Domatophobia: The Fear of Houses or Being in a House

Domatophobia

Man needs a shelter as a basic necessity. How then is it possible to be afraid of houses? Let’s talk about Eicophobia.

Domatophobia, synonymous with the terms “Eicophobia” and “Oikophobia,” is the fear of houses or staying in a home.

Domatophobia and other phobias

There are cases, rare cases when persons go through a combination of other phobias, and situations like this are called – “Complex phobias.”

It is believed that most phobias cause or give way for the development of specific other phobias.

For instance, a person with domatophobia is likely to develop the fear of being left alone; this can be vice versa as well; however, scientists are not very sure about which would come first.

Causes of Domatophobia

There are ranges of causes that trigger someone to develop domatophobia. The following are the most outstanding ones:

Trauma

This could be as a result of unpleasant past experiences that made the person sustain an injury which serves as a dent in an individual’s life causing the person to be terrified of being in a house and most times, the individual acknowledges that he or she is just overreacting but cannot control it.

When someone witnesses or hears stories about an unpleasant event relating to a house – may be a house crashing to the ground, a haunted house, a home with an electrical or mechanical fault which had caused great harm, may contribute to an individual being traumatized enough that he or she develops this condition.

Genetics And Hereditary

Traits are inheritable, but so are medical conditions such as phobias. People with this condition who may not have been through a trauma but still suffer domatophobia may feel unexplainably afraid of houses.

This could be a result of an ancestor who had developed and lived through this condition, passing the genes of fear down to the offspring dominantly or recessively.

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Background upbringing

Most of the things children know and learn is all based on the caregiver and the environment. A child can obtain and suffer from phobia all because a close individual inculcated that in him or her.

The child will grow up with a sense of extreme and irrational fear, and in this case, fear of houses, fear of being in a house, and fear of likely dangers relating to home.

Symptoms of Domatophobia

Symptoms of domatophobia are manifestations of the effects of domatophobia. These symptoms are likely, and they and they can, to a great extent, ruin a person’s life. However, these symptoms depend on how severe the domatophobia that you are suffering from is.

The symptoms of domatophobia are divided into two according to the effects: physical symptoms and psychological symptoms.

Individuals may experience these symptoms, not only when they come in contact with their object of fear; in this cases, a house, but the thought of a home can get them triggered.

Note that these symptoms can occur any time abruptly, unexpectedly and without any warning signs

Physical Symptoms Of Domatophobia

These are the physical manifestation of domatophobia:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot flushes or chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • A choking sensation
  • Increased heart rates
  • Sharp chest pain
  • A sick feeling in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Feeling of faint
  • Nervous numbness
  • Dry mouth
  • A frequent need to go to the toilet
  • Buzzing sounds or ringing in your ears
  • Confusion
  • Hyperventilation
  • A rise in blood pressure

Psychological Symptoms Of Domatophobia

Depending on the severity of the condition, the mental symptoms may vary across individuals. Persons suffering from severe cases of domatophobia may have panic attacks when they get triggered by domatophobia.

The following are a compilation of common and likely symptoms of domatophobia:

  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Fear of fainting
  • Feelings of dread
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of harm or illness
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Feeling of shame
  • Self-blame
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Confusion, difficulty in concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear.

Treatment of Domatophobia

People with domatophobia may not feel the need to get treatment because they will go along way in avoiding houses of any form.

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Most times, these people think that by just avoiding houses that are fine and in control of the issues. However, avoiding the object of fear as essential as a house is not easy.

Moderate and severe cases of this condition can go a long way in affecting a person’s normal daily activities and life choices; This can ruin a person’s social life and the relationship he or she has with others – friends, family, and others.

Domatophobia can destroy a person’s career and is generally even more dangerous than danger itself. Therefore, this condition should be treated once diagnosed.

The following are treatment available for the treatment of domatophobia as well as other phobias:

Talking Treatments for Domatophobia

This technique may is similar to counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological therapy, which involves your therapist, who is specially trained to help people with mental and anxiety disorders.

You will have scheduled sessions after sessions with your therapist talking about yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, and your behaviors.

However, there are various types of talking therapy which your therapist can pick from according to the ones that will help you, but they all have common aims which are:

  • To help you identify those negative behavioral and thought patterns to influence them positively.
  • To help you resolve those conflicting feelings, in you or at least help find ways to cope with them
  • To help you understand yourself and your surroundings better.
  • To open to you the opportunity of talking to a person (professional) who won’t judge, tease or make fun of you and your condition under a safe time and controlled serene environment

Talking therapy is a gradual process that can subsequently result in the recovery of the individual. Gradual, but effective.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

This treatment is based on the idea that what we always think of influences our behavior.

Effects of domatophobia can affect how you view things and your thoughts about a particular situation or object; in this case, it is anything relating to the house.

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Domatophobia can deprive you of peace of mind even when in a serene environment. Therefore, Cognitive-behavioural Therapy is aimed at identifying those negative behavioral and thought patterns and equipping you with the strategies to overcome them while keeping yourself under control.

Desensitization

This is with the help of exposure therapy. Exposure therapy has laid down stages where at each stage, the individual is exposed to the object of fear gradually under a controlled environment and professional supervision.

Emphasis on the word “gradually” because the individual could have panic attacks and other anxiety response if exposed directly and abruptly to object of fear.

With the individual passing each stage successfully, the less threatened he or she feels at the given stages of exposure and may soon not have to be afraid of the object of fear, in this case – houses.

This is why it is called desensitization; that is reducing your sensitization to your objects or situations of fear (houses, in this case).

Hypnotherapy

This is the opening of an individual’s subconsciousness and convincing it that the fears are extreme and irrational and that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Medication

Medications used in the treatment of phobias are not the cure; they are just used to control anxiety and other psychological symptoms of domatophobia, which in turn prevents the physical symptoms.

They offer temporary relief from unpleasant symptoms. The medications used are of three main types, and they are:

  • Antidepressants
  • Tranquilizers
  • Beta-blockers

These medications, just like every other medication, should not be used without the doctor’s prescription, and if prescribed, they should be used strictly according to prescription.

Again, these medications can have side effects in an individual, and in some cases, these side effects can be severe.

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Another reason why medicines use should be taken precautionary is that there is a possibility of dependency and addiction, which can trigger withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly. Thus; they should be used only short term

Self-help

This is one of the best ways of recovering from domatophobia. This is when you decide to help yourself without the help of a professional mental health worker by merely choosing to be very kind of yourself and to take vital care of yourself and your health, inclusive and mastering your emotions, especially in the face of triggers.

Joining support groups that are available online and offline to help you out feel less lonely and with the tips shared by others, as well as those who have recovered, may help you in keeping your emotions on a check.

Kindly leave a comment below.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.