Fear of Dryness

I have always found a sense of comfort in the season of autumn. Leaves crunch underfoot and the trees shed their summer growth. Spring will come again and a season of barrenness will necessarily be a prelude to the reemerging of life. There are those who do not share enthusiasm for this season, in fact they have a strong aversion to anything that might be defined as dry. The fear some experience is known as Xerophobia.

What Causes Xerophobia?

This fear may simply be a response to the knowledge that things that are hydrated equal life. Our bodies are made up primarily of water. Our earth is composed of significant water. The foods we eat generally contain water. When something is devoid of water is can equate with a lack of life in the mind of the Xerophobe.

The fear is not found only in issues of food and seasons, but can be a fear of dry skin, dry lips and even dry genatalia. The fear may be a resistance to being affected by dryness or embarrassed because of dryness.

The fear may be due to personal experience or observed in others.

Symptoms of Xerophobia

A person with this fear may avoid dry climates, use moisturizing hand and face creams, lip balm, and drink plenty of fluids.They may also insist on running a humidifier in their homes and ensuring their lawns get plenty of water.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Panic attacks
  • Air hunger
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Avoidance
  • Sense of control loss
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Acute frustration

The r0le of dryness often instills an appreciation for hydration, yet for the Xerophobe the sense of dryness may be more directly linked to potential death than an appreciation for moisture. A Xerophobe would likely struggle with a drought and they may flee anyone who appears to have dry skin, hair or lips.

How to Overcome Xerophobia

Xerophobia can be managed if the one who fears can begin to understand that dryness is a natural, but most often temporary state. Rain will fall, moisture will come, leaves will grow again. It is part of the natural balance of our world. Dryness is also a state that can typically be reversed, so avoiding someone or something that is dry may be less compassionate than sticking with them through the dry spell.

A therapist can provide help in determining the extent of your fear as well as figuring out of that is the sum total of your fears or if there are other fears associated with your condition.

Knowledge and counseling are important allies in recovery. The more you understand the more you are able to come to terms with your condition.

There is never a simple solution to a complex problem, which is why a therapist may be a strong answer to the problem of Xerophobia. By taking the first step and agreeing there is problem you can begin to take bold steps toward recovery and fear management.

The fear of dryness is also referred to as:

  • Dryness fear
  • Xerophobia
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