Megalophobia is the morbid and irrational fear of large objects. Now, this is a pretty general definition, so here is a further explanation: the fear of “big things” could refer to a variety of objects, such as modes of transportation, animals, buildings, etc. Furthermore, the idea of something that is “large” could be considered
an opinion, which is why this phobia is so varied.
Generally, though, it is agreed that someone who has Megalophobia fears any object that is significantly greater in size than themselves. Although this is an opinion, the objects listed above are pretty safe bets as to what a person with this condition would fear.
Symptoms of Megalophobia
Symptoms of Megalophobia will vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors, but especially their level of fear towards large objects. General symptoms, however, typically include anxiety or feeling uncomfortable, especially around large objects or city environments, avoidance of areas which have large objects, feeling small, feeling out of control, delusions, hallucinations, and more.
Furthermore, if a person with Megalophobia is exposed to anything that is of a large size they could possibly experience a panic attack. These are roughly defined as heightened states of anxiety or terror which come along with their own symptoms. Symptoms of a panic attack include rapid heart rate, breathing difficulties, feeling a loss of control, tingling or numbness, excessive sweating, chills, and chest pain.
Causes of Megalophobia
Causes of Megalophobia will also vary from one person to another. However, it is a generally accepted theory that trauma, most often occurring during childhood, is usually the root of any phobia. Perhaps the person with Megalophobia got lost in a large city as a child. Or maybe they were attacked by a large animal, or what would appear to them to be a large animal.
Megalophobia could also be caused by other phobias or psychological problems. For instance, someone with Claustrophobia may feel very anxious or fearful of large objects because they would feel confined or closed in upon. Someone with a psychological disorder, who already experiences hallucinations or delusions, would also be very fearful of large objects.
Megalophobia also does not have to have any specific cause. Some people are just scared of or uncomfortable with items that are much larger than they are.
Treatment for Megalophobia
Treatments for Megalophobia, like symptoms and causes, are not consistent from one person to the next. However, there are some more common treatments which typically work for a majority of people with Megalophobia. To begin, therapy is a great place to start. Various types of therapy will work, both to treat the phobia and understand the cause of it. Although, with Megalophobia some types of therapy are more effective than others. For instance, shock or exposure therapy puts someone in an environment with large objects. This repeated exposure helps to desensitize the person, and eventually gets rid of the fear of large things.
Medication is also a great option for those who experience anxiety around large objects, especially for those who cannot help but be exposed to them. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications will both serve this purpose. Furthermore, some of these medications can be very helpful when dealing with a panic attack or its symptoms. Medication is also available to treat some of the physical symptoms, such as chest pain. Lastly, relaxation techniques also help.