Metathesiophobia – the fear of change. Change can be an intimidating prospect for anyone. As human beings we prefer to live lives controlled by a routine which creates a feeling of security. We create a comfort zone for ourselves, and stepping out of it can sometimes feel somewhat daunting.
Metathesiophobia however is an extreme and irrational fear of change that completely prevents us from trying new things and getting out of this comfort zone. It’s completely normal to be intimidated by the unknown that change can bring but it’s when this fear is getting in our way and it prevents us from achieving our goals and living our life fully that it can be obstructive (to say the least).
Studies from 2019 prove that many young people and young adults are afraid of change. It also shows that, to a lesser extent, many adults and the elderly are also unwilling to change. Some fear is, of course, completely normal but someone who is excessively afraid of change will feel like they’re controlled by life and they will prefer to live in the past rather than move on. This can bring on a plethora of mental problems, such as depression, anxiety, as well as physical symptoms when one is exposed to a possibility of or need to change.
There’s no, one definitive cause of Metathesiophobia but it very often stems from a historical event or childhood “programming”. Some past experience has triggered an emotional distress which has been associated with change and hence an irrational fear of change has developed and compounded over time.
The cause of a fear of change could stem from:
Fear of change manifests itself in the form of various different symptoms that range in severity. Life with this phobia will become very difficult; options will seem limited, and people suffering from this phobia will prefer to look back to the past instead of moving forward. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:
Whilst there’s little in the way of official data into the extent of Metathesiophobia globally. a nationwide study into British lifestyles and attitudes at FreeAgent in the UK has revealed as many as 27 percent of Brits claim they are actually “panicked” by change, and nearly a quarter admit they are scared to do something different to their usual routine.
In fact, the same report highlighted that 22 percent of Brits were staying in a job they hate, 15 percent walking away from a new relationship, and nearly one in ten were too AFRAID to go on the holiday of a lifetime … and all because they feared change and the unknown.
If these numbers are accurate then the extent of the condition is staggering!
Phychology Today suggests that we fear change because we can’t anticipate the outcome. Think about it … just how many situations can that represent? Careers, relationships, leisure, education … in other words almost ALL aspects of life. Everything changes and evolves – you’ve only got to compare life today with the way it was 10 years ago to prove the point.
Most of us like stability and consistancy and change can result in a little aprehension. This is completely normal and expected. However, if this fear of change is resulting in more than just a little aprehension or if it’s resulting in some form of avoidance then it’s time to act. Intensity will only grow if left unchecked.
Think back to your early childhood – were you always afraid of change? Of course not – just look at how much you’ve actually embraces change ofver the years. Hypnotherapy works on the principle that something occured along your life line to date – something happened that triggered the start of an irrational fear of change and made you want to avoid it. So, quite simply, hypnotherapy works by removing thes irrational fear and “re-setting” the natural reaction to change to the rational response you were born with. Find Out More >
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is probably the most recognised form of therapy treatment for all forms of fear … including a fear of change. It’s a talking therapy which works on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). It works b changing irrational emotions and reactions to thoughts of change to more rational alternatives. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP helps people change their thinking habits in order to deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In simple terms this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
If the mere thought of some form of change fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.