The fear of vacuum cleaners, or zuigerphobia , is a specific phobia. This is one of the three types of phobia: Specific phobia is the fear of a particular object, in this case, vacuum cleaners. Social Phobia , also known as Social Anxiety Disorder Agoraphobia , the fear of not being able to escape to safety if you have a phobic reaction.
Who has Zuigerphobia?
Young children and pets are more likely to have Zuigerphobia. However, it can also occur in teens and older adults. You’ve probably seen a cat or dog “go crazy” when someone turns on the vacuum cleaner.
Some pets even start to react when you walk into the closet to get the vacuum cleaner. These phobic reactions are similar in humans. Zuigerhophobia is usually associated with the loud sounds a vacuum cleaner makes, but some people are afraid of the vacuum itself.
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Fear of loud noises
Zuigerhophobia is often related to ligiophobia, sometimes known as phonophobia, which is the fear of loud noises. Loud noises cause a startle response in virtually everyone, including babies, but over time, we generally learn to handle that response.
However, young children and pets do not have the skills to successfully manage their startle reactions. They can only react instinctively to startling noise and the immediate danger they perceive. Fortunately, young children usually overcome their fears as their brain’s cognitive capacity increases.
Is it a fear, a phobia, or another health condition?
Does my child have a phobia or is it just a fear? You can try to answer this important question yourself by consulting the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for the diagnosis of a specific phobia in children and comparing your symptoms with those of the same.
However, symptoms that present as a specific vacuum phobia are also symptoms of other mental and physical problems. Therefore, it is important to seek the help of a medical professional to make an accurate diagnosis.
Physical and mental health conditions with symptoms similar to those of zuigerphobia include:
- Hyperacusis is an abnormally low intolerance to environmental sounds. It is a rare disease, but a symptom of autism and cerebral palsy.
- Phonophobia and misophonia are fear and aversion to sound, often specific sounds with a negative emotional association.
- Recruitment is perceiving a sound louder than it actually is and is a symptom of sensorineural hearing loss.
Managing fear of vacuum cleaners in children
Once a medical professional determines that your child has zuigerphobia, they can refer you for treatment or design a personalized plan that is tailored to your child’s needs.
One of the most successful treatments for specific phobia in children is desensitization, a method based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
This method does not require talk therapy to find out what caused the zuigerophobia, and in some cases, it only takes one to three visits to see results.
During the desensitization process, you gradually expose your child to a vacuum. For instance:
- Let him play with it while he’s offline.
- Make up stories that make him a fun character.
- Warn your child, without forcing him, just before you plan to vacuum and allow him to choose between staying in the room or retiring to another location.
- Vacuum cleaner fears in adults
Fear of vacuum cleaners is relatively rare in older children and adults. If you or an older child suffer from this fear, seek the advice of a trained mental health professional. Like any phobia, the fear of vacuum cleaners is relatively easy to deal with, but an untreated fear can gradually get worse.
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.