Fear of Materialism

Parents often raise their children in hopes they will have a better life. Parents will encourage their children to pursue a college degree and land a well paying job. Rightfully they want to see their children succeed. The push toward success can have unintended negative consequences. Good enough suddenly is never good enough. Bigger and better is a normal inclination, and to the outside world there can be a misunderstanding of the individual wanting more. There are some that observe this phenomenon and determine that materialism makes people greedy and without compassion. Their response generally leads to personal frugality, but it can also eventually lead to a condition known as Hylephobia.

The fear of materialism could be fixated on what it might do to you – or what it seems to do to others.

What Causes Hylephobia?

A person who has been materialistic may have feelings of guilt when they honestly take a look at what they have in comparison with what those less fortunate may have. This revelation may make it difficult for them to continue on the same road of self-fulfillment. Many will come to terms with the issue, but others may struggle with the fear of stuff.

The phobic personality may also have viewed a fear of materialism in a trusted adult in their past. The fear we observe in those close to us can have a profound effect on what we embrace as worthy of fear. They may have believed materialism greatly reduces your capacity to love others and care for them. It is possible for some phobic personalities to virtually insist on living at poverty levels in an effort to keep materialism from touching them.

It is even possible the fear you experience may be due to observing your own life when you were consumed with material goods. It could be this side of your personality may frighten you and cause you to determine materialism is worth fearing.

Symptoms of Hylephobia

Individuals with this fear may be prone to shopoing in second hand stores or at garage sales. They will avoid malls and may even chose friends based on whether the individual appears materialistic or not.

Other symptoms (when confronted with materialism)  may also include…

  • Trembling
  • Anger
  • Panic attack
  • An urge to flee
  • Control loss
  • Frustration
  • Nausea
  • Weeping
  • Elevated heart rate

Materialism can be a personal choice, but the fear of materialism introduces a bias against those who enjoy items you may consider troublesome.

How to Overcome Hylephobia

You will need to come to understand that there is nothing wrong with owning material possessions. There may be a struggle with how that individual treats others who have less, but then again there may also be a struggle with how someone who fears materialism treats those who have more.

Gaining some help from a therapist can allow you to place your fear in perspective. What you’ve accepted as a phobic response might be better observed as a lifestyle choice that differs from others. Your fear response doesn’t need to be engaged for you to have a personal opinion that still allows you to accept others.

The fear of materialism is also referred to as:

  • Materialism fear
  • Fear of stuff
  • Hylephobia
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