In Greek, the word chrono means time and the word phobia means fear. Chronophobia is the fear of time. It's characterized by an irrational yet persistent fear of time and of the passing of time.
Chronophobia is related to the rare chronomentrophobia, the irrational fear of timepieces, such as watches and clocks.
Chronophobia is considered a specific phobia. A specific phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by a powerful, unwarranted fear of something that presents little or no actual danger, but instigates avoidance and anxiety. Usually, the fear is of an object, situation, activity, or person.
There are five specific phobia types:
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a specific phobia are likely to be:
Symptoms can be triggered when presented with the phobia itself or occur when thinking about the phobia.
For a person with chronophobia, often a specific situation that highlights the passage of time can intensify anxiety, such as a:
However, someone with chronophobia may experience anxiety as almost a permanent fixture in their lives.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 12.5 percent of U.S. adults, sometime in their lives will experience a specific phobia.
As chronophobia is linked to time, it is logical that:
Also, a sense of a foreshortened future has, according to a 2014 study, been used as a diagnostic criteria for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that, although each type of anxiety disorder commonly has its own treatment plan, there are types of treatment that are commonly used.
These include psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and prescription drugs, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, such as beta blockers and benzodiazepines.
Suggested complementary and alternative treatments include:
Specific phobias can lead to other problems, such as:
Although specific phobias do not always call for treatment, your doctor should have some insights and recommendations to help.
Chronophobia, is specific phobia described as an irrational yet often unrelenting fear of time and of the passage of time.
If chronophobia, or any phobia, interferes with your daily life, discuss the situation with your healthcare provider. They may recommend a mental health specialist to help with a full diagnosis and to plan a course of action for treatment.
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