Amaxophobia is a kind social phobia which means illogical fear of riding in a car.
What is Amaxophobia?
Amaxophobia is an illogical and abnormal fear of riding in a car which is mostly caused by road accidents or negative past experiences of riding in a car. People suffering with amaxophobia find it difficult to travel in a car rather they prefer bike or cycle to go to their destinations, which makes their life even more difficult.
Such people feel anxiety by mere thinking of riding a car or seeing a car going on a road. Amaxophobia, if left untreated, can become severe and such people can face anxiety attacks as well. So it is strongly recommended that such people should consult a proper physician without wasting any time.
Symptoms of Amoxaphobia:
Like all other phobias, the most common symptom of amoxaphobia is feeling anxiety. In extreme cases, this anxiety is accompanied by panic attacks which themselves are very painful. People facing this phobia exhibit following symptoms:
- Severe illogical anxiety when riding in a car
- Anxiety when thinking about riding a car
- Sweating, intense heartbeat
- Muscle tension
- Avoiding riding in a car
- Panic attacks (in extreme cases)
Causes of Amoxaphobia:
Like other phobias or mental diseases, amoxaphobia can also be caused due to some biological or environmental factors. Following are the possible causes of developing this phobia:
- Genetics: Phobia disorders like this tend to run in families. Genetics can play a role in the development of amoxaphobia as these behavioral traits are strongly genetically influenced. For example if someone has a family history of mental disorders, especially of phobias then they may have a greater risk of developing an illogical fear of riding in a car. However, it isn’t entirely clear how much of this may be due to genetics and how much is due to environmental factors.
- Brain Structure: A structure in the brain called the amygdala is believed to play a role in handling the fear responses. People having overactive amygdala may have higher fear responses, causing increased anxiety while riding in a car.
- Negative Past Experiences: People facing amoxaphobia may have a harsh past experience of riding in a car like they may have met a road accident or something like that which caused them to develop this phobia.
Though we do not know the exact cause of amaxophobia, most mental health physicians believe that both genetics and environmental factors play important roles in the development of probably any known mental disorder.
Best treatment of amoxaphobia is to consult a physician without wasting any time. Examples of treatments which have proved to be effective in curing amoxaphobia are as follows:
It is believed to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for someone suffering from amaxophobia. In exposure therapy patients are slowly exposed to their fear over a given period of time. In order to treat someone’s illogical fear of riding in a car, the therapist may expose the patients to their fear by forcing them to ride in a car in the parking lot or somewhere comparably safe.
However doing so will make them face severe anxiety issues but it is believed that this treatment has proved its credibility several times in the treatment of amoxaphobia patients. The reason is that doing this regularly help patients to overcome their fear of riding in a car. Many physicians use this method to treat not only amoxaphobia but other mental issues and phobias as well.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
The American Psychological Association defines cognitive-behavioral therapy as “a system of treatment involving a focus on thinking and its influence on both behavior and feelings.”
People facing amoxaphobia can also try various other relaxation methods to overcome their anxiety. Examples of such methods are: massage, meditation, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture. However, one can’t fully recover through these methods, so CBT is another treatment that can help people struggling with this phobia to make permanent progress by changing irrational thinking into rational thinking.
Besides these treatments, anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants may also be effective to reduce someone’s symptoms of amaxophobia. However, merely taking medication alone without any sort of exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy may not be effective for long term treatment. Be that as it may, you should still talk to your physician before deciding to do so to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these types of medications.