What Is Ommetaphobia?
Ommetaphobia is an extreme fear of the eyes. It is a phobia that can affect suffers` daily routines and social activities, however, many consider it an irrational fear because it doesn’t pose any actual danger. No matter how inconsequential many find it, it is real for people who suffer it. To deal effectively with ommetaphobia, you must first identify its underlying cause.
A phobia over eyes may be due to a negative past experience that involved the eyes. It could be because sufferers needed to establish eye contact with people during public speaking engagements. It could also be because they needed to look into the eyes of people while socializing. Let`s see other common causes:
- Undergoing an eye exam with an ophthalmologist
- Getting shampoo, sand, or other substances in the eyes.
- Seeing fake eyes, such as the ones used in Halloween decorations.
- Having to use contact lenses
- Putting eye drops in the eyes
- Looking at eye masks used in spas or on planes.
Symptoms of Ommetaphobia
- dry mouth
- increased heart rate
- muscle tension
- feelings of paralysis
- rapid breathing or shortness of breath
These symptoms can last for some minutes, even after sufferers are separated from the triggering situation.
What Are its Causes?
Ommetaphobia might be a result of negative experiences that trigger the fear of eyes. It may be related to an eye injury or discomfort, or even watching something negative happen to another person’s eyes. Such negative experiences may be related to a mutilation phobia, which is a strong fear of mutilation or injury. To some sufferers, ommetaphobia might manifest as an unrealistic fear that their eyes might be injured.
Another possible cause of this condition is the avoidance of eyes due to situational or social phobias, generally known as social anxiety. A strong fear of such social situations may trigger symptoms.
How to Treat Ommetaphobia
There are medications that can help people struggling with phobias, some of which are antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
Although psychiatric medications won’t directly cure eye phobia, they can help sufferers manage the symptoms when eye triggers arise. Therapeutic techniques, however, remain the best way to treat a phobia.
Note that before deciding on a treatment option, a mental health professional must first discover the underlying cause of your ommetaphobia. They`ll check to see if it’s related to social phobia, hereditary or familial based, or related to a negative past experience.
After this discovery, a therapist will then determine the best way to treat the phobia. An effective method is exposure therapy, where the sufferer is gradually introduced to the fears until they get over it. Talk therapy can also help sufferers face their fears.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is also effective. It`s a psychotherapy-based approach that includes exposure therapy. CBT helps sufferers gain control of their fears by helping them see the fears in a different way.
Coping Strategies for Ommetaphobia
Although professional treatments are effective in dealing with ommetaphobia, there are coping techniques you can adopt to manage the condition. Let`s see some of them:
You can practice yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness-based practices to complement professional therapy techniques. This will help increase awareness about your feelings and the physical reactions that are related to your phobia.
Do Regular Exercise
Working out will help you to manage anxiety, and as a result, help you cope with your phobia and reduce the severity of your phobia symptoms. Your doctor will advise you on the best exercises for you.
Connect with Loved ones
You need the support of loved ones now, more than ever. You could ask family and friends to accompany you to situations that would normally trigger your fears. This way, you gradually stop avoiding such situations and also ease your mind.
Some Mental Health Facts you Should Know
- There are various treatments for mental health problems, some of which are therapy, yoga, OTC medication, and some other types of medication.
- Injury, illness, genetics, and traumatic life experiences are the most common causes of mental illness.
- Mental illness patients are not necessarily violent; only 3-5% of violent acts are attributed to people with severe mental illness.
- Mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race, religion, or social class.
- Depression is one of the leading causes of disability all over the world.
- Communicating with friends and family will help you prevent mental health illness, particularly during stressful periods.
- People who have lived through a major disaster are twice at risk of mental health issues than those who haven`t.
- Seeking immediate medical attention to trauma can prevent mental health disorders, especially in children and adolescents.
- People who belong to the LGBTQ community are twice as likely as straight people to suffer mental illnesses.
- Seek treatment immediately you observe symptoms of poor mental health.
- One in five Americans has experienced some form of mental illness.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the world and accounts for over 800,000 deaths globally every year.
- Employers who hire people with mental health issues report good attendance, punctuality as well as motivation, and excellent performance.
- People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees.
- 50% of adults in the United States who have had a problem with substance abuse also suffer from mental illness.
- Studies show that one in 10 young people has experienced major depression.
- Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental illnesses receive treatment.
- Getting adequate sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising are vital positive lifestyle choices that can prevent mental health issues.
- One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
- One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, major
- Only about 1/3 of people suffering from anxiety disorders receive adequate treatment or counseling.
- Anxiety disorders can be a result of various factors such as trauma, stress buildup, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, stress due to an illness, or family history of mental health issues.
- Anxiety disorders can disrupt everyday activities such as school work, job performance, and relationships.
- Anxiety comes with various physical and emotional symptoms.
- Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of anxiousness or nervousness because they involve extreme fear or anxiety, and lead to reactions that are out of proportion.
- Approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder, and many of them develop the symptoms before age 21.
- About 50% of Americans diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
- People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder experience nausea, dizziness, worsening worry or fear, irritability, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, and chronic fatigue over extended periods of time.
- There are other common anxiety disorders such as selective mutism, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and social anxiety.
- Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 6.8 million adults in the United States, with women being twice as likely to be affected as men.
Now that you Know…
Ommetaphobia may not be as widely known as other types of phobias, however, its effects are quite challenging. If you`re suffering ommetaphobia, ensure you see a mental health expert who will advise on the best therapies and coping skills for you.
If you suspect that your loved one is struggling with ommetaphobia, be sure to talk to a mental health professional who can help them get started with treatment.
Ommetaphobia, like other types of phobia, can cause loneliness and related symptoms. The earlier you address this condition, the better.