Dinophobia: symptoms, causes and treatment

The phobias considered rare are those rare phobias, or of which we have never heard of talking … Perhaps this happens to you with the dinophobia , which consists of the phobia to the sensation of vertigo and / or dizziness (we should not confuse it, but, with the phobia of heights).

In this article we will see what exactly this phobia consists of, as well as its associated symptoms, some of its possible causes and treatments that can be applied.

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Dinophobia: what is it?

Dinophobia is the phobia of vertigo and / or dizziness. We should not confuse this phobia with the fear of heights (acrophobia), since in phobia the phobic object is vertigo, not heights (which would be one of the causes of vertigo).

It is thus a specific phobia (a type of anxiety disorder), listed as such in the current DSM-5 (Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Thus, in dinophobia there is a disproportionate, intense and irrational fear of feeling dizzy or dizzy. What they fear, too, are the sensations associated with this physiological state; for example, feeling that the body is on one side and the head on the other, feeling short of breath, feeling that everything around moves / wobbles, losing balance, lack of stability …

Dinophobia, in reality, is a rare phobia; that is, it is a rare phobia. Acrophobia (phobia at heights) is much more frequent, for example .

Vertigo

The vertigo consists of an objective sensation of movement, of rotation of the environment or of oneself. It is also related to a feeling of “vacuum precipitation” (although this does not really exist). The sensation of vertigo not only appears when we are in high places, but it can also appear in a panic disorder, for example.

This altered psychophysiological state is related to an alteration in the vestibular system (related to balance, posture and spatial control), which is found in the ear. In addition, the sensation of vertigo is very unpleasant and can cause intense fear, so it is logical that this sensation can end up causing a phobia such as dinophobia.

On the other hand, vertigo can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as feeling imminent fainting, loss of balance and / or nausea.

How long can the feeling of vertigo last? It depends on its trigger, etiology … but, generally, from minutes to days. Vertigo can affect any person (we must differentiate it, but, from the proper dinophobia), although the most frequent ages of onset are between 40-50 years and from 70.

Relationship with other phobias

As a curious fact, dinophobia has been related to other types of phobia, in this case phobias of more abstract objects , such as eternity or infinity ( apeirophobia ).

An evolutionary sense …?

Like many other phobias, dinophobia could also have, etiologically, an evolutionary sense . That is, our ancestors could have feared this feeling of vertigo by relating it to possible damage or traumatic events.

As a result, we may have “inherited”, to some extent, this type of phobia. The same applies to phobias of a more biological type, such as phobia at heights (acrophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), etc.

symptom

The symptoms associated with dinophobia are as follows.

1. Intense fear of vertigo

The main symptom of dinophobia, like that of any specific phobia, is an intense, irrational and disproportionate fear of a specific phobic object (in this case, vertigo and / or dizziness). This fear can be triggered by stimuli that recall this feeling of vertigo , or simply appear without a trigger stimulus.

2. Physiological symptoms

Remember that specific phobias are anxiety disorders. All of them involve physiological symptoms such as dizziness, dizziness, feeling short of breath, tachycardia, sweating, trembling …

In the case of dinophobia, these are the same symptoms (causally, one of them is the dizziness / dizziness itself).

3. Interference

In order to diagnose a phobia as such, the symptoms must cause interference in the person’s daily life . Although it is true that there are some phobias that do not interfere with daily functioning, because the phobic stimulus is not found on a day-to-day basis (think, for example, of snakes, living in a city …). So the same can happen with dinophobia (although, remember, a trigger stimulus is not always necessary for the symptoms of dinophobia to occur).

4. Discomfort

Another important symptom of dinophobia is the discomfort caused by the phobia itself, since the person may be limited in their day-to-day life, due to that constant fear of suffering from vertigo.

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Causes

Phobias can have many causes, although the most common cause is a traumatic event . In the case of dinophobia, it may be that the person has experienced a traumatic situation related to these bodily sensations (dizziness or dizziness), as well as with bridges, heights, airplanes …

Thus, the fact of experiencing a situation of these characteristics (with a great emotional load associated), may be enough to develop dinophobia. This also includes cases where such a situation is not directly experienced, but is heard to talk about it, be seen in other people (vicarious conditioning), etc.

In addition, once the symptoms of dinophobia are experienced, it is common that the following occur: that a terrible fear appears to relive these symptoms, which turns the disorder into a vicious cycle of difficult exit without treatment.

Treatment

The treatment of dinophobia, at the psychological level, includes two great options: exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (they can be used together, although exposure therapy usually already includes cognitive-behavioral techniques).

Recall that exposure therapy is the most effective treatment for specific phobias, as evidenced by various studies. Cognitive behavioral therapy also offers very good results.

On the other hand, exposure therapy includes exposure to the phobic stimulus, gradually (through a hierarchy of items). The goal is for the patient to “overcome” increasingly difficult items until he manages to face the phobic situation without needing to escape from it.

For this, the patient is often trained in coping strategies that he can use when he feels high levels of anxiety, such as breathing, relaxation or positive images. On the other hand, cognitive-behavioral therapy essentially includes cognitive restructuring, which aims to “restructure” the catastrophic thoughts of the patient in relation to vertigo and its associated symptoms, in order to replace them with more functional, realistic ones. and adaptive.

That is to say, phobias often appear cognitive distortions and irrational thoughts that should be combated; This is also the case in dinophobia. Therefore, cognitive behavioral therapy has the mission of offering the patient tools to be able to detect these thoughts, and then modify them.

 

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