There are phobias that are related to traffic, but you do not have to be driving the car to suffer it. As a pedestrian, you can also suffer from irrational fear when crossing a street. What if you get run over? In our dictionary of phobias we talk about agirophobia or the fear of crossing the street , a very limiting disorder that can lead to the isolation of the person who suffers it.
What is agirophobia
Agirophobia is the fear of crossing the street. What at first may seem like a logical fear because it is evident that there is a risk of being run over the moment you leave the sidewalk, turns into a phobia due to excessive fear and avoidance behavior . Because you can’t avoid crossing a street, right?
People who suffer from this phobia feel fear and panic even at marked crosswalks , when vehicles have no preference and must stop. But there is still a risk, so we all look from side to side when we cross a street. A prevention that when you have agirophobia is neither useful nor sufficient, because the irrational fear mechanism has already been triggered.
Symptoms of agirophobia
When a person with agirophobia finds himself in the situation of having to cross a street, he experiences a series of reactions in addition to fear . Among them can be found dizziness , tachycardia, nausea, tingling in the extremities, headache, the feeling of unreality, difficulty breathing … In short, all the symptoms of anxiety that can also lead to a panic attack.
It is not strange that people with agirophobia are considered agoraphobic , since they rarely go out to the streets to avoid a situation that is actually unavoidable. In the safety of their home they do not have to cross any street but the moment they leave, their fear is activated. And you have to go out, to work, to shop, to enjoy … Unfortunately, a person with agirophobia cannot enjoy knowing that at any moment they will have to cross a street .
Causes of agirophobia
But how does this inordinate fear of crossing the street develop? The most common cause is traumatic experience conditioning. If you have experienced an accident in the first person under these circumstances, if in your childhood you were hit by a car when you were crossing the street and you spent a long time in the hospital or if you witnessed an accident and the pedestrian died, it is possible that the origin of the accident phobia is found here.
But there is more. Because you may not have had any unpleasant experiences in connection with a traffic accident and yet you have a panic to cross the street. In this case, it is that logical fear amplified by an anxiety disorder , which turns rational fears into monsters that make your life extremely difficult.
Treatment of agirophobia
It is clear that agirophobia is a disorder that should be treated as soon as possible because it is one of the most limiting phobias . Can you imagine that every time you go out on the street you get an anxiety attack? It is not enough for your friends to tell you that nothing is wrong, it is not enough for your partner to shake your hand and show you that nothing bad happens when crossing the street. It is not enough, you must seek psychological help.
The most common treatment for phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy , which works on distorted initial thinking, the one that provokes irrational fear, to later move on to modify avoidant behavior before the stimulus. This therapy is usually accompanied by gradual exposure techniques and relaxation techniques to reduce the degree of anxiety.