Anthophobia does not describe the typical nature-hater. Of course, there are those out there that would prefer to be far away from nature and plants. However, some people take this hatred to the extreme. It turns into a morbid fear. Anthophobia is the phobia of flowers.
As is previously stated, phobias are a morbid and irrational fear to any one stimulus, in this case, flowers. Now, this phobia could also describe many different types of flowers. However, this is different from the fear of plants in general, which is known as Botanophobia.
What are the symptoms of Anthophobia?
While the symptoms of anything; disease, mental illness, etc., affect everyone differently, people who have phobias generally exert the same symptoms. While there are no symptoms caused from a phobia directly, the fear and mental status of the person when the stimulus presents itself cause very specific effects.
Anthophobia symptoms present in both physical and mental forms. Overall, Anthophobia’s biggest symptom is an irrational and excessive fear or feeling of dread whenever flowers are present.
In severe cases, the presence of flowers may cause an onset of a full blown panic attack. These are what really include both physical and mental symptoms. Physical symptoms include rapid heart beat, tingling or numbness in the extremities, excessive sweating, chills, chest pain, nausea, loss of speech, and difficulty breathing. Mental symptoms, on the other hand, include general fear or anxiety, a sense of impending doom, terror, or feeling as though one has completely lost control of themselves or the situation.
Anthophobia sufferers may also feel weak, faint, or dizzy whenever they are around flowers, see flowers, smell flowers, etc.
What are the causes of Anthophobia?
Anthophobia, or any other type of phobia, is most often caused from past trauma. A person may have experienced trauma directly because of the flowers themselves. However, flowers may have also been present at the time of trauma, perhaps seeing a horror movie as a child. In this case, a strong, although incorrect, association is made between flowers and fear.
Furthermore, many people suffer from pollen and/or flower allergies. These people have physical symptoms that are completely unrelated to fear, but that may be very severe. Of course, anything that is potentially threatening to a person’s health will be viewed as a feared object. Situations like this may lead to a legitimate flower phobia.
However, trauma and ill health effects are not the only causes of Anthophobia. Phobias can be caused by any number of mental health problems, physical health problems, traumatic events, etc.
How does one treat Anthophobia?
Just as is the case with symptoms and causes, treatment will effect everyone differently. No one treatment is perfect for everyone, so it is extremely important to determine the most effective for the unique individual.
However, some general treatments are common for phobia sufferers. For instance, various forms of therapy may do the trick. Simply talking with a professional may help dive into the root of the problem. Hypnosis or other forms of verbal therapy are also helpful. One other form of therapy, known either as shock therapy or exposure therapy, work by putting the person within close proximity to flowers in order to desensitize them and lower their level of fear.
For others, such as people with allergies, common medications can help alleviate some of the ill health effects and, therefore, lower the fear level. Medications are also available to help alleviate anxiety and other symptoms of fear or panic attacks.
To summarize, Anthophobia is the phobia of flowers. This can be caused by a variety of factors and comes, depending on the individual and level of severity, with many different symptoms. Most importantly, again, many treatments are available, but not all will work for every individual.