing panic strikes and daily anxiety issues.

But always consider consulting a psychiatrist first before starting or stopping any medications.


This blog defined about Hagiophobia. Then it focused on the symptoms and causes of hagiophobia.

Later it highlighted Treatment methods, both psychotherapies, and medications.

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