Fear Of The Heart

The fear of the heart is known as Cardiophobia. When someone develops an intense, persistent phobia of the human heart, for any reason, they will begin to react adversely to any triggers.

Reasons For Cardiophobia

There are many reasons why this phobia develops, but the first and foremost is due to health concerns. People with heart problems, or the possibility of developing heart problems, will be more apt to suffer from Cardiophobia. Family medical histories and prior health issues will also manifest themselves as triggers for the phobia.

Health Fears Are A Trigger

The heart is a vital organ that is, in its healthy state, strong, muscular, and crucial to survival. When the heart is diseased or otherwise afflicted, it will have a detrimental effect on general health. Heart disease can be fatal, although many people receive treatment for heart problems every day. Early detection is key to controlling health problems involving the heart. Obviously, anyone who has suffered the pain and terror of a heart attack will understand why Cardiophobia can occur.

The Heart As A Symbol

When health is not involved in the development of this phobia, the heart may be a symbolic link between the emotions and the soul. Often, the heart is used to represent the feelings of love, both romantic and platonic, that we feel for other people in our lives. Broken heart, heartache, and being “heartsore” are all variations on the themes of pain and loss that are often associated with the heart as a symbol. Simply put, people with Cardiophobia may fear the anguish of a broken heart.

People who have suffered from painful breakups and divorces may shrink from the candy hearts and glossy, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate that surface every Valentine’s Day. Cards, letters, and even stuffed animals bearing bright, scarlet hearts will be symbols of their suffering. For many, seeing a heart can be a cheery reminder of romance. Of course, for the lonely and forlorn, hearts will serve the opposite purpose, reminding them only of what they cannot or do not have.

Hearts In Imagery And Mass Media

In songs and films, the heart is used to show us love – in famous Shakespearean lines, such as “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, we see deeper, hidden meanings. In general, it’s impossible to break the link that exists between romantic symbolism in past and present, and the curving lines of a stylized heart.

Blondie’s hit song, Heart of Glass, used yet more heart-inspired imagery, to show the fragility of love and of emotions.

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

As you can see, Blondie singer/songwriter Debbie Harry equated her own heart with something that can be shattered by lies and illusions. This song was a huge hit, and still resonates with many a listener. It’s just one of literally thousands of “heart” songs that have risen on the Billboard charts, and become memorable themes of love and loss.

Symptoms of Cardiophobia can include feelings of pain or tightness in the chest, that may actually mimic real heart problems. People with this phobia may be prone to becoming hypochrondriacs, due to their fears of suffering from heart problems. A thorough exam from a properly qualified doctor should ease fears, but it will not cure the phobia.


Sometimes, therapy or panic treatment can be beneficial, as they will allow the person with Cardiophobia to get past triggers and others hindrances to progress. Once the reasons for the phobia are revealed and dealt with, it will be easier to see heart imagery, or medical information about the heart, without becoming physically ill or emotionally upset.

The fear of the heart is also referred to as:

  • heart fear
  • heart phobia
  • cardio fear
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