What is Cypridophobia? Symptoms and Treatment
What is Cypridophobia?
Cypridophobia is the phobia or fear of sexually transmitted diseases. Like most phobias, they can effect any age, sex or ethnic background. Exposure or the threat of exposure to the inciting incident can cause great physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, shortness of breath, changes in blood pressure and other symptoms commonly seen with anxiety disorders. The psychological symptoms can include feelings of impending doom, panic, and general emotional distress.
As a natural part of the emotional spectrum, anxiety and fear are normal responses to certain events and stimuli that everyone experiences. However when that anxiety and fear prevents us from functioning normally in society, it becomes irrational and must be evaluated and treated. When the fear of exposure becomes more concerning, it may begin to impede the person’s activities of daily living. Skipping work, school or social functions are signs that the anxiety may be progressing to depression or other more serious stages of a disorder.
The treatment of phobias, including Cypridophobia, is cognitive behavioral therapy, where the patient is effectively taught not to fear the sexually transmitted disease. This can be done by slowly exposing the person to STDs by having them read an article on a certain STD. Then, once they are ok with reading about it, they can move onto something more, perhaps seeing pictures of STDs. Through this gradual exposure therapy, one can become desensitized to their fears and rid themselves of the phobia. Through becoming aware of how their irrational fear distorts and exaggerates reality, the person can learn to rationalize their fear and no longer have that fear.
It goes without saying that the goal of treatment of Cypridophobia should not leave the patient with no worries of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and should not leave the patient feeling that engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior is not without consequence. Sexually transmitted diseases are, in fact, real and the consequences of contracting them can be serious. Treatment of the phobia should reestablish the ability to logically reason so that they can discern which behaviors and thoughts are rational and which are irrational.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from Cypridophobia, advise them to speak with their doctor or psychologist. With proper treatment, they can return to living a fear and anxiety free life.