The Dread Files – Selaphobia

What is Selaphobia?
Do you have a fear of flashing lights? Flashing lights are annoying and disturbing for a lot of people. There are some who become extremely anxious when witnessing flashing lights. This dread-inducing feeling is called Selaphobia – the fear of flashing lights.

Selaphobia is derived from the Greek word “selas”, meaning “light.” The phobia is related to Photophobia (the fear of light) and Photaugiaphobia/Photaugiophobia or Photoaugliaphobia (which are all the fear of glaring lights).

What are the Causes?
It’s generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events, such as traumatic incidents and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics). Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age.

Selaphobia often occurs because of negative experiences involving flashing lights. One trigger could be flashing lights in a disco where a person may have become involved in a fight or was turned down by a potential girlfriend, meaning flashing lights are associated with the trauma or hurt they felt at that moment in time. People with this phobia will keep their eyes closed when they see flashing lights.

Flashing lights are also feared by sufferers of epilepsy because this can trigger a seizure attack. Migraine sufferers may also have attacks when they see flashing lights.

What are the Symptoms?
As with any phobia, the symptoms vary person-to-person depending on the level of fear. The symptoms typically include:

Extreme anxiety, dread and anything associated with panic such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, inability to articulate words or sentences, and shaking.

Can I Take Medicine?
Medicine can be prescribed, but these medications can produce side effects and/or severe withdrawal systems. It’s important to note that medicines don’t cure phobias; at best they temporarily suppress the symptoms. However, there are treatments for phobias, which include counseling, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and neuro-linguistic programming.

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