As a woman, I hate to break this to you, but the fear of men is real! It doesn’t matter what your gender is; anyone can be affected. The correct term for the “fear of men” is Androphobia. It doesn’t ring a bell, does it? That’s because there is less awareness about this phobia. Another reason is we feel it’s natural or normal to fear men. That’s how brainwashed are minds are.
At least one of these statements must have reprogrammed your childhood –
“Stay away from men/ strange men.”
“Never get into a car with a man.”
“Don’t interact with boys. You will get into trouble.”
“Do not befriend boys. You will cause defame to the family.”
“Don’t wear short clothes as it attracts vicious men.”
While each statement does make sense looking at the rising crime rate, it can instead have an ill effect on some people.
So, what if your excessive fear is due to androphobia? Let’s learn more about it to understand the term better.
What Is Androphia?
We all know phobia is a common type of anxiety disorder. It causes you to have an excessive and unrealistic fear of some object or situation. One encounters it, although the threat doesn’t equal the amount of fear the item offers. The amount of anxiety and distress one undergoes is horrifying.
“Andros” is the Greek word for man, and phobia means fear. Androphobia is a psychological term used to describe the abnormal fear of men. It is a phobia that affects both sexes. Intense anxiety is a common mark of it. The term came into existence during feminist and lesbian-feminist movements.
No, androphobia doesn’t support or promote hatred towards men. The fear is real! The hate of men is misandry. Androphobia, as the name suggests, is an actual phobia that requires proper diagnosis and treatment.
What Triggers the Fear of Men?
Several factors trigger androphobia. But the causes are not always clear. Some people under the same circumstances undergo this phobia while others don’t.
Androphobia interferes with your daily life routine and tasks. While an aware person can opt for therapy, many might avoid thinking it’s irrational. Below is the list of causes that gives rise to androphobia –
- A traumatic experience such as sexual harassment, rape, child or domestic abuse, even bullying
- Other anxiety or mental disorders can trigger the fear of men
- Aggressive, unempathetic, neglecting, or violent male figure (often father figure)
- Genetics, in some cases, also causes androphobia
In some cases, hearing someone’s trauma story can cause androphobia. Or watching something happen in childhood that was related to violence or assault is another triggering factor.
Parents often ask their little girls to stay away from the opposite gender to keep themselves safe. This creates an alarming warning and initiates the symptoms of fear of men in many young minds.
What Are the Symptoms of the Fear of Men, AKA Androphobia?
In a growing world, safety is still in question for many. Both sexes, especially women, to date, are struggling to keep themselves secure. The suffering and agony lead to setting the symptoms of androphobia into play.
Mild to Extreme, the symptoms of Androphobia may include –
- Intense panic or anxiety attacks
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Dizziness and Nausea (even fainting)
- Extreme sweating
- Pain in the stomach, chest, or head
- Disturbing thoughts about men (fear of getting molested or abused)
However, in children, the symptoms may slightly differ. Young ones tend to linger with parents (or a trusted adult), often making it difficult to leave their side. They usually outburst or cry whenever a man other than a family member approaches.
Is It Necessary for You To See a Doctor?
When the symptoms persist, and last six months, it is time to see a doctor. Even in cases where the intense fear of men occurs anytime a male figure is present, consultation becomes a must. The reasons may also include the interference of androphobia into your social or work life or relationships.
The causes and experiences are sometimes so traumatic that the symptoms become extreme, affecting your everyday life, including small chores.
If you feel any of these symptoms are lasting longer than usual, or thriving with time, do not panic and schedule a consultation with a doctor.
What Are the Treatments for Androphobia?
Once diagnosed, there are possible treatments for androphobia one can opt for –
- Exposure Therapy – Exposure treatment aims to influence how you react in the presence of males. You gradually confront your fear by repeatedly being exposed to pictures or events that may trigger the symptoms to increase the tolerance level and reduce the anxiousness. Finally, the patient is exposed to real-life men to help you manage your fear, sensations, and feelings.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT is a therapeutic technique that teaches the victim different ways to deal with the fear of men. The person is exposed to several ways to change their perspective towards their fear. After persuading them to gain a clearer viewpoint, the therapist works on the bodily sensations associated with their anxiety. Lastly, the patient is taught to handle their fear emotionally to impact their daily life positively.
- Medications – Along with psychotherapy, sometimes, therapists prescribe medications for short-term intake to manage the anxiety or panic episodes. The medicines may make it simpler for you to adjust to being around men, which is why they are given at the beginning of the treatment.
In conclusion, if you fear men, and are sure you do not have androphobia, still it’s vital to consult a counselor. Our experiences can haunt us into becoming the person we are not. And therapy can help us fix that.
Tell us in the comments what you think about Androphobia! Do you think its awareness is a must?