In this blog we will deliberate on the very common phobia of the number 666, called Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia; its causes, symptoms and treatment.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is a fear of the number 666. Although it is just a number, for 2,000 years it holds significance and has been a source of fear in numerous people.
It is considered as the Devil’s number and this is what has been the reason for this phobia to develop over the years.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia has its origin from the Greek word ‘hexiekatohexintahexi’ meaning six hundred and sixty six and ‘phobos’ meaning deep fear or aversion.
Devil and his disciples have always been a source of anxiety and fear in many. This number has a lot of superstition associated with it.
Causes of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
Due to the hype created by the association with Satan this mere 666 number has left many so afraid that people do not live in addresses with this number.
In Christanity it is considered to be a sign of the Anti Christ or Satan.
There is a Biblical verse in Apocalypse that states that 666 is the number of the Beast, thus creating a mass hysteria that has been going on for quite many years now.
There are numerous movies and books that have consolidated this fear in the minds of the people.
Even these pop culture mediums show at length the hype of cult shown with the number.
This instills the fear of the number itself, where the sufferer starts getting afraid of the number itself.
This irrational fear of just a number also embarrrrases the sufferer, where he can only refrain himself from being exposed to it. He starts avoiding and develops an aversion to the number 6 too.
Other causes can be as follow:
• Learned behavior
• Traumatic experiences
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.
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.
Symptoms of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
To avoid the experience of anxiety itself the individual may develop Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia , so as to avoid the very cause of the uncomfortable condition.
Even the image of 666 brings about the symptoms with an intensity that reels the sufferer.
These are intense and can begin without any prior warning.
The person suffering from Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia experiences the full physical intensity of either all of these or some of these in combination with others.
- shortness of breath a choking sensation
- rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- feeling faint
- dry mouth
- ringing in ears
- raised blood pressure
The Psychological Symptoms
During panic attack the person suffering from Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia may experience the following
- fear of being confronted or hoaxed by the Devil
- feelings of dread
- fear of dying
- fear of losing control
- fear of harm
- feeling of disconnect
- lack of concentration
- mood swings
Treatments of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
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.
3) Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP)
In this therapy the client is asked to
- Access the phobia in a safe environment.
- Help them to replay the phobia along with happy emotions.
- 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!
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 666 a bad m=omen?
No. 666 is just a number that follows 665 and precedes 667 like any other number.
What is the fear of the number 666?
The fear of the number 666 is called Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
It is an irrational fear that relates it to Satan.
Is 666 the number of the beast?
No. 666 is not the number of the beast, but just a simple number.
Who is Satan?
Satan is another name for the Devil.
Titles to Read
- Powerful Calm, Release Anxiety, Stress, Worry & Fear: Train Your Mind with Energizing Music & Affirmations
by Jupiter Productions, Anna Thompson, et al.
- How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook
by Lee Crutchley and Oliver Burkeman | May 5, 2015
- Train the Brave: Tame Your Fear, Take the Chance, Dare to Live Big (Be Your Best)
by Margie Warrell
- Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic
by Reneau Peurifoy
Examples of other interesting phobias