Fear of Earthquakes – Seismophobia

You can’t see it coming, but its effects can shatter your confidence. Unlike tornadoes or hurricanes, earthquakes can test the limits of fear simply because its dramatic entrance is unannounced. The phobia name associated with this common fear is Seismophobia. This fear may not be as noticed in locations where earthquakes are uncommon, but for those who live in California or parts of China the occasional tremor can leave them exhausted in their fear.

What Causes Seismophobia

This fear is often the direct result of either living through an earthquake and replaying the mental images of destruction and the internal fears of original panic. It can also be enhanced or introduced by horror stories from others who have lived through an event or obsess about the possibility of the next big earthquake.

Like many fears this one is often linked to the personal response of someone who has lived through an earthquake and has grown to fear them in a dramatic fashion.

Visual images of earthquake damage can further enhance or solidify the notion that earthquakes are among the worst natural disasters known to man.

A healthy respect for this natural phenomenon is valid. An obsession with an earthquake creates an environment where seismophobia can grow.

Symptoms of Seismophobia

The fear of earthquakes can occur in something as innocent as a large truck passing by that caused a floor to vibrate in its wake. The sense of panic along with an adrenalin rush often follows virtually any vibration for a seismophobe.

Other symptoms may include…
  • Elevated or irregular heart rates
  • Elevated body temperature and sweating
  • Anxiety or panic attack
  • Temporary loss of control of bodily functions
  • Nausea
  • Screaming
  • An acute sense of dread
  • Air hunger
  • An inability to immediately rationalize the fear

When these fear symptoms begin to express themselves the seismophobe will often indicate they have no control over their response to an earthquake event.

How to Overcome Seismophobia

One author believe earth scientists should play a role in helping to curb the incidence of earthquake fears. The premise seems to be that scientists can help educate the public regarding the causes of an earthquake and why most seismic activity does not result in a loss of life.

A fear of earthquakes is considered a common and often healthy response to the event. The trouble stems from allowing a healthy respect to blossom into an unreasoning fear.

Beyond knowledge of earthquakes it can be important to visit with a qualified therapist who can help you identify the root causes of the fear and address those underlying reasons for the fear response.

Support groups can be helpful as can a trusted friend who extends compassion in the face of your fear. This type of response can go a long way in helping you work through your fear.

It is also possible other fears may be tied to this phobia. Things such as a fear of death, a fear of small spaces and a fear of the dark can all provide fuel for the flame of your fear.

Sometimes your fear can be be unmasked in much the same way an onion is peeled. Layers upon layers need to systematically be removed to help you get to the heart of those things you fear most.

Remember some phobias can actually be symptomatic of a root fear. Dealing with a single fear may not always remove anxiety from your life. Seeking help to locate the originating fear is the most helpful in determining a cause.

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