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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Francophobia: The Irrational Fear of France, French People

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France is a country located in Northwest Europe. Like any other country, the French people have their way of life, language, and culture. It is true that many people, both indigenes and non-indigenes, find the French culture interesting.

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However, there are others who have a strong dislike for the French countryside. This dislike could be so severe that some people develop Francophobia.

Francophobia is the irrational fear or extreme aversion for France, French people, French language, French culture, the French government, or political bodies that have French as their official language.

Just like other phobias, Francophobia is a psychological problem that can cause distress and anxiety. This can disrupt and limit a person’s normal life activities.

People with phobia generally avoid the object of fear, but the person does not need to come in contact with it before he or she experiences the symptoms of the phobia.

Sometimes, the brain creates the reaction even when the object of fear is not present.

Symptoms of Francophobia

Individuals with Francophobia often experience panic attacks. These panic attacks can be frightening and distressing for the person. These symptoms occur suddenly without any notice or warnings.

Some of the symptoms a person with francophobia may exhibit can include;

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot flushes or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • A choking sensation
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • A sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Fainting spells
  • Dry mouth
  • A need to go to the toilet
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Hyperventilation
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Chest pain or tightness and difficulty breathing
  • Increased blood pressure

The Psychological Symptoms also includes:

  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of fainting
  • Feelings of dread
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of harm or illness
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear

In some rare cases, there may be people experiencing intertwined phobia, also called complex phobias.

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These can often affect a person’s day-to-day life and mental health so much that they become incapable of leading a healthy personal and social life, hence, causing a chain reaction of symptoms mentioned above.

Treatment of Francophobia

Many people who have Francophobia do not always feel the need to seek help because they think that they can just avoid the object of their fear. This gives them a feeling of control over the problem. But sometimes avoiding the object of fear might not be possible or enough.

Therefore it is important to seek professional help when possible. This way, you have a better grasp of what is happening. With that understanding, you can take the necessary steps to overcome your fears.

While some phobias are manageable, there is no particular or singular treatment available for all of them. It highly depends on the sufferer, the degree of the severity in which that person is experiencing Francophobia. There are occasions where a combination of treatments might be more effective.

People with Francophobia are advised not to self-medicate. Instead, they should consult with a medical practitioner or therapist beforehand.

Therapy for Francophobia

Therapy or counselling can be very effective in treating Francophobia. Therapies are a form of treatments that involve talking to a trained and proficient professional about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. There are different types of talking therapy, but they all aim to;

  1. Help you identify unhelpful thinking and acting patterns and also find ways to change them
  2. Help you work out complicated feelings, or find ways to live with them
  3. Help you grab sense and know yourself better
  4. Give you a safe time and place to communicate with someone who won’t judge you

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is aimed at identifying and helping you cope with specific challenges. It is based on the idea of how and what we think influences your behaviour.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps you become aware of unhelpful or negative thinking patterns so you can see your challenging situations more clearly and respond to them more helpfully and effectively.

Experiencing anxiety and distress can distort reality. Cognitive-behavioural therapy usually helps you to identify if they are an accurate depiction of reality and if they are not. More so, CBT helps you employ effective strategies to overcome these fears.

Medication

Medication should never be taken without a doctor’s supervision or prescription. In general, self-medication is not recommended for overcoming phobias. Therapies have proven to be very effective in fighting fears, including Francophobia.

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Furthermore, some types of medication are prescribed as short term solutions to the side effects of phobias with symptoms such as depression or anxiety. There are three general types of medication recommended for treating fears.

  1. Antidepressants
  2. Tranquillizers
  3. Beta-blockers

Self-help with Francophobia

Being able to know how to help yourself is important in controlling your fear of France or anything associated with France. It also helps in controlling other phobias and symptoms before they get more severe. Always seek medical care and advise early.

References

Fear of France or French culture: Francophobia- fearof

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.

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