Kissing phobia (filemaphobia): causes, symptoms and treatment
The filemafobia, also known as filematofobia It is the phobia of kissing. Phobias are anxiety disorders in which sufferers feel a great fear of coming into contact with the phobic stimulus, which causes great anxiety and, as a consequence, the attempt to avoid this stimulus.
Kisses are a great sign of love, but people with this type of phobia feel a rejection of these acts full of love. In this article we will discuss the filemaphobia and review its causes, symptoms and consequences.
- Related article: "What are the kisses for? Why do we like them so much? "
What is the phobia of kissing
The filemafobia or extreme fear to kiss can develop in those people who think that they do not kiss well (for example, by some bad experience) and they are afraid to do it by what others can think of them. This causes them anxiety and discomfort and that is why they avoid this type of situation.
The phobia of kissing can cause serious problems in interpersonal relationships, because it can make the person not want to have intimate or romantic relationships with other people and hinders their social interaction. This phobic disorder can be part of erotophobia or sex phobia.
- Related article: "Sex phobia (erotophobia): causes, symptoms and treatment"
Other related phobias
Now, the filemafobia can also be related to other phobias, which would make the person suffering from this disorder refuse to kiss others to avoid some phobic stimuli like bad breath or physical contact.
Sometimes, the filemafobia can be related to the fear of germs, which makes the person think that kissing can be infected with some disease. Logically this refers to the "kisses in the mouth", because the individual thinks that saliva can have germs or bacteria that are harmful to your body.
The fear of kissing can also be related to halitophobia, that is, the smell that the person gives off from his mouth. Not only the smell and bad breath of other individuals, but his own too. This condition can be related to bromidrosiphobia , that is, the fear of body odors.
The hafephobia is the fear of touching or fear of touch and negatively affects the person who suffers. These individuals can feel great anxiety at any kiss, even those on the cheek . This greatly hinders interpersonal relationships.
4. Fear of privacy and vulnerability
The kiss is an intimate act in which love is shown towards a person. But some individuals may feel great fear in these situations. Fear of intimacy can be associated with low self-esteem and a negative image of oneself.
On the other hand, fear of vulnerability has to do, many times, with fear of abandonment or fear of not liking others.
Causes of the filemaphobia
Being a specific phobia its development usually has its origin in associative learning , because there are many studies that have proven that the great majority of phobias are learned by classical conditioning.
This is so because a traumatic experience of the past that causes a strong emotional reaction and that originally is not related to the phobic stimulus, that is, the kisses (or intimacy, physical contact, etc.), causes a connection between the two.
If originally that stimulus was neutral, after the strong emotional reaction, it becomes a stimulus conditioned by fear , and causes great anxiety and a strong desire to avoid when the person thinks or lives this phobic situation.
But in addition to this learning as a cause, other authors affirm that there are also biological origins , and that human beings, due to the genetics and the necessity of the evolution of the species, are prone to suffer this conditioning in front of certain stimuli, because fear helps us to be alert and to survive (or at least it helped us in the past).
- Related article: "Types of phobias: exploring the disorders of fear"
Symptoms of kissing phobia
The phobia of kisses presents the same symptomatology as other phobias , the only thing that changes is the stimulus that causes the reaction. That is to say, what causes discomfort and anxiety are kisses.
Anxiety, therefore, is the characteristic symptom, and that is why it belongs to the group of anxiety disorders. However, the symptomatology also includes:
- Physical symptoms: sweating, hyperventilation and shortness of breath , acceleration of the heartbeat, tremors, chills, tightness in the chest, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, headaches ....
- Psychological symptoms: thoughts that the person can spread deadly diseases, that is, distorted thoughts .
- Behavioral symptoms: avoidance of the dreaded situation or stimulus, that is, kissing.
How to overcome the fear of kissing
The filemafobia negatively affects the life of the person who suffers, especially their interpersonal relationships. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome this disorder thanks to psychological therapy .
Like any phobia, the form of psychotherapy that has proven to be most effective for this pathology is cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims at intervention focused on changes in mental processes (thoughts, beliefs, emotions ...) and behaviors and behaviors that the person performs and that they can be maladaptive and dysfunctional.
Cognitive behavioral therapy includes techniques of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapies, and may be included, among many others, the techniques of cognitive restructuring, of social skills , training in problem solving, relaxation techniques and exposure techniques. These last two are used very frequently for the treatment of phobias.
Regarding exposure techniques , systematic desensitization has been very effective, and involves exposing the patient gradually to the phobic stimulus. This technique also promotes coping skills more useful for the patient when he is in the situation that causes anxiety or discomfort.
But cognitive behavioral therapy is not the only form of treatment, but mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) also seems to work very well for this type of disorder and other anxiety disorders.
In extreme cases, the administration of anxiolytic drugs it is also a therapeutic option; however, it should always be combined with psychotherapy.
- Related article: "Types of anxiolytics: the drugs that fight anxiety"