It may be surprising for many who have phobic tendencies to learn that there are some who have a fear of their own home. This is surprising because for many who have fears it is their home that provides the most comfort. Those who have this fear are said to suffer from Oikophobia.
Many who have this fear often remain in their home because they also fear an alternative. This can provide some mental and emotional challenges in living with a fear of your surroundings, but feeling ill-equipped to make any meaningful change in your circumstances.
What Causes Oikophobia?
One of the primary causes for a house fear has to do with a traumatic incident that happened within the home. This could be linked to emotional or physical abuse from a partner. The fear might also stem from the loss of a loved one within the home. Their death might make it seems oddly surreal to remain in the same home where the death occurred. Still another cause might be the knowledge that someone died violently within the home at some point in the past. This can take a small fear and enlarge it as the individual thinks about whether killer might one day return or if perhaps the deceased might haunt the home seeking vengeance for their death.
Even small fears can be enhanced by viewing movies that portray violence within the home. For some who have this fear they may feel that they would be in greater danger if they were to leave in favor of new living arrangements. In essence there are some who have this fear who feel they are a prisoner in their own home. Every normal creak and pop of a home may cause the oikophobe to believe they are not alone in the house.
Symptoms of Oikophobia
Other symptoms include…
- Acute anxiety
- Air hunger
- Feeling as if you have no choices with regards to where you live
- Highly alert senses within the home
Like others who have fear the oikophobe may be embarrassed by their fear and may even make fun of it in the presence of others, but may suffer a temporary breakdown in their own home when the fear becomes overwhelming.
How to Overcome Oikophobia
This fear can be tackled through a series of rational thoughts combined with therapy designed to remove the core fear and replace it with truth.
A therapist will want to know how the fear was allowed to consume at least a portion of your life. When they learn the source they can often work to reverse the effects by replacing wrong information with correct information.
The person who has the fear will need to be an active participant in derailing the fear, but even therapists know this can also be a source of stress for the oikophobe. That’s why you will need to walk forward with the help of others.