Logizomechanophobia or Cyberphobia is an intense fear of computers. The word Logizomechanophobia is derived from the Greek words ‘Log’ which means ‘to talk’ or ‘word’, ‘machano’ meaning ‘machine’ and ‘phobos’ which means ‘fear or aversion’. Logizomechanophobia is a fear of computers or machines in general. A person with this phobia tends to be afraid of using a computer. He or she may have trouble even learning the basics of it and could be afraid of the terms used in describing computers or machines. It can greatly hamper one’s quality of life given the fact that we all need to use computers at some point, possibly on a daily basis.
Let us study the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for overcoming the fear of computers.
Causes of Cyberphobia
Any anxiety-related disorder or phobia can have numerous causes and the same is true for Cyberphobia or the fear of computers. These causes all operate on varying levels and include biology, heredity, family background, upbringing, conditioning, recent stressors, self-talk, personal beliefs, one’s ability to express feelings, and so on.
Logizomechanophobia is mainly a part of Technophobia. This modern-day phobia may arise when losing your job due to automation. Having one’s computer hacked can also cause this phobia. A child, in school, may have been ridiculed for not knowing how to operate a computer. She or he could develop a phobia due to this ridicule.
Older folks often suffer from Technophobia or Logizomechanophobia because of the feeling of self-doubt or lower self-esteem when it comes to operating a computer or a machine. To a layman, a computer, with its technical jargon, buttons, and keys, can look and feel rather intimidating. This could lead to the development of a phobia.
Some doctors believe that phobias, including Logizomechanophobia, may arise due to a biological or physiological imbalance in the body, mainly in the brain. Childhood environment also plays a big role in phobic avoidance and anxiety as an adult. A child that has been neglected, abused, or abandoned may develop a deep-seated sense of insecurity or shame which could contribute to a phobia. Of course, not all kids who grow up in dysfunctional families develop anxieties and phobias, so hereditary and biological factors should not be overlooked as well.
Many factors cause a phobia to continue in one’s adulthood. These are one’s self-belief system, negative self-talk, lack of assertiveness, lack of self-nurturing skills, use of stimulants or drugs, high-stress lifestyle, and suppressing one’s feelings. All these contribute to maintaining the phobia.
Symptoms of Logizomechanophobia
Symptoms of any phobia, including Logizomechanophobia, can range from physical, emotional, to psychological ones.
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations or accelerated heart rate
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Feeling like choking
- Hot or cold flashes
- Feeling nauseated/vomiting
- Numbness or tingling
- Feeling disconnected with reality
- Having irrational thoughts
- Feeling like dying or choking
- Losing control
- Fear of embarrassing oneself
- Feeling of isolation
In Logizomechanophobia, the phobic might get a full-blown panic attack at a mere sight of mechanical objects or computers. These objects instill terror in the phobic’s mind. Not many people understand what the Logizomechanophobe is going through. As a result, they may not be sympathetic and might even laugh at the individual. This can further embarrass him/her and cause them to go out of their way to avoid computers.
In rare cases, Logizomechanophobia may strike suddenly. In such a scenario, the Logizomechanophobe might flee the scene without the computer. In this technologically advanced age, it is very difficult to stay away from computers. This makes it very difficult for Logizomechanophobes and life can become rather taxing for them.
Treatment for fear of computers
If you or a loved one is suffering from Cyberphobia or Logizomechanophobia, then the following treatment options and self-help techniques can help.
There are several things you can do yourself to learn to cope with your fear.
Read up all you can about your phobia. The more you read, the better it will help you desensitize yourself. You will also understand how to control your anxiety and panic attacks and help identify limiting thought-patterns and self-beliefs that do not serve you. Reading about one’s phobia can also help you understand that what you are experiencing is quite common and that you are not alone. There are others with similar or even worse fears.
Meditation and relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques can help one during a panic attack. You learn to breathe in deeply, hold the breath, and breathe out slowly as you count up to 5. Once your mind is focused on your breath, you come in the present moment. This reduces anxiety or fear. Doctors also recommend twice-daily meditations to help with the anxiety. You can also do some stretching exercises to take your mind off the fear.
If the Logizomechanophobia is interfering with your day-to-day life, you can join a support group near you. A family member or your physician can help you find such groups. These will help you understand that you are not alone and also help you come up with techniques that other people use to manage their anxieties.
Other treatment options
If the intense fear or panic attacks are interfering with your daily life, seek help from a therapist. Your family physician can also help you choose from talking treatments, medications, self-help therapies, or treatments like cognitive behavior therapy.
Cognitive behavior therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy helps you identify thoughts, connections, and patterns that could lead to machine or computer-related anxiety attacks. A CBT therapist will also give you practical solutions to manage these thought patterns.
A treatment called desensitization therapy is often used to get rid of anxiety disorders and phobias. It involves exposing you, in a safe manner, to a computer or a machine. Through repeated exposure to your fear, you develop a sense of control over it.
For those that believe in natural and complementary medicine, there are several options like hypnotherapy. A hypnotist puts you in a state of deep trance to get to the root cause of your fear. The hypnotist then makes suggestions that you are cured of the anxiety and ‘reprograms’ your subconscious mind.