Fear of Flowers Phobia - Anthophobia

Anthophobia fear of flowers

Anthophobia is a serious fear of flowers. Learn what causes anthophobia, the symptoms, and how anthophobia is treated.

Table of content

  1. Definition
  2. Causes
  3. Symptoms
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Treatment
  6. Facts

Fear is a natural human emotion. It involves a universal biochemical response as well as a high individual emotional response. Fear alerts us to the presence of danger or the threat of harm, whether that danger is physical or psychological or irrational, phobia.

Sometimes fear stems from real threats, but it can also originate from imagined dangers. Fear can also be a symptom of some mental health conditions including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We were born with only two fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear we have learned whilst growing up.

This means that a phobia is something we have learnt from somewhere or someone. Stressed emotions of any kind are a result of our perceptions. Our perceptions are the result of our life experiences and the meaning we place upon them.

So if you have a fear of flowers then the fear you feel is a result of your perceptions about flowers. Your perceptions about flowers are a result of all your life experiences with them and the meaning you have attached to those experiences. Any cures for anxiety in regards to phobias must involve the changing of perceptions.

Flower Phobia, or rather Anthophobia, is a not too common and learned fear harboured by mostly youngsters.

Meanwhile, living with a phobia can be challenging. Even if the feared object or situation does not regularly appear in your daily life, you may find that a lot of your time is spent worrying that it may appear or figuring out how to avoid it. In fact, by definition, a phobia is something that interferes with your life.

Phobias like anthophobia fear of flowers can interfere with your day-to-day life. If you notice anxiety, fear, or panic when you’re near flowers, it might be time to talk with a mental health expert who can diagnose and treat this phobia.

In this article, we will look into the meaning of anthophobia, the possible causes of this fear, anthophobia symptoms; possible anthophobia diagnosis, treatment and several approaches. We will also consider facts about anthophobia and few more details with relevant resources.

Anthophobia definition

Anthophobia meaning and definition

Anthophobia is simply fear of flowers; an irrational or disproportionate fear of flowers.

Anthophobia : An abnormal and persistent fear of flowers. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize they face no threat from flowers.

Any genus or species of flowers can instill fear, as can any flower part, such as a petal or stem.

Anthophobia is the abnormal fear of flowers. Some people have phobias, which are ”fears associated with specific objects or activities.”

These abnormal (unusual) fears are typically considered irrational (not based on reason) because the object of the fear isn’t usually harmful. Often, these fears are formed around a traumatic event.

The word anthophobia was recorded first in the year 1915–20; that is, antho- and -phobia.

Antho- : forming words relating to flowers while, -phobia means fear of.

People with anthophobia may or may not be afraid of all flowers or fear only one or more specific type of flowers. This condition is considered rare but is a type of specific phobia, conditions that, as a whole, are relatively common.

To some extent, specific phobia is estimated to impact around 7% to 10% of adults in the United States each year. Specific phobia is an anxiety disorder that encompasses any extreme, overwhelming, or unreasonable fear of a specific situation or object that poses no or minimal real danger, such as dogs, spiders, public speaking, heights, scissors, or seeing blood.

Anthophobia causes

What are the causes of anthophobia

Anthophobia fear of flowers, as most phobia is caused by negative worry which arises from anxiety accompanied by a subjective sense of apprehension or dread.

Irrational fear such as anthophobia "fear of flowers" shares a common neural pathway with other fears, a pathway that engages the nervous system to mobilize bodily resources in the face of danger or threat.

Many people are scared of "flowers". The unreasonable fear which can branch out to many areas such as the hereafter, the next ten years or even tomorrow.

Meanwhile, chronic unreasonable fear has deleterious effects since the elicitor stimulus is commonly absent or perceived from delusions.

Such phobia or fear can create comorbidity with the anxiety disorder umbrella. Being scared may cause people to experience anticipatory fear of what may lie ahead rather than planning and evaluating for the same.

Major causes of anthophobia (fear of flowers) include mainly behavioural, emotional and cognitive causes.

The key behavioural characteristic of anthophobia fear is avoidance. If a person with anthophobia is presented with the object or situation they fear (flower in this case), their immediate response is to avoid it.

