Ideophobia is the morbid fear of new ideas or thoughts. The word originates from Greek Idėes meaning ideas and phobos meaning deep fear or aversion.
In its clearest sense, ideophobia definition is as follows: The fear of ideas is an anxiety disorder characterized by new ideas or a general distrust or irrational fear of a new thought. People living with this fear are not open to new ideas or suggestions. They like living in their comfort zone. Try as they might-they are unable to get rid of the phobia. This phobia is particularly detrimental to businessmen since they are unable and unwilling to consider new ideas as a result of which they may experience setbacks. Often such people isolate themselves from others too. Loneliness could also result from this phobia.
In this guide, we will study details of ideophobia as well as its causes and treatment options. We will also cover common symptoms of Ideophobia.
Causes of fear of ideas
Usually, a deeply traumatic past is the trigger for Ideophobia. The phobia sets in the patient’s mind, often without much reason or foundation. Apart from external factors, some inner issues like genetics and heredity can also play an important role in triggering Ideophobia.
In most cases, the fear can be traced back to a single traumatic episode. In businessmen, for example, seeing the fall of a business or someone else’s business due to following a new strategy could be the trigger of this phobia. This can permanently put off the person from implementing new ideas.
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People who are generally “high strung” or those suffering from an adrenal insufficiency could also suffer from such a phobia.
Children who are always told by parents or role models that “their ideas are bad” or that they are not smart enough could also be afraid to discuss their ideas with others. Children are more likely to develop this fear since they are impressionable and more likely to believe what they are told. However, in most cases, the phobia can be overcome as one grows older. In some extreme cases though, the phobia persists into adulthood.
Most other phobias such as agoraphobia tend to have more complicated causes but the cause or risk factor of Ideophobia is more or less straightforward. A combination of brain chemistry, genetics and some life altering events can all trigger an intense fear of ideas.
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Symptoms of Ideophobia
The symptoms of Ideophobia differ from person to person and are based on the level of fear the patient experiences. In general, here are some of the symptoms of Ideophobia:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart beat
- Sweaty palms
- Feeling apprehensive
- Dry mouth
- Panicking at the thought of presenting or accepting new ideas
As already stated, this phobia can be detrimental to one’s personal and professional growth. A person could be having the potential to do a lot more but his/her fear keeps him/her away from implementing new ideas. Simply thinking of new ideas can make the person feel woozy and panicky. Such a person can also come across as ‘stuck up’ or grumpy. These patients also like their routine and do not like changes. Fear of change can also be associated with this phobia. Many times, the person refuses to socialize on account of this fear. Even seeking treatment for the phobia could be difficult, since the patient is not open to the idea of seeing a therapist or a counselor.
Drugs are not the best solution for treating Ideophobia since such medicines come with a plethora of harmful side effects. Also, the withdrawal symptoms of anxiety medicines are harmful making it difficult to come off them. Untreated Ideophobia can lead to many difficulties, particularly in one’s career or sometimes, even in day-to-day life. Thankfully, the phobia is a highly treatable one. A therapist can find the right treatment option for you.
Hypnotherapy is one such option which can get to the root cause of the fear and eliminate it. Exposure therapy is another proven method of treating the fear of ideas. Continuously placing oneself in situations where one is required to come up with ideas, come out of their comfort zone and doing something new can help boost self esteem and confidence. Group therapy and self help can also help overcome this phobia. Doing group activities, volunteering for a social cause or charity are also some great options for permanently eliminating Ideophobia.
Meditation and positive affirmations can also be included as part of Ideophobia treatment. Other therapies include NLP or Neuro Lingustic programming and cognitive behavior therapies which help alter brain thought patterns so that patients can start seeing noticeable improvement in a matter of weeks.
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The bottom-line is: Ideophobia is completely treatable but one must choose an option that is a cure in its truest sense and that upon implementation, the patient feels that the fear was never there in the first place.