Fear of Burglars

Home security is a profound and booming business. Cars are equipped with anti-theft devices and home safes are used routinely to guard our possessions. Why then is there still a lingering fear of burglars? Perhaps because they can still seem to threaten personal safety in areas that you consider sanctuaries. When this fear is more than a short-term concern it is known as Scelerophobia.

We may fear for the safety of loved ones or ourselves. We may fear the loss of precious possessions. We may even fear the invasion of privacy. To entertain a burglar is to sense a loss of safety while gaining a profound sense of vulnerability. Some who have had a burglar in their home never again feel safe in that home. Obviously this is a worst case scenario, but it does point to the incredible power fear can have in a person’s life.

What Causes Scelerophobia?

This fear is often caused by what I like to call ‘trauma transference’. It is usually picked up by observing a friend or family member who struggled so much with the fear that they obsessed about locking doors and windows, pulling shades and locking away their valuables.

The fear can also come from personal experience. The fear you may be embracing can be the result of living through the aftermath or even during a burglary. You may or may not have witnessed violence at the hands of a burglar, but your possessions were taken and the sanctity of your home was violated. This can leave a lasting sense of anxiety.

Symptoms of Scelerophobia

A person who has a profound fear of burglars will likely have multiple locks on their doors. They will likely have a security system. They may have a guard dog, imposing fence and may have security lights with motion sensors. Some may even use surveillance cameras to cover all entrances to their home.

Other symptoms include…

  • Panic attacks
  • Air hunger
  • Trembling
  • Paranoia
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Weeping
  • Crying
  • Feelings of control loss

This phobia can prove tiring for the individual who lives with it because they feel they must remain vigilant in order to ward off or expose a would be burglar.

How to Overcome Scelerophobia

To help place the fear in context a therapist may cite statistics that point to the fact that the majority of homes will never experience a break-in or theft. However, this is rarely enough to stop or reverse the fear.

A therapist may need to discover more about the reasons for the fear to determine if the fear is related to the loss of another person in your past or the fear of losing control of your environment.

Fear never comes at every individual from the same direction. The result sets panic as an end result, but the place where fear comes from is different in each individual case. This is why a therapist may be required to help you locate where the fear came from and whether it’s acting alone. Usually one phobia means several are hiding in the shadows.

The fear of burglars is also referred to as:

  • Burglar fear
  • fear of theft
  • Scelerophobia
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