Haphephobia is an tension disorder identified by a fear of gift touched. Other names because that haphephobia encompass chiraptophobia, aphenphosmphobia, and also thixophobia.

You are watching: What does it mean when someone flinches when you touch them

Being touch by strangers or without consent can make many human being uncomfortable. However, if the are afraid is intense, appears even once touched by family or friends, and also if it causes significant distress, it may be haphephobia.

This problem is different from a hypersensitivity to touch, i m sorry is dubbed allodynia. A person with allodynia may likewise avoid being touched, however they execute so due to the fact that it causes them to feel pain fairly than fear.

Share on PinterestHaphephobia is one intense fear of being touched.
Fear of gift touched is taken into consideration a phobia as soon as the fear arises almost every time the person is touched, persists because that over 6 months, and also when that impairs relationships or occupational life.

The following symptoms may suggest haphephobia:

avoidance of instances where a human may it is in touchedawareness that the are afraid is irrational and disproportionate

Children may present the complying with symptoms once touched:

cryingfreezing in positiontemper tantrumsclinging to their caregiver

Doctors describe the symptoms noted in the Diagnostic and also Statistical manual of psychological Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose phobias, which are anxiety disorders associated to certain objects or situations.

Share ~ above PinterestHaphephobia might be concerned ochlophobia, which is a fear of crowds.

Haphephobia might be caused by enduring or angry a traumatic occasion that associated being touched. A human may not remember the event that motivated the phobia, specifically if they were really young at the time.

Phobias can additionally run in the family. A person can learn a are afraid of being touched if they observe a love one expressing are afraid or avoidance of being touched.

While haphephobia have the right to sometimes occur on that own, it can also be a related to various other conditions. These include:

A fear of germs (mysophobia): A human being may stop being touched due to a are afraid of air pollution or uncleanliness.A are afraid of crowds (ochlophobia): A human being with ochlophobia can feel anxious around being touched by strangers in crowds.Post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorder (PTSD): A fear of being touched have the right to come from a vault traumatic experience that connected being touched, such as witnessing or suffering an assault or sexual abuse.
Risk factors

Phobias are relatively common. The nationwide Institute that Mental health (NIH) estimate that 12.5 percent of adult in the United claims experience a phobia in ~ some suggest in your lives.

The following components may do haphephobia much more likely:

Negative past experiences including being touched.A family members history that haphephobia or various other anxiety disorders. Fears have the right to be learned v observation. There may additionally be genetic factors that make people an ext likely to construct anxiety or phobic disorders.Personality type. Having actually a neurotic personality or a tendency towards behavioral inhibition deserve to be a risk factor for emerging anxiety and also phobic disorders.
Treatment and also coping

One that the greatest obstacles in acquiring over a phobia is preventing the case that causes the fear. Treatments aim to assist a person cope through the anxiety regarded their fear and to get rid of their are afraid gradually.

Effective treatments for phobias include:

Psychotherapies or talking therapies

Share top top PinterestThose v haphephobia may discover CBT advantageous in addressing their anxiety.

There space many types of therapy available to aid a person manage or conquer phobias. This include:

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) deserve to teach a person brand-new behaviors and also thought procedures to aid them deal with the tension they feel as soon as touched.Exposure therapy is wherein a person is progressively exposed come their are afraid in a safe, managed environment end weeks or months. This may begin with imagining being touched and progressing to physically gift touched or stand in a crowded space.


Medications such as beta-blockers or antidepressants can help to alleviate immediate anxiety and panic symptoms. These drugs are often used in mix with psychotherapies.

Coping mechanisms

Breathing exercises and other relaxation methods are advantageous for managing anxiety and panic attacks. Concentrating on taking long, deep breaths can reduce the immediate symptoms of anxiety once a human being is touched.

Practicing mindfulness can assist a human to recognize their thought processes and behaviors and also to develop much better ways of taking care of anxiety. A recent review uncovered that mindfulness is reliable for treating and also preventing anxiety and depression.

Exercise, acquisition time to relax and getting enough sleep are powerful ways to promote overall mental health.

Self-care is often used to reduce anxiety and panic and also can also assist a human to tackle your phobias.

Specific fears deserve to be extreme, an especially in children, yet they often go far without clinical treatment.

The fear of gift touched is a particularly challenging fear to cope with since of cultural and social expectations around touch.

If this are afraid persists because that over 6 months, leader to an extreme avoidance of daily situations, and also gets in the means of an individual or job-related life, a human should contact their doctor.

See more: Ford Fiesta Interior Lights Wont Turn Off ? Car Interior Lights Won'T Turn Off

Specific phobias respond really well to treatment. Using day-to-day coping mechanisms can reduce the influence of a phobia on a person’s life and help them conquer the phobia in the long-term.