Paper is used to convey words that carry ideas. Those ideas influence the intellect of readers and can make changes in society for better or worse. In it’s basic form paper is simply flattened tree pulp. It has no intrinsic properties that signal a menace or evil, yet for the Papyrophobic individual paper brings about a sense of panic and fear.
What may come as a surprise to some is that the form of paper may be important to the papyrophobe. For instance one who fears paper may only fear it when it it wadded up while another may fear a blank sheet of paper. One video on a sharing site showed a papyrophobe who absolutely feared paper ripped and rolled into small balls. Other fears can be the tearing of paper or paper that is wet.
This is a profound and overwhelming fear – not simply a dislike. This is a fear that brings about symptoms that indicate terror and flight. For the papyrophobe this can be embarrassing and uncontrollable.
What Causes Papyrophobia?
Trauma is generally a compelling factor in fear development. This could be the result of something as seemingly innocent as being the recipient of spit wads in school. It is also possible that it was the words on a page that implanted fear. The tangible result may be the fear of the paper itself.
Damaged paper such as that which is crumpled can present the idea of brokenness and death. It may seem like a stretch to draw this conclusion and yet in the minds of certain papyrophobes this becomes a reason to express fear.
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Symptoms of Papyrophobia
When a papyrophobe encounters paper you may notice a significant rigidity. They may become incredibly tense and color may drain from their face as they struggle with how to respond to the fear.
Other symptoms include…
- Elevated heart rate
- Air hunger
- Anxiety attack
- The sense of control loss
- Adrenaline rush
- The urge to run
Many papyrophobes feel very certain that the presence of paper somehow means some disaster is nearby.
How to Overcome Papyrophobia
Intellectual reasoning will be a primary component to recovery. Most individuals who live with papyrophobia are used to allowing the fear sensors in the brain dictate their response. When they learn to shift fear input to the logic center of the brain they can process a better response. This can take time and concentration to develop.
A therapist may provide help in locating the original incident that allowed the fear to develop and then work to peel back the layers of fear to expose the lie that is generally involved in the original fear. Once that lie is exposed it becomes easier to transfer emotionally charged fear responses to more logic based processing. This in turn can allow a more positive response with each subsequent encounter.
A support group is a great follow-up plan once an action plan has been developed to deal with the fear.
The fear of paper is also referred to as:
- Paper Fear
- phobia of paper name
- Fear of paper phobia
- Phobia of paper
- Spit wad phobia