However, people are not always able to avoid their fears and sometimes they come face-to-face with an object or situation they fear, which results in panic, causing high levels of stress and anxiety.

The pivotal emotional causes of anthophobia, are excessive and unreasonable fear, anxiety and panic. An emotional response is triggered by the presence, or the anticipation of, a specific object or situation, which is excessive in relation to the danger actually posed.

The cognitive causes of anthophobia are: selective attention and irrational beliefs towards it.

If a person with a phobia is presented with an object or situation they fear, they will find it difficult to direct their attention elsewhere.

Therefore, a person’s selective attention will cause them to become fixated on the object they fear, because of their irrational beliefs about the danger posed.

More so, a person’s phobia is defined by their irrational thinking towards the object or situation.

However, various causes of anthophobia include the followings:

  • Personal safety
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Work Status
  • Education or ignorance
  • Region of the country
  • Previous knowledge
  • Political Preference
  • Religion
  • Certain specific objects or situations (spiders, snakes, heights, flying, etc)
  • Future events and Imagined events
  • Environmental dangers
  • The unknown
  • Death
  • Culture
  • Mythology
Anthophobia symptoms

Symptoms of anthophobia

People who have a specific phobia, including anthophobia, may experience the following symptoms when exposed to, anticipating, or just thinking about the object of their phobia.

The most common symptom of anthophobia, is an anxiety or panic attack whenever the person sees or thinks about flowers.

Phobias, in general, may cause you to feel a sense of impending doom and complete powerlessness over the situation.

Anthophobia (fear of flowers) symptoms can have physical symptoms of fear as well as psychological. People may experience psychological symptoms of being overwhelmed, upset, and/or feeling out of control.

If you have a fear of flowers, you may feel or experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Avoidance of anxiety-inducing situations
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Choking feeling or difficulty breathing
  • Excessive fear
  • Heart palpitations
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Panic attacks
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Trembling, dizziness, or fainting
  • Urge to escape or avoidance
  • Uncomfortableness
  • Lack of Concentrating
  • Being quick tempered
  • Aches
  • Sudden Fatigue
  • Dry and Sticky mouth
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach upsets

Anthophobia symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.

Unfortunately, for the sufferer of fear of flowers, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the phobia rather than solve it!

Fear of flowers or Anthophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.

Over time, the anthophobia symptoms often become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “I’ve learnt to live with it.

In just as many cases, Anthophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated safety behaviours and routines are developed.

Anthophobia diagnosis

Anthophobia Diagnosis

As with the case of anthophobia, when diagnosing a phobia, mental health professionals must use clinical skills and judgment alongside the written list of diagnostic criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5, 5th Edition).

Many of the symptoms of phobias are very similar to those of other mental disorders as well as physical illnesses. A phobia can be defined as an intense and irrational fear. There are three types of phobias, as defined by the DSM-5: specific phobia , social phobia , and agoraphobia . Each type of phobia has its own unique diagnostic criteria.

Anthophobia needs to be diagnosed by a trained mental health professional who can also develop a treatment plan by evaluating the intensity of the fear and the adverse effects the phobia has on your everyday life.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing persistent and excessive feelings of fear. Your doctor may conduct a physical exam and perform lab tests to ensure that your fear and anxiety are not linked to an underlying medical condition.

Your doctor will also ask questions about your symptoms including how long you've been having them, their intensity, and situations that tend to trigger them. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may diagnose you with a type of anxiety disorder, such as a phobia.

A specific phobia involves intense fear of a specific object or situation. In order for a specific phobia to be diagnosed, one or more objects or situations must be identified as the cause of fear.

By the way, there are five different types of specific phobias: the natural/environmental type (such as hurricanes and lightning), the injury type (such as injections, or dental work), the animal type (such as dogs, snakes, or spiders), the situational type (such as enclosed spaces or driving), and the other type (such as choking or loud noises).

People with specific phobias often have other anxiety disorders as well, making it difficult to accurately pinpoint the diagnosis.

Anthophobia treatment

Coping and treating anthophobia

To eliminate anxiety from a particular phobia you must work with the unconscious mind to release any negative emotion that have been linked to any past experiences with the trigger object.

When you ask what does phobia mean it is simply the result of the unconscious mind having paired intense levels of fear with the object of the phobia. To call a phobia a disorder of any kind is to infer that there is something wrong the mental processes of the person involved.

