Androphobia is the abnormal, irrational and persistent fear of men.
The word is derived from two Greek words: Andras- which means man and phobos-which means fear. Typical to all fears, the fear of men is also deep rooted or implanted as a sort of “basic instinctual response to potential danger by the phobics brain. This phobia is found men and women alike, but is chiefly seen in younger females.
Like with many other phobias, the fear of men phobia might continue into adulthood. The victims full-out refuse to be left alone with a man, despite his being a close friend or relative.
They might have nightmares about men. This can greatly affect the quality of life, especially if they refuse to step outside (becomes agoraphobic), fearing an encounter with man.
Sometimes, individuals may be able to lead normal lives despite their phobia; they may have male friends, but they might not form relationships with men or might feel very strung out or practice being extreme careful when working with men.
Causes and origin of Androphobia:
As with most phobias, Androphobia has different origins. They include:
* Most commonly, a negative or traumatic event, such as rape, domestic abuse or sexual assault, is quite likely responsible for it. The brain of the phobic, mainly its parts like amygdala and hypothalamus learn to re-create the same fear response when in a situation processed as dangerous with a man similar to that at the time of the event.
* Little girls are commonly taught to stay away from the opposite sex; this is ingrained since ones childhood. Caregivers, parents or grandparents can all be responsible for instilling such a fear in young minds. Warnings like stay away from strange men, or do not drive in a car with a man etc can all lead to ingraining by the brain of men as a gender you need to be the careful of.
* TV shows, media, movies, news reports of rape, kidnapping, or murder etc can also lead to fear of men phobia in young adults as they fear the same fate might be theirs. Hence, they try to “resolve their fate” by totally refusing to be alone or within close proximity to a man.
Fear of men phobia symptoms:
These happen when one comes close to a man or even thinks of an encounter with a man.
Androphobia is characterized by many symptoms such as:
1. Physical symptoms: One or more of the following symptoms may be present such as: rapid breathing, higher pulse rate (heart palpitations), trembling or shaking, sweating, feeling like fainting or dizziness, feeling like choking or having chest pains, gastrointestinal distress, nausea etc.
2. Psychological symptoms: Feelings or thoughts of dread, terror, panic, extreme anxiety, thoughts of dying, fearing losing control and embarrassing self.
The phobic may be depressed owing to the fear. he might have trouble sleeping and eating due to the phobia.
Most stutter or stammer or start visibly sweating of fidgety when talking to men. Younger individuals might cry, scream or run away when in direct contact with a man.
After getting to the root cause of androphobia, the next most effective approach should be the gradual desensitization or graded exposure therapy. In tandem with intensity increasing at each level as the phobic progresses: see photos of men, think about meeting or talking to them and so on.
You can also use relaxation techniques like deep controlled breathing, meditation etc to overcome the anxiety and panic attacks associated with your phobia.
Group therapy or individual talk therapy sessions can also help overcome the fear of men.
Hypnotherapy is known to be highly effective successful in getting to the origin of such phobias. Once you discover the roots of it, you will be able to see reason and rationalize the fear.
Therapists also encourage phobics to write down their fears and counter them with positive or rational thoughts. For example: I fear meeting a man because he might kill me is changed into My fear is irrational , men can be friendly too and so on.
Drug therapy or medication is the last line of treatment for Androphobia: these assure of only short term relief and often result in terrible side effects such as withdrawal symptoms in users.