Iophobia (A complete guide)

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

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


Iophobia refers to the irrational fear of poison. 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 mere thoughts of poison.

People suffering from Iophobia make conscious efforts in order to stay away from anything and everything that might contain poison or might be toxic.

For example, people might avoid using bug sprays or cockroach killers as these products are toxic and are poisonous and it will be harmful if humans inhale or consume.

CAUSES OF Iophobia:

There is no particular cause that has been found so far for Iophobia, 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 Iophobia.

Environmental factors might include childhood experiences and trauma where the child must have either inhaled or consumed poison or have seen a loved one affected or died because of the poison.

These life experiences are horrible and may develop PTSD as well as Iophobia.

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

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


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

This phobia is considered to be an exaggerated version of phobias and people suffering from this phobia also consider it to be so but when the situation occurs the anxiety is unable to control.

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Severe anxiety with a mere thought of poison 
  • Muscle tension, body aches
  • Breathlessness, choking sensations
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweating, nausea, fainting
  • Dizziness, restlessness, nervousness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Avoidance of things that contain slightest of toxin or poison

There are chances that a person suffering from Iophobia makes a conscious choice of what things to be bought and what things have to be kept out home.

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 Iophobia 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.

  • Exposure Therapy:

Although exposure therapy is one of the best therapy for anxiety and phobias it’s a bit tricky in this case.

In this case, the therapist might start with the imagination of things that contain poison or toxic substance near the person, then he might show images of it and finally keep a bottle of it next to the person till his anxiety provokes.

This way the individual slowly desensitizes with the fear.

  • 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 being forgotten 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 poison 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 Iophobia 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.


This blog has briefly been described about Iophobia. Then it has focused on the causes and symptoms of Iophobia.

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

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