Kakorrhaphiophobia is the abnormal fear of failure. This occurs in varrying degrees in different kinds of people. While each of us possesses this fear, some people tend to suffer drastically from it, preventing them from pursuing any course of action regarding their lives.
The phrase 'kakorrhaphiophobia' is derived from the word 'kakorrhaphia ' which means 'cunning plan'. The word 'kako' also refers to 'bad' or 'evil'.
Reasons for the fear: Kakorrhaphiophobia has its roots in the childhood. It is stimulated by the constant punishments received from your authoritative figures as a child, whenever you failed to perform satisfactorily. As you grow up, you are vulnerable to greater amounts of impact from the society, especially peer pressure. Due to this fear of failing and the need to restore your self-confidence, you would want to prove yourself constantly through external actions. However, the fear would stop you from pursuing risks, thus damaging your esteem further.
A very unpleasant experience, which justified your powerlessness or inability to act efficiently, might also be responsible for this fear.
Symptoms of Kakorrhaphiophobia: You may recognize this fear by noticing if the person constantly predicts the results of their actions, pessimistically. A simple activity like grocery shopping, may also seem like a huge task to these people, because they may fear getting killed in traffic or may fail to drive the car properly.
People suffering from Kakorrhaphiophobia come up with a great number of excuses to justify their fear and lower the amount of humiliation they might feel later due to it. Such a fear is accompanied by panic and anxiety attacks, nausea and vomiting, especial when the affected persons are forced to act. Other symptoms include sweating, dry mouth, trembling and an increased blood pressure.
Treatment of Kakorrhaphiophobia: The first step to take when you realize that you are suffering from this phobia, is to meet a psychologist and understand its workings. This allows you to justify why you fear failure and encourages you to think more positively. Medicines are available; however, there might be severe side-effects. You can choose to pursue other treatment options like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. Energy Therapy, which employs different techniques like accupressure, qi gong and tai chi to direct the brain's electro-chemistry, is also an option; however, the credibility of energy therapy, has not been conclusively established yet.