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Pyrophobia: Do You Have It & How To Manage It?

Pyrophobia is one of the most frequent phobias that involve fear of fire. This phobia can become so intense that it may affect a person’s cognitive function and daily life. It is also a type of anxiety disorder. Although it may pose no danger to someone in the present situation but may keep a person in constant anxiety and fear which greatly affects a person’s mental health. 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Sudden feelings of intense fear when speaking about, thinking about or nearby a fire. 
  • an inability to control feelings of fear 
  • avoiding situations where fire may be present or occur
  • difficulty functioning or carrying out day-to-day activities 

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  • rapid breathing or shortness of breath 
  • fast heartbeat
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • tightness in chest
  • trembling or shaking
  • nausea
  • feeling dizzy 

Causes:

There can be many causes of phobia, which can be difficult to pinpoint. Here are some suggestions.

A negative experience

Pyrophobia may begin with a bad experience around a fire, such as being caught in a fire, being burned, or losing someone close to you or something dear to fire. 

Genetics or learned behaviour

It has been studied that specific phobias may run in families across generations, but it is still unclear that whether it is genetic or learned. 

Treatment Options

Medications

In worse cases of pyrophobia, medications are used to help reduce the anxiety symptoms. People who have a specific phobia can treat their fear and anxiety when given the right treatment. Doctors may prescribe medicines, which you can get from online pharmacies, to help reduce anxiety and fear symptoms and also to relax the mind in case of panic.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy works by making people confronting their fears. It uses repetitive, gradual exposure to the thing which is feared. This helps the person manage their feelings of panic or anxiety.

If you have pyrophobia, the exposure therapy may involve:

  • Viewing videos or pictures of fire
  • Talking or thinking about fire
  • Being around a fire at a safe distance
  • Getting in close proximity to a fire

There are very few variations in exposure therapy. The method discussed above is called graded exposure. Another variation of exposure therapy is called flooding, which works with exposing the person to the most difficult task first.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy is mostly used in combination with exposure therapy. It involves learning strategies to manage a person’s anxiety and fear.

During CBT, you will work closely with a therapist who will help you understand how your thought patterns result in triggering anxiety. Also, the therapist will suggest strategies to change these thought patterns to eliminate your fears. 

Throughout therapy, the therapist will work on ways to instigate the idea in your mind that the entity you fear poses no actual danger to you. You will also learn strategies to stay calm whenever you are close to a fire. Many strategies are helpful such as controlled breathing or meditation.