Microphobia is the fear of small things. The origin of the word comes from the Greek word micro (meaning small) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear).
Microphobia is considered to be a specific phobia. Microphobia is also known as Mikrophobia or Mycrophobia and the opposite of Megalophobia (fear of large things).
In this article we will discuss Microphobia.
It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics).
Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age.
Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time.
It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of phobias.
Microphobia is not restricted to just being afraid of bacteria and viruses, but it can include a fear of anything that is tiny in size.
Although many people who suffer from microphobia realize and admit that their fears are irrational, they often cannot avoid extreme anxiety or even an anxiety crisis when faced with feared stimuli, or even simply by thinking about them.
Each case of microphobia is different, since the thought patterns, images and internal dialogue associated with small objects is different in each person.
However, although “internal representations” vary by person, there are several symptoms that are common in many microphobia:
- Anxiety when thinking of small things.
- Constantly avoiding small things.
- Unable to cope with their anxiety.
- Muscle tension, shakiness and sweating.
- May experience panic attacks.
A person who suffers from microphobia often experiences intense fear and anxiety when they are in the presence of small things that they fear, which can lead to panic attacks or anxiety.
This phobia can be quite debilitating, as they tend to fear objects such as germs, which are unable to see, but could be anywhere.
As a result, they have to make a constant effort to avoid them.
Their fear of dirt and germs can become so intense that they could become the symptoms of another phobia called Misophobia: the fear of dirt and germs.
Some symptoms that people with microphobia may experience include intense anxiety, fear, chills, increased heart rate, loss of control, sweating, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty breathing.
A behavioral symptom of these people is avoidance, typical of all phobias.
These people avoid many things that are small in size.
The fear can be so intense that the person with microphobia may not want to leave his house to avoid any risk of having contact with these things that he fears.
Some mental symptoms can be obsessive thoughts, difficulty thinking about other things that are not the feared object, feelings of unreality or being separated from oneself (derealization / depersonalization) and fear of fainting.
Emotional symptoms are also included, such as anticipatory anxiety, which consists of a persistent concern about upcoming events that involve small objects.
These people also feel an incapacitating fear and a desire to escape from situations in which there may be objects that they fear.
People suffering from this disorder suffer from an inability to function normally in their daily lives due to their anxiety.
They tend to be aware that the fears they have are completely exaggerated or unreasonable, but they feel that they cannot control them.
Note: The symptoms of microphobia can occur comorbidly with other phobias.
Most experts believe that the causes of this phobia are found in a combination between a biochemical imbalance in the brain, which can be genetic as well as environmental factors.
If someone has a family history of mental illness (especially of anxiety disorders or specific phobias) then may have a higher chance of developing microphobia.
This may be due to having genetic predisposition to developing mental illness in general.
If someone was to have such genetics then it may only require that it may require some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown microphobia in some way may be enough for someone to develop this condition insofar as they have the proper genetics.
An example of an environmental factor can be a frightening experience with the object or objects feared, so that an association has been produced between the experience and the object.
The fear of microphobia itself may also have been learned through observation. Fear of some object may occur after observing someone else who has that fear.
The possibility that the phobia develops often depends on the confidence one has in the person who fears the object.
If you have a lot of confidence in that person, there is a better chance that you will adopt your point of view regarding what to fear and what not to fear.
The fear of small or almost imperceptible things, visibly, could be a reflection of the fear of the unknown that most human beings suffer.
There are no treatments that are specifically designed for this condition but there are also so many treatments that can help to significantly improve many of the symptoms of Microphobia.
Before undergoing any type of therapy, it is convenient to go see a psychologist.
He will be able to advise you on the best type of therapy that fits you and on the prognosis of the disorder.
Some of the professionals that can help treat phobiasThese professionals can help people suffering from microphobia to deal with it and understand what causes the problem, so that it can be solved.
