When it comes to phobias, the list goes on and on. Some common phobias are arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights), or taphophobia (fear of being buried alive). But what is megalophobia?
A rare phobia?
Megalophobia is a fear of large objects—for example, larger-than-life statues and even large, moving objects, such as boats, planes, and floats. Even large animals like elephants can get a megalophobic person’s heart racing.
Read more: Scientists on the Brink of Creating a Tusk-Less Elephant-Mammoth to Foil Ivory Poachers
While the condition may seem mild, note that some sufferers of megalophobia are also afraid of large buildings—which can make life very, very difficult if you live and work in a big city. And due to the relative rarity of the phobia, most people are too embarrassed to seek treatment. While some may find relative comfort in throwing spiders at anyone who makes fun of their megalophobia, this is certainly not treatment. That’s because the ways that it manifests are more crippling than you might think.
Megalophobia is an anxiety disorder
It is easy to scoff at the fear of others, but anxiety is nothing to laugh about. Aside from experiencing crippling fear, people suffering from megalophobia may experience symptoms such as
- shortness of breath
- quickened heartbeat
- chest pains
- panic attacks
Famous people have phobias too
In a lot of online articles on phobias, the subject matter is treated a little lightly, so let’s put things into perspective. Everyone has something they’re afraid of, so if you think that you might be suffering from megalophobia, there is nothing to be ashamed of. And if you are not suffering from it and think it’s funny, then you should consider how many odd phobias might exist in your own circle of friends. Here is a little “famous phobia trivia” that you might not be aware of:
- Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar… were all afraid of cats.
- Michael Jordan is afraid of the ocean, after seeing a friend die in water.
- Christina Ricci is afraid to swim in a pool alone, lest a door open up in the floor and pull her down.
- Billy Bob Thornton can’t be in the same room as antique furniture.
Kind of put things in perspective, doesn’t it? So, what can someone suffering from megalophobia do?
Living with megalophobia and possible treatments
First, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Search “megalophobia” in Facebook, for example, and you’ll find some groups of people living with the same phobia. There is power in numbers, which can help keep you from feeling like you have to tackle this phobia on your own.
Second, counselling can also help. Support groups and one-on-one therapy can work wonders, but remember that these take time. Typically, with phobias, treatment consists of what is called “exposure therapy,” so you will likely have to confront your fears in a slow, controlled manner, so that they eventually have less of a hold on you.
If you are suffering from megalophobia or any other phobia, take the first step of finding others like you, because you are definitely not alone. Just remember that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is afraid of something!