Fear Of Insanity

The fear of severe mental illness can hinder a person’s progress through life. It can trigger a whole series of physical and emotional problems – this fear is known as Dementophobia.

Reasons For Dementophobia

Throughout history, mental illness has been carried with it an awful stigma. It has led to the cruel treatment of those who’ve suffered from diseases such as schizophrenia, manic depression, and even depression. For this reason, some people live in fear of losing their mental faculties and their emotional equilibrium.

If there are incidences of mental illness in a family history, this phobia may be more likely to occur. Mental illness often (but not always) has a genetic component.

Genius And Madness

Some of the greatest creative minds in history have grappled with mental illness that plunged them into self-destruction. Watching stars like Michael Jackson descend from stellar performances and songwriting to allegations of pedophilia, terrible drug abuse, and obsessive plastic surgery is another look at the sad ailment of mental illness – and what it does to the human mind.


Michael Jackson is just one example of mental illness in the world of celebrity. While it’s unclear whether or not Michael was actually insane, per se, it is quite possible that he had severe mental illness that may have gone undiagnosed and untreated.

Other Triggers

One of the main triggers for Dementophobia is the loss of control that insanity brings to its victims. People with this phobia will dread the idea of odd behaviors that draw negative attention from society. Some forms of mental illness bring with them strange compulsions and tics that are met with great derision by insensitive, uneducated people.

Mental illness is often misunderstood and many people can’t make the proper distinction between certain types of insanity. Many people look to examples of schizophrenic violence as a reason for fearing insanity. Indeed, schizophrenics can become confused by the voices they hear in their heads. They may feel compelled to do awful things, as though they are being programmed by some demonic force. Their delusions have led to some terrible crimes.

Insanity And Violence

Mark Chapman, the murderer of legendary Beatles member John Lennon, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. His delusions led him to take the life of Lennon, whom he shot on December 9th, 1980. This example of insanity- fueled by dark visions of reality and compulsions to destroy – has led to higher incidences of Dementophobia. It has also contributed to a further stigmatization of those suffering from this terrible disease. Not all schizophrenics are violent, but such an ailment does increase the possibilities of violent action.

Proper medication can reduce the risks of dangerous crime committed by the mentally ill, but it is difficult for some patients to take their medicine regularly. When someone who is deemed clinically insane “goes off their meds”, they may quickly spiral downward, caught once again in a nightmare world populated by voices and illusions.

Many murders and other crimes committed by those suffering from insanity happen when they fail to take their medication. Dementophobia is triggered by news reports of such gruesome acts.


The symptoms of the fear of insanity will include a marked avoidance of anyone who exhibits strange behaviors. It will also include persistent and intense anxiety when the afflicted person is faced with stories, news reports, or other evidence of mental illness defined as insanity. Physical symptoms such as nausea, feelings of “doom”, lightheadedness, and racing heartbeat may accompany any interaction with an insane person, or another such trigger.


Treatment for this disorder should include education about insanity and its treatment with therapy and medication. Talking to a counsellor about fears may allow for some release of tension. In some cases, anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to ease symptoms.

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