Fear of Thinking

Some people like to be left alone with their thoughts while others are scared to death of what they might be thinking. Therapists call this fear Phronemophobia.

It is not uncommon for people to experience moments when thinking that startle them. The human mind can consider dark and terrible thoughts that can frighten us because the thoughts we entertained may be actions we hope we would never do in real life. Sometimes the very act of thinking can cause us to believe that we will act upon thoughts we can’t account for. We may conclude it is best to never really take the time to think so we can avoid those thoughts that frighten us.

What Causes Phronemophobia?

If in a moment of anger our minds consider the idea of murder we may find ourselves horrified at the presence of the thought. If in a moment of closeness we consider the idea of infidelity against our partner we may be horrified at the possibility.

These are just two examples of thoughts that can instill a sense of fear. They are ideas that we would never wish to act upon and yet sometimes those thoughts seem to enter our minds without permission. We do not want to believe we are capable of such despicable acts, but the presence of the thoughts cause us to fear that we might be capable of doing the unthinkable.

The alternative is to keep ourselves busy enough that we don’t have time to think. We don’t want those horrifying thoughts to come back into our minds and keeping busy seems to be the only way to keep the negative thoughts at bay. The problem is our bodies absolutely demand downtime – and in that downtime those thoughts can come back, and invite some friends.

Symptoms of Phronemophobia

A person who has this fear may actually express symptoms one might typically associate with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The reason this is true is that they will work very hard to keep themselves distracted without landing on any particular thought pattern. They may not like to be alone and they will want to remain active.

Other symptoms include…

  • Crying
  • Multiple stress symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Air Hunger
  • Trembling
  • Feeling as though you have lost control over yourself
  • Longing for friends and pushing them away at the same time

Many who have this fear believe there is only a thin thread that keeps them sane. The truth is they may simply be misunderstanding the difference between thought and action.

How to Overcome Phronemophobia

This fear may require a therapist who can logically guide you through the difference between fantasy and reality. It may seem simple, but for this phobic personality there may be a concrete belief that what they think is what they will do – or what will come true. If their thoughts disturb them you can begin to understand why they fear thinking so much.

Asking for help can be an important step in reducing the stress in your life and applying appropriate restraint to your thoughts while recognizing that what happens in the mind does not need to take place in reality.

The fear of thinking is also referred to as:

  • Thinking fear
  • Fear of thought
  • Phronemophobia
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