Here are some of the treatments that are recommended to treat microphobia:
- Exposure Therapy
It is one of the most common forms of treatment for people suffering from phobias.
It works by having the therapist gradually expose the patient to their fear over a given period of time.
With regards to microphobia, the therapist may start off by exposing the patient to small things and then eventually having small things in their session together for the patient to observe.
This would all be an attempt to help desensitize the patient to their fear by repetitively exposing them to it.
Theoretically the more someone is exposed to something they fear, the less it will bother them over time.
It is another very common form of treatment that is often used to help people from suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder among other conditions.
Moreover it may also be effective at helping to treat people suffering from phobias like microphobia as well.
CBT helps the patient by having the therapist help the patient to uncover why it is that they think, feel and behave the way they do with regards to a particular fear or concern they have. \
- Energy psychology
The energy psychology is a type of therapy that uses various techniques such as acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, prana and energy medicine, which teach people to take simple steps to make big changes in their lives.
These techniques stimulate energy points on the surface of the skin that, when paired with certain psychological procedures, can change the electrochemistry of the brain.
This type of therapy is still in an area of considerable controversy, but, apparently, it can help a lot when it comes to dealing with phobias.
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
The Neuro Linguistic Programming is basically the study and practice of how we create our reality, each of us.
The most basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect an unconscious, internal perception of our problems.
If these words and perceptions are not accurate, they can create an underlying problem as long as we continue to use them and believe them.
Our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that, once made, is in itself the same cause that it becomes a reality.
In this type of therapy, a neuro-linguistic therapist will analyze every word and phrase you use when you describe your symptoms or concerns about your health.
He or she will examine your facial expressions and body movements.After determining the problems that exist in your perception, the therapist will help you understand the origin of them.
The therapist will help you reshape your thoughts and mental associations to fix or improve your preconceived notions.
These preconceived notions may be preventing you from achieving the success you deserve.
In addition to all the types of therapy described above, there are psychotropic drugs that, while not “curing” this disorder, mitigate the intensity of the symptoms.
It is imperative that the person combine the pharmacological treatment with some type of therapy.
To treat the symptoms of the anxiety produced by the microphobia, serotonin reuptakers may be prescribed.
Some antidepressants help relieve the obsessive thoughts that phobias can cause.
The medicinal compounds do not treat the disease, but the symptoms, and should only be used in extreme cases of anxiety.
Benzodiazepines are drugs that help calm the nervous system of the person.
In this way, they are useful to prevent or alleviate panic attacks, as well as symptoms of these such as dizziness, breathing difficulties and chest pain.
They can also reduce the worries that the person suffers around the feared object.
There are some of the expanded treatments that might also help curing this phobia:
- Psychiatric medications for Microphobia(Anti-Anxiety Meds, Anti-depressants)
- Mindfulness-Based stress reduction for microphobia (MBSR)
- Meditation for Microphobia
- yoga for microphobia
- Exercise for microphobia
- Caffine Reduction for microphobia
- Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
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The microphobia is an intense fear that can cause a person a huge amount of stress and anxiety, and can make it complicated to socialize with others or even keep the responsibilities involved in a job.
Do not underestimate the influence of a phobia such as microphobia when it comes to altering a person’s life; This type of disorder can change the life of the sufferer.
What we recommend for Phobias
- If you are suffering from Phobias then ongoing professional counselling could 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.
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.
FAQs about Microphobia
What is Microphobia?
Microphobia Is an example of a specific phobia. It is characterized by pathological (extreme, persistent, and irrational) fear and/or anxiety toward small things.
2. What are the behavioral symptoms of Microphobia?
Behavioral symptom of this phobia among people is avoidance.
3. What are the causes of Microphobia?
Genetic or Environmental factors can be a cause of microphobia.
What are the effective therapies to treat Microphobia?
CBT and Exposure therapy are the effective therapies.
Does medication help to treat Microphobia?
Treating the phobia with pharmacological treatment is the very effective way to treat this.