A phobia is just a result a person is producing. They had the required life experiences and applied the necessary meaning to those experiences to allow them to produce that result. Although we can not go back and change the life experiences we can change the meaning we have applied to those experiences. This creates an automatic change in perception which allows us to change results and gain anxiety attacks relief.

To change the meaning we have attached to a particular life experience we must release the negative emotion that has been stored with it. Whenever a particular memory is triggered the mind sends the signal to the relevant organs of the body so that you can feel the emotions paired with that memory. In the case of a traumatic memory, whenever this trigger/response process it is effectively recreating and adding evidence to the original trauma. Unless you do something to interrupt this trigger/response mechanism you are destined to keep repeating the past.

Now, let's check out often reported approaches in treating and coping with the fear of flowers below.

Pharmaceutical approach

A drug treatment for fear conditioning and phobias via the amygdalae is the use of glucocorticoids. In one study, glucocorticoid receptors in the central nuclei of the amygdalae were disrupted in order to better understand the mechanisms of fear and fear conditioning.

The glucocorticoid receptors were inhibited using lentiviral vectors containing Cre-recombinase injected into mice. Results showed that disruption of the glucocorticoid receptors prevented conditioned fear behavior. The mice were subjected to auditory cues which caused them to freeze normally.

However, a reduction of freezing was observed in the mice that had inhibited glucocorticoid receptors.

Psychological approach

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been successful in helping people overcome their fear. Because fear is more complex than just forgetting or deleting memories , an active and successful approach involves people repeatedly confronting their fears. By confronting their fears in a safe manner a person can suppress the "fear-triggering memories" or stimuli.

Exposure therapy has known to have helped up to 90% of people with specific phobias to significantly decrease their fear over time. Another psychological treatment is systematic desensitization, which is a type of behavior therapy used to completely remove the fear or produce a disgusted response to this fear and replace it. The replacement that occurs will be relaxation and will occur through conditioning. Through conditioning treatments, muscle tensioning will lessen and deep breathing techniques will aid in de-tensioning.

Other treatment approaches

There are other methods for treating or coping with one's fear, such as writing down rational thoughts regarding fears. Journal entries are a healthy method of expressing one's fears without compromising safety or causing uncertainty. Another suggestion is a fear ladder. To create a fear ladder, one must write down all of their fears and score them on a scale of one to ten. Next, the person addresses their phobia, starting with the lowest number.

Finding solace in religion is another method to cope with one's fear. Having something to answer your questions regarding your fears, such as, what happens after death or if there is an afterlife, can help mitigate one's fear of death because there is no room for uncertainty as their questions are answered. Religion offers a method of being able to understand and make sense of one's fears rather than ignore them.

Anthophobia fun facts

Few facts about anthophobia

  1. Anthophobia is the fear of flowers
  2. The part of the brain responsible for triggering weird phobias is the amygdala.
  3. Individuals with a parent or a close relative suffering from specific phobias are likelier to develop the same phobia.
  4. Nearly 15 to 20 percent of us experience specific phobias at least once in our lives.
  5. Only 20 percent of patients who seek treatment for phobias recover completely.
  6. Phobias can be divided into specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia.
  7. Specific phobias include those to certain animals, natural environment situations, blood or injury, and specific situations.
  8. Women are twice as likely to develop a phobia compared to men.
  9. 3% of the world’s population is affected by some or the other phobia.
  10. Nearly 8.7% of people in the U.S. aged 18 or over have at least one specific phobia.
  11. Around 75% of those with phobias have multiple phobias.
  12. Phobias may be passed down in your DNA
  13. Medications are not useful for specific phobias.
  14. The number one phobia in the world is Arachnophobia or fear of spiders, followed by Ophidiophobia, fear of snakes.
  15. Social phobia is the third largest mental health care problem in the world.
  16. Phobias can be formed as a natural part of development of the child.
  17. There are more than 400 phobias
  18. Phobia treatment methods include systematic desensitization , progressive relaxation, virtual reality, modeling, medication and hypnotherapy.
  19. A fear and a phobia are not the same thing
  20. Stress hormone helps in extinction of fear.
  21. The fear of having a phobia is called phobophobia.

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