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Friday, February 28, 2020

Aichmophobia – Fear of Sharp Things


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Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

Phobias are an extreme fear of specific objects, animals, people, situations, or activities that, in reality, are not precisely very dangerous but still trigger avoidance behaviors and worry.


While most individuals experience subtle anxiety from time to time, some phobias may trigger serious and long-lasting physical and psychological effects.

The effects can be so severe that it becomes very much difficult and challenging to perform daily routine tasks such as going to work or school. Phobias are not age-specific; thus, they can affect both kids and adults alike.

Aichmophobia is a fear of sharp, pointed objects. People who are affected by aichmophobia will get anxious, worried, and frightened around any sharp object that may or may not cause harm to them or anyone else. These sharp objects could include needles, pencils, pens, pins, scissors, and let many other everyday household items.

Aichmophobia is similar to kinds of prevalent phobia, including belonephobia and trypanophobia. Nevertheless, people who have trypanophobia are mainly afraid of needles, pins, and medical procedures involving needles.

Those who have belonephobia are specifically scared of pins and needles, while people with aichmophobia are fearful of many types of sharp, pointed objects.

How is aichmophobia diagnosed?

It is estimated that 10 million people living in the United States are affected by one phobia or another. For some individuals who deal with some specific fears, the fears are manageable annoyances and can be triggered from time to time. Trigger moments maybe when one has to go to a high place, fly on a plane, or have blood drawn.

For people suffering from one phobia or the other, these situations lead to paralyzing fears that disrupt life. If the fear of using or staying close to sharp, pointed objects interfere with a person’s ability to function normally, there is a need to schedule an appointment with a doctor, who may refer you to good mental health professional.

When a person is being evaluated for aichmophobia, they will be asked about their symptoms and also be required to submit their social, medical, and psychiatric history.

A psychiatrist will need to refer to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Fresh studies are now being carried out on how psychologists and psychiatrists can use imaging tests like PET scans and MRIs to shed some light on how a person’s brain structure might be connected to having some specific phobias.


How is aichmophobia treated?

Just like other specific phobias, the treatment that is most commonly used for aichmophobia is a type of cognitive-behavioral treatment or exposure therapy.

The way exposure therapy works is by helping a patient change the way they response to the object that triggers their fear. The object, in this case, is sharp, pointed objects. When a person is exposed to the purpose that makes them anxious or frightened, they begin to fear them less.

A person with aichmophobia might begin their exposure therapy sessions by first viewing videos or looking at photos of needles or knives, then staying in the same room as a set of knives, then holding one.

The next stage will be using a knife to chop food into smaller pieces. Scientists have recently started to explore the potential of virtual reality in expose people who are dealing with phobias to their fears in a way that is safe and controlled.

The most common psychotherapy treatment for specific phobias, including aichmophobia, is cognitive behavioral therapy, and it involves exposing a person to what they fear while teaching them easy coping techniques.

These coping techniques can help a victim critically think of their aichmophobia and realize how it affects them in a less stressful way.

In many cases, going with only psychotherapy as a treatment option is successful enough in the treatment of aichmophobia.

But in some cases, it is crucial to prescribing medications that lessen the feelings of panic or anxiety so a person can temporarily cope with his or her fear while they get treatment. Usually, these medications are for short term use, and mostly for challenging situations.

Some commonly prescribed medications for aichmophobia include:

Beta-blockers: These are medications that stop the effects of stress on the body when a person is exposed to a phobia. Some common bodily effects may include increased blood pressure and heart rate, weak limbs, and a shaking voice.


Sedatives: Also known as benzodiazepines, these medications can help you relax by lessening your anxiety. All sedative medications should be used with care as they tend to become addictive. People with a history of alcohol or drug dependence should not take benzodiazepines.

What’s the outlook for aichmophobia?

The goal of an aichmophobia treatment is to improve your quality of life by shrinking or entirely eliminating your fear. It can be ultimately empowering to feel full control over how you react to sharp objects.

If you notice that you continue to have trouble, you must consider reaching out for more help, both from professionals and family. Self-help or support groups may be useful in connecting you to other people who are also having difficulty coping with the same phobia as you.

With treatment, most people with phobia become less fearful and anxious around sharp objects. The type and length of treatment depend mainly on the severity of a person’s phobia.

Some people require longer or more intensive assistance or treatment than other people. Discuss with your mental health provider if you think that your aichmophobia is getting worse rather than improving over time.

When working on getting past your aichmophobia, try your best not to avoid situations even if you become scared of them. Take your therapy sessions seriously, and use them to work on building coping techniques when your phobia becomes overwhelming.

It’s also vital to take outstanding care of yourself by staying active and eating healthfully, as being healthy can make you feel more confident and reduce your anxiety.

In fact, researchers have discovered that sleep appears to lessen significantly the anxiety that is associated with specific phobias. Avoiding caffeine and some other stimulants may also help shut out your anxiety.

If, as a parent, you notice your child has aichmophobia or any other phobia, do well to see their primary care provider who will be in the best position to make a referral to a mental healthcare provider.

A parent can also help their child cope better by being open about their fears and trying hard enough not to reinforce their specific phobias by aiding them with support to get through challenging situations.


Lastly, it is vital to model positive behavior by showing your child how to respond best when they are confronted by something that makes them fearful. Acknowledge the fear and let them know how best to walk through it.


Aichmophobia is a term used to describe a specific phobia that involves people fearing sharp, pointed objects. Because the feared objects appear everywhere from television to the kitchen and the classroom, people might find it more challenging to conquer this phobia.

Many people have learned to live with aichmophobia and have successfully developed coping techniques that lessen their stress and anxiety. A mental healthcare provider will outline the perfect treatment plan to meet your specific needs. With the right type of treatment, you can overcome aichmophobia.

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