There are two primary definitions of collars. The first is the collar found on most button up shirts. This allows the individual to wear a tie and jacket. The second collar is the type many will associate with pets. These are used in the placement of identification tags and can be used to restrain an animal through the use of a chain or leash. Each type of collar serves a purpose and most consider them utilitarian in nature. However there are those who fear collars. While there is no scientific name for this affliction the fear is real.
It is interesting to note that the fear is often triggered by obsession over a visual cue or personal experience.
What Causes the Fear of Collars?
There have been instances in which a pet who was placed on a chain or leash were ultimately killed when they accidentally tangled their leash and could not get away. If an individual (young or old) observes this type of scene they can easily conclude that a collar is something to be feared.
Those who are not used to wearing ties may experience constriction when they do so. Some may even pass out if the shirt they wear is not the right neck size. This sense of feeling confined may draw some similarities to a confined pet. The individual may feel as if they can’t breathe or escape. This sense of helplessness can accelerate the phobic response.
The individual may also observe a friend or family member with a strong fear or aversion to collars. We often look at the behavior we observe in childhood as appropriate and normal simply because it is the only behavior we have ever experienced. This suggested and modeled fear can easily morph into a full blown phobia.
What are the Symptoms of the Fear of Collars?
An individual with this fear may either not have pets or they will be very adamant their pets will not wear collars. While this is against the law these individuals struggle with what could happen if their pet were to wear a collar.
On the other end of the spectrum those who fear shirt collars will never wear a tie and typically wear a collarless shirt. This provides the sense of freedom they desire and can allow them to function without significant phobic outbreaks.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Air hunger
- Control loss
- An urge to flee
- Elevated heart rate
This fear can also influence the type of job the individual will accept. If a tie and collared shirt are required they will likely decline the employment opportunity – often without telling them prospective employer why.
How to Overcome the Fear of Collars
Tapping into the skills of a therapist can be an important step in coming to terms with the fear you may experience with collars. They can help you trace the fear back to its origin. Then they can help you modify your response to the fear trigger to allow you the greatest chance to adapt to a world with collars.
The fear of collars is also referred to as:
- Collar fear