Metathesiophobia – Beat Your Fear Of Change


Metathesiophobia Fear Of ChangeMetathesiophobia – 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.

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Fear Of Change – Causes

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:

  • Past experiences with change. Fear of change can also be the result of constant changes in the childhood of a person that’s afraid of change. It requires us to adapt to the chaos. If someone has moved around a lot in childhood as a result of death, financial difficulties, or other factors, they become afraid of change.
  • Underlying mental problems or weaknesses. If someone’s insecure or anxious or depressed, the last thing they’ll want to do is make a drastic change. Social anxiety, for example, prevents people from meeting new people and thus making changes in their lives. In these cases, we need to diagnose and solve the underlying problems first before accepting change.
  • Being stuck in the past. It’s not easy to get over a relationship, for example. We can easily start ruminating about what could have gone differently, and how things have gone so wrong. We don’t move on, and this makes us afraid of the future – we’re afraid of “more of the same”. While that’s normal sometimes, it’s vital that we learn that everything is not so black-and-white.

Metathesiophobia Symptoms

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:

  • Fear of the uncertainty that change brings. Our brain is hard-wired to become used to a routine, and it wants to make sure everything is certain and clear. Change is the exact opposite of that – we want to feel in control, and change can bring on chaos and uncertainty. Someone might start to panic just based on stories they make up in their mind. They start to imagine how it would look like if they changed and get scared of it as a result.
  • Panic or anxiety attacks when change is possible. If the possibility of a change is becoming more and more of a possibility, then someone who suffers from this phobia will start to feel uneasy. This feeling of unease then develops to the point of panic. This panic can start off mild but grow in severity to the point of a full blown panic attack – heart palpitations, fast heartbeat, sweating, nausea, shaking or trembling, dry mouth, confusion, and dark thoughts of death.
  • Rejection of all new things. Someone with a fear of change will reject anything new, or anything that appears to be new and requires them to change. This new thing would threaten their comfort zone, and they reject it instead. They go out of their way to avoid such situations and it’s at this point that quality of life deteriorates.
  • Cutting social ties is also common. They will start making excuses not to try new things and meet new people, as well as cut existing social ties. This can lead to loneliness and depression. The person knows this fear is irrational, but they can’t overcome it.

Metathesiophobia – Facts and Data

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!

When To Seek Help For A Fear Of Change

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.


Treatment For The Fear Of Change – Therapy


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):

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 (NLP):

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 >

The Fear Of Change Self Help Treatments

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.


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