Fear of Nuclear Weapons

The fear of nuclear weapons may be a reasonable fear. After all there is incredible power with devastating and long-term effects should a nuclear weapon be used in times of warfare. When this fear becomes debilitating it is clinically described as Nucleomituphobia.

The world’s superpowers developed nuclear weaponry with the idea that by this show of force it would stop other world superpowers from using it against them. Effectively by owning such devastating military power the end result was supposed to be world peace.

With the nuclear tests performed by North Korea the fear of nuclear weaponry began to escalate and is being passed along to others.

What Causes Nucleomituphobia?

In the 1950’s a public safety campaign was launched called “Duck and Cover” (see video below). The emphasis of this public service program was to help children understand what might happen in the event of an atomic bomb. This national emphasis instilled enough fear into adults that bomb shelters were erected and fear gripped a nation. By extension that fear was often passed along to children and grandchildren who remain wary of bombs to this day.

It may seem very easy to see the fear this program may have perpetuated in the midst of trying to help prepare the U.S. population for the potential of an atomic bomb attack. In retrospect, however, the bombs never came – shelters were related to storage rooms – things seemed to go back to normal – except for the nucleomituphobe who still lived with the fear of a bomb attack at any moment. This fear is a classic example of a phobia being passed from one generation to the next. On the other hand Hollywood has also delivered several doomsday scenario movies that also perpetuate the view that mankind will be obliterated by nuclear weapons. This serves to heighten the fear in many.

Symptoms of Nucleomituphobia

When civil unrest is shown in television news it can cause panic attacks in those who consider any war or rumor of civil action the potential apocalyptic end to life itself.

Other symptoms include…

  • Panic attack
  • Trembling
  • Air hunger
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Elevated or irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of awareness of others who may be trying to help

The fear generated from the discussion of nuclear weaponry can be enough to cause any of these symptoms. This fear is likely tied to the fear of death, fear of war or fear of terrorists.

How to Overcome Nucleomituphobia

This fear will almost always have its roots in childhood, which can help a therapist venture back more quickly to learn the root cause of the fear. Facts can help especially when you consider the untold millions of dollars spent on bomb shelters and practice drills used to prepare the population for what was thought to be the ‘inevitable’. The clear message was that in this case the worst-case scenario never happened. The threat did push America to enact some significant strides in working to stop threats before they became real.

If you’ve had a lifelong fear of nuclear weaponry it may be time to learn new ways to deal with the fear so you can move forward with a life away from phobic responses.

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