The fear of pain is known as Agliophobia. This understandable phobia can stem from past experiences and trauma, but it can also represent a fear of the unknown.
Pain is there to remind us, to warn us. It runs along our nerves, sending signals to the brain. And pain hurts.
This phobia is all too common, because, in life, there are so many types of pain. Emotional distress, heartache and heartbreak, and physical discomfort all factor in to the normal human experience. It is a rare (or non-existent) person who gets through life without a taste of pain and what it can do to the body and mind.
There are some key triggers for this phobia. In terms of physical pain, things like childbirth can cause fears to develop. Arduous or dangerous labor can leave a woman feeling frightened and completely at the mercy of severe pain. While childbirth is just one reason for the fear of pain, it ranks high in the minds and hearts of women, who know that bringing a child into the world is an experience that is rarely free of pain.
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So, women fear the pain of childbirth. They also fear surgeries such as mastectomies, and surgeries that affect their reproductive organs. These procedures are very hard on women, mentally and physically. They open up a world of pain and torment for some women, who must dig deep to stay strong as they adjust to changes in their self-image and in their physical bodies.
Sometimes, pain brings strength and inner beauty in abundance. Some of the world’s greatest artists have suffered through grueling physical and emotional challenges, such as deformities (artist Toulouse-Lautrec) and deep depression (George Orwell) – and gone on to create art that will endure forever.
Attitude Affects Everything
The attitude towards pain can impact the way it is perceived. Some people seem to have a lower tolerance for pain, and this may be inherited. A lower pain threshold can cause a higher incidence of this phobia. Some people simply cannot take as much pain as others, for whatever reason. For those who extraordinarily sensitive, pain is unbearable.
This phobia can lead to some problems, such as prescription drug abuse, etc. Any substance, be it drugs or alcohol, that has a soothing, numbing effect can be abused in order to assuage fears.
Many people who suffers from addictions to alcohol and certain types of painkillers and drugs report feelings of peace due to the temporary pain relief and sense of well-being they provide. It could be said that addicts fear pain, while they seek out some sort of “rush”. Sometimes, the absence of pain is the essence of the “rush” itself.
Symptoms And Treatment
Symptoms of the fear of pain will include panic attack features such as nausea, dizziness, and lightheadedness. There is usually a sense of terror that is well out of proportion to the amount of pain that will be endured. Sometimes, these feelings of unrest and agitation occur for no good reason. In these cases, it is the sense that pain could descend at any time that triggers the reaction.
Pain can be physical or emotional. It can dwell in the soul or the physical body. Understanding the nature of pain and our response to it is key when considering this common phobia. People who feel ill-equipped to deal with the difficult rigors of life will be more apt to shrink away from experience due to the fear of pain.
Therapy and anti-depressants may provide some relief to people afflicted with this phobia. As well, they may find some release simply by talking to a trusted friend or loved one.