Revealing the Causes and Symptoms of Phobias in Long Words

There are various types of phobias in the world. One that seems unique and rarely heard is Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.

People with Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia can experience excessive anxiety when dealing directly with words that are too long.

So, what causes the phobia of long words? Does this condition have typical symptoms, or are they similar to other types of phobias? Come on, find out!

Causes and Symptoms of Phobias

Causes of Long Word Phobia 

As described by Ikhsan Bella PersadaM.Psi ., Psychologist, the cause of the phobia of long words or Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is still not known with certainty.

However, similar to other types of phobias, the condition is usually related to trauma or unpleasant events in the past.

“For example, when someone says a long sentence and his friends laugh; or he feels embarrassed because he is not fluent when reading long writings,” said Ikhsan.

Apart from this, the risk of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia and other similar phobias can also be influenced by the following:

  • Genetics, which is a family history of certain phobias, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
  • Environment, which is the result of daily behavior and lifestyle; such as hearing negative or traumatic experiences related to a particular phobia.
  • Changes in certain activities due to disturbances in brain function.
Symptoms of long-word phobia

The main symptom of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, namely feeling afraid and anxious when dealing directly with words that are too long; e.g. antidisestablishmentarianism.

These symptoms can get worse because the sufferer can also feel very worried about the feelings of the people around him when he reads or says the word.

In addition, there are also other symptoms that can occur due to Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, namely:

  • Trembling and sweating at the sight of long words.
  • Dizziness until consciousness is reduced when reading long words.
  • Can’t control myself and have trouble breathing when looking at long words.
  • As much as possible do not want to read, because they are afraid to find long words.
  • Feeling pressured while studying or doing work that involves writing.

How to Overcome the Phobia of Long Words

As explained by Ikhsan, the most important treatment for phobias is to find out the source of the fear.

Then, negative thoughts about it need to be changed to be more rational using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

In addition, patients will also usually be asked to implement lifestyle changes such as the following:

  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Cut back on things that can make anxiety worse, such as caffeine.
  • Make an effort to face scary and anxiety-provoking situations head-on.

If you still have concerns when dealing with long words, do the following:

  • Changing Words

Sometimes avoiding long words can temporarily help you deal with anxiety.

However, keep in mind, you can’t do it all the time. Constantly avoiding long words will not cure you of your phobia.

  • Read Slowly

Spend more of your time reading long words. Take a deep breath, and break the word into parts and syllables.

Make sure you don’t rush into it. If you feel dizzy, try to stop for a moment.

  • Take advantage of technology 

Computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices have autocorrect and dictionaries to help with spelling.

They can also help with phonetic pronunciation if you have to learn to pronounce long words.

You can use it to occasionally distract from a long word. You can also use it as a medium to learn to deal with the fear of long words.

Any phobia, including Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, can be overcome if you have the courage to confront the fear.

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