It may surprise you if we tell you that almost 90% of us have had some irrational idea cross our minds when we are looking in the mirror… Something like: What could be behind there? What if my reflection now behaved differently from my own movements? It’s something normal, it happens to all of us! But sometimes, there are those who can develop an irrational fear of mirrorsthis is known as Eisoptrophobia.
You should know that Eisoptrophobia affects several people around the world. In Supercurious We tell you why it is one of the rarest phobias, how it occurs and some of the most effective treatments to overcome the fear of mirrors. Join us!
What is Eisoptrophobia and why does it occur?
Understanding what a phobia is, from a clinical point of view, is very complex. Since generally it is difficult for two cases to manifest in the same way.
If you, for example, have coulrophobia or a fear of clowns, your previous experiences with them will not be the same as other people’s. Therefore, the origins will be different, and the degree of panic will also change.
Such is the case of Eisoptrophobia or fear of mirrors that, in general, occurs when someone experiences intense fear when looking at a mirror or any object that can generate a reflection.
Specialists have determined that Eisoptrophobia is an irrational fear that is related to superstitious thinking. That is, people who suffer from Eisoptrophobia fear that when looking at the mirror reflection they will observe supernatural phenomena such as spirits, demons or ghosts.
1. What is the origin of the fear of mirrors?
When trying to elucidate what causes Eisoptrophobia, we must know that its origins can be multiple and will have to do with the personal history of each person who suffers from it.
However, this fear is often related to “some cultural traditions” where the mirror acquires connotations related to black magic, or a “disturbing” symbolism.
- The mirror, in many of our cultures, is a symbol of inexplicable phenomena. For example: a “door” to an unknown dimension. Hence when someone passes away, to prevent their return, the mirrors are turned around.
- In some towns with an ancient tradition, it is thought that the human soul is reflected in the water and in the mirrors. For this reason, creatures such as vampires (lacking souls) do not reflect in them or on the contrary, if you accidentally break a mirror it is an indication of bad omen related to the death of someone you love.
- Also There are black mirrors made with obsidian, which in ancient times were related to magic. Nowadays, there are people who make use of them to perform regressions and get in touch with past reincarnations.
Incredible true?, although the mirror is an everyday item for many of usits connotations affect some people, producing Eisoptrophobia.
Even today, the sensationalism of mirrors to convey terror to us is something widely used in the world of cinema, and this may be another reason why many people develop an irrational fear of mirrors. Now, there is no lack of those who add that perhaps, hides in this certain phobia problems stemming from low self-esteem.
However, as we have pointed out before, the fear of mirrors is more related to underlying fears that are culturally transmitted to us, or to fears of ghosts or somewhat irrational supernatural situations that are installed, without knowing how, in our minds.
2. What are the symptoms of Eisoptrophobia?
Those who have a phobia of mirrors, they have big problems in their daily lifebecause they not only react with panic attacks to these objects, but also to all those surfaces that may be reflectivelike the large windows and even the screens of our mobile devices.
In turn, before listing the symptoms that Eisoptrophobia can produce, you should know that it can influence it to a lesser or greater degree depending on the person who suffers from it.
Always it is important to have the constant company of a specialistsince he will be in charge of determining to what extent the fear of mirrors becomes a phobia and what is the best way to treat it.
Nevertheless, experts tell us that there are some common characteristics among all people who are afraid of mirrors.
- First, there is an uncontrollable fear of any reflective surface.
- The inability to be in a dark room where there is a mirror stands out
- Fear of seeing oneself or another person reflected in the mirror.
These characteristics end up generating pathologies that trigger:
- excessive sweating
- choking sensation
- shortness of breath
- dizziness and nausea
- uncontrollable desire to flee and avoidance attitudes.
The latter refers to the need to avoid any situation in which you might see a reflective object. People with Eisoptrophobia do not have it easy!
3. How to overcome the fear of mirrors?
Like some of the more common phobias, the treatment to overcome or eliminate Eisoptrophobia is fundamentally based on exposure therapy. This consists of exposing the affected person to stimuli or situations where mirrors are found, so that they gradually become desensitized. Exposure therapy is accompanied by strategies for managing anxiety and stress, which is why this type of therapy must be carried out by a specialist.
Little by little, the person suffering from Eisoptrophobia leaves the irrational fear behind and their symptoms disappear. Additionally, the specialist can formulate medications in more complicated casesto counteract the symptoms presented by the affected person.
Another widely used therapy for this type of phobia is the so-called cognitive-behavioral therapy, this can help to face the phobia in a slower way than exposure therapy. In this therapy, The specialist will seek for the patient to reflect on the thoughts that trigger the phobia. During therapy, emphasis is placed on differentiating between realistic and unrealistic thoughts, or the difference between what may be possible and what is not, when in front of a mirror. Subsequently, the patient will be exposed to the object that produces the phobia, to manage anxiety control in various situations.
Some people are limited in their daily lives by phobias such as Eisoptrophobia, so if you think you suffer from the fear of mirrors, it is better to consult a specialist. If you want to continue reading, we recommend you read some phobias of celebrities that you did not know.
Other phobias you should know
Now that we have concluded our article on the fear of mirrors, we want to leave you with this selection of phobias. Do you have any of them?
- What is turofobia, fear of cheese
- What is Eisoptrophobia, fear of mirrors
- What is arachnophobia, fear of spiders
- What is glossophobia, fear of public speaking
- What is acrophobia, fear of heights
- What is haphephobia, fear of being touched
- What is decidophobia, fear of making decisions
- What is tanotophobia, fear of death
- What is aerophobia, fear of flying by plane
- What is ophidiophobia, fear of snakes
- What is hemophobia, fear of blood
- What is clautrophobia, fear of closed spaces
- What is coulrophobia, fear of clowns