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Fear of undressing (dyshabilophobia): causes, symptoms and treatment

Fear of undressing (dyshabilophobia): causes, symptoms and treatment

May 18, 2024

Human beings feel many emotions, some pleasant, and others that are not so much but, although sometimes they do not seem so, they are adaptive and have functionality. Fear is an emotion that puts us in alert mode, so that, in the face of danger, we can react quickly. Therefore, it is an adaptive emotion, but the current context can appear many times in an irrational way, causing a great feeling of anxiety and discomfort. In these cases we speak of a phobic disorder.

Phobias are of many types and appear in front of many stimuli. Today we will talk about the phobia of undressing, a phobia that can be disabling and that can seriously harm a person when having sex .


Related article: "Types of phobias: exploring the disorders of fear"

What is the phobia of undressing

Phobias can be classified in different ways. It is common to talk about three types of phobias: agoraphobia and specific phobias and social phobias. Dishabiliofobia belongs to this group. If you want to know more about what is a social phobia, you can read our article "Social phobia: what is it and how to overcome it?".

The phobia of undressing also belongs to those known as sexual phobias, which are those that interfere with a person's normal sexual behavior. . People with fear of undressing can have a really bad time in situations where they have to take off their clothes, either in a gym or when having intimate relationships with another person. In extreme cases, the phobia can appear even though nobody is nearby, simply by imagining someone watching when the affected person is naked or when there is someone nearby but not necessarily in the same room.


Causes of this phobia

The most frequent cause of the development of this phobia is having suffered a traumatic experience, usually in the privacy of a bathroom or in a changing room, or in a situation related to nudity. This fear occurs, therefore, as the result of an apprenticeship, specifically by classical conditioning, a type of associative learning that was initially investigated by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.

Now, one of the most important experiments in the history of psychology and in which John Watson managed to get a little boy, named Albert, to develop a phobia, occurred in 1920 in the United States.

  • You can know all the characteristics of classical conditioning in our article "Classical conditioning and its most important experiments"

Other causes of fear of nudity

Now, this phobia is complex, like the rest of social phobias. Some experts say that there is a relationship with low self-esteem and a distorted image of the body itself, which is known as body dysmorphic disorder. A disorder in which the sufferer feels an exaggerated concern for some defect (usually imaginary) in a physical characteristic of the body. These people suffer great anxiety when they have to show their body to other people in trying to avoid situations in which they must undress in front of other people.


Phobias can also develop by vicarious conditioning, that is, by observing unpleasant experiences in other people . Vicar conditioning has different characteristics to observation learning. You can check it in our article "Vicar conditioning: how does this type of learning work?".

Finally, experts say that human beings are biologically predisposed to suffer phobias, because fear is an adaptive emotion that does not respond to logical arguments. The reason for this is that it is produced by primitive and non-cognitive associations.

Symptoms of the deficiency phobia

Phobias, despite having different types, share the same symptomatology. These symptoms are usually of three types: cognitive, behavioral and physical . As for the former, they emphasize fear, anguish, shame, lack of concentration or catastrophic thoughts. Regarding behavioral symptoms, the person with this disorder tends to avoid the feared stimulus. The most prominent physical symptoms are: hyperventilation, headache, dry mouth, increased heart rate and nausea.

Treatment

The fear of nudity is a complex situation that requires psychological treatment, as it can cause great discomfort and an inability to have not only sexual relationships, but also amorous ones. There are many types of psychotherapy, but according to scientific studies, The most effective for the treatment of phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy .

There are many cognitive behavioral techniques, but the most effective have been exposure techniques and relaxation techniques. A very popular and widely used technique in the treatment of phobias is the systematic desensitization, which contains the two previous ones and which exposes the patient to the phobic stimulus in a gradual manner. Before but, it is necessary for the patient to learn a series of coping strategies.

  • You can know more about this technique in our article "What is systematic desensitization and how does it work?" Now, there are other types of therapy that have also proved to be very effective in the treatment of these pathologies. Cognitive therapy based on Mindfulness and therapy of acceptance and commitment are some examples.

In addition, nowadays, new technologies have also positively influenced the treatment of phobias, since virtual reality is used to simulate the presence of the phobic stimulus.

  • Related article: "8 apps to treat phobias and fears from your smartphone"

Dishabiliophobia Fear of undressing in front of someone (May 2024).


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