One of the unusual phobias that exist is the hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, which refers to the fear of long words. It is experienced by people who have irrational and persistent fears when they encounter long words.
This phobia can affect the daily lifestyle of the person who has it, and it can provoke panic attacks like sweating, irregular heartbeat and breathing, and at times nausea. Experiencing panic attacks can be quite embarrassing and some may not even know that they have it. For better understanding, you should know the signs and symptoms and talk it out with your doctor.
Here is how to pronounce the 14 syllable word hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia:
Symptoms of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Symptoms may vary for every person but here are the most common symptoms of hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia:
• Uncontrollable anxiety
• Feeling of trying to avoid long words as much as possible.
• Inability to function correctly or normally.
• Feeling powerless in controlling these fears.
One should also remember that symptoms may differ depending on the mental, physical and emotional factors. Other symptoms include:
• Trouble breathing
• Inconstant and racing pulse rate
• Accelerated heart rate
• Trembling or shaking
• Hot flashes
• Extreme fear
• Lack of control or out of control behaviors
• Extreme embarrassment
• Feeling like choking
Causes and Risk Factors for Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
This fear may have been acquired through past negative experiences, but there is also the possibility that the mind created the fear. Those who are at higher risk of developing this phobia are:
• People with high strung characteristics
• Those who are suffering with adrenal insufficiency
• People with tendency for fear or anxiety
Treatment for Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (Medication)
There are numerous pills and medications available in the market to treat phobias like hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, and mostly are anti-anxiety drugs such as anti-depressants, benzodiazepines and beta blockers.
• Anti-depressants – this type of medication is helpful for patients who just went through deep depression or a debilitating state. Some of the famous and approved anti-depressants are Effexor, Paxil and Zoloft.
• Benzodiazepines – these are really fast acting anti-anxiety pills. You should be aware though that they are also addictive. They are usually prescribed when all other medications haven’t worked.
• Beta blockers – they are used for the relief of performance anxiety. They work as blockers of adrenaline flow especially when you are anxious. This medication can help control physical symptoms like sweating, shaking of hands and voice, and rapid heartbeat.
Though drugs are truly effective in managing the symptoms, but they cannot truly cure the fear.
Therapy for Hippotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Medications are only for short term relief but don’t really treat the problem itself. Aside from taking drugs, individuals with this phobia also need to undergo therapy such as the following:
• Behavioral therapy – is a one on one session with a trained therapist that usually involves exposure and relaxation techniques and gradual desensitization to help patients learn how to tolerate their anxiety.
• Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – this rehabilitation method involves doing exercises to alter inappropriate thinking patterns and the behavior that have developed from them.
• Exposure therapy – is a therapy that usually puts the patient in stressful scenarios which involves his/her particular fear and teaching the patient to learn to overcome it.
• Relaxation therapy – this involves visualization and breathing control.
There are plenty of techniques that can be employed, but only a few can truly cure hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. But with a great therapist and complete dedication, encountering very long words is as easy as A-B-C.