The fear of flowers, or Anthophobia, is the extreme, often irrational fear of flowers called Anthophobia. Anthophobia combines two Greek words: anthos, which means flowers, and Phobos, which means fear or deep aversion.
Excessive fear of flowers is often confused with fear of nature. However, anthophobia is different; the person who suffers from it is only afraid of flowers and not of trees or plants. However, most aerophobic individuals still stay away from nature, especially flowering plants and trees. But usually, they are only morbidly afraid of flowers. As such, flower phobia is rare and affects only a few people worldwide.
You might also like to read: Fear Of Magic: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments.
Causes of fear of flowers
- Like most fears, extreme fear of flowers is a learned experience.
- Repeated flower-related events such as bees or wasps stinging a child (due to flowers in the garden) can cause the child to learn negative things about flowers.
- This creates negative thought patterns in the child’s mind.
- Just as a child is afraid of touching a hot object after burning his hands, the fear of flowers is permanently etched in his mind.
- Flowers are often associated with funerals.
- A child who has lost a family member may suddenly develop an excessive fear of flowers due to such traumatic events.
- Sometimes the mere presence of flowers while watching a horror movie can lead to a permanent fear of flowers.
- Some cases of Anthophobia are inexplicable; a person suddenly develops fear and forgets the root cause of why it arose in the first place.
- Irresistible fear then becomes part of the individual’s personality and, as a reflex action, one cannot control it.
- People with severe seasonal allergies could also develop anthophobia due to the extreme symptoms they cause in them.
- Other mental disorders/anxieties, physical illnesses, and deficiencies can also cause fear of flower phobia.
Symptoms of Antophobia
- Anthophobia can cause several symptoms, including
- An all-out panic attack when seeing or thinking of flowers.
- This includes a racing heart, sweaty palms, fast/racing breathing, tremors, etc.
- These symptoms can arise in the thought and not only in the vision of the flowers.
- Fear of impending doom, thoughts of death or dying, or feeling utterly powerless in a situation are other emotional symptoms associated with anthophobia.
- Friends and family members are often unsympathetic towards the individual, which could lead to feelings of isolation or depression.
- Sometimes the phobic can avoid going out, picnics, visits to the gardens, or even funerals and weddings/parties where flowers are generally present.
- This can make them tease them or make fun of them.
Overcome the fear of flowers
- Because different people are affected differently by fear of flower phobia, treatment options vary. If the anxiety about flowers affects one’s day to day, one should seek the help of an experienced psychotherapist.
- Many treatment options are available today, including cognitive behavioral therapy and gradual exposure or systematic desensitization therapies.
- The latter includes putting the phobic near the flowers to help him control anxiety and desensitize him.
- Some cases can be helped simply by talking to a therapist or through group therapy sessions where other phobics express their fears and how they are coping with them.
- If seasonal allergies are causing the phobia, one can get prescription drugs to alleviate those symptoms.
- Medications that reduce anxiety are also available to reduce panic attacks experienced due to Anthophobia.
- These should be used sparingly.
- Hypnotherapy is another option that can help get to the bottom of the antofobia and overcome it.
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.