Algophobia is the fear of pain. Any phobia is an anxiety related disorder and to the sufferer, the fear is extremely real. Even when a person who suffers from algophobia tries to reason with himself that his fear is irrational or not based on any prior experience it still can overcome his life.
The diagnosis of algophobia is often difficult to make and many times it can be misdiagnosed as depression or even a sleeping disorder. Many times a person who suffers from a phobia may have another disorder at the same time.
Because of how strong their fear of pain is, the algophobic may avoid situations and cause themselves to experience more anxiety and maybe even slip into depression. The algophobic has a severe and persistent fear of pain. The fear grows to where the person will experience intense feelings of panic, dread, anger, fear and terror. These feelings manifest as dizziness, nausea, sweating, increased heart rate and a feeling that they cannot breathe.
The person will often be afraid of losing control and feels strongly that they cannot handle any physical pain. Sometimes they may also have an intense fear of getting hurt. The anxiety that builds in response to their fear of pain causes symptoms to develop.
Once a person sees a doctor and is evaluated, treatment may consist of a combination of an anti-anxiety medication and therapy. The anti-anxiety medication is not meant to cure this phobia all by itself. The medication helps the person to ease their symptoms so that they can fully participate in therapy that will help them to overcome this phobia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one recommended kind of therapy to deal with algophobia. In this kind of therapy the patient is taught how to recognize what triggers their symptoms and how to effectively cope with the symptoms once they do occur. It takes effort on the part of the patient and depending on the patient and the severity of the symptoms it may take several months to get better.
Algophobia is not going to disappear without treatment. A person who suffers from this anxiety-related disorder will have a hard time keeping control over their emotions. They often will lose control because of how strongly the fear of pain can be for them. Even the slightest pain will be magnified for them.
With a proper diagnosis and a patient who is willing to work hard at therapy, a patient can learn to manage their algophobia and in time even be free of it.