Chronophobia - The Fear of Time

Chronophobia cannot be prevented...

It's caused by some uncontrollable traumatic experience, like

Getting Old

This phobia is especially common in prison inmates (marking the days on the wall until released) and the elderly but of course can manifest in anyone with certain amounts of stress and anxiety. 

The word is derived from the Greek word "Chronos" which means time. "Phobos" fear and the idea is based on time being perceived by the nervous system. wikipedia

I found it interesting that the elderly suffer from this phobia. Why? Because day by day death gets closer and closer and of course this produces an overwhelming sense of chronophobia.

The symptoms of Chronophobia are hard to detect at first, as with any phobia. They include panic, anxiety and claustrophobia.

There is no cure, the American Medical Association promotes Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, (NPL). Acupuncture, yoga, t'ai chi that sort of thing. There are some medications available with weird side effects but may prove helpful. A lot of it has to do with overcoming the fear. So if the patient is not in the right frame of mind there may be no positive results.

The elderly may show signs of delusions, claustrophobia, depression, panic and madness as they are nearing the end of their lives because time threatens their existence.  

The most famous of all Chronophobic stories is... 

"Rip Van Winkle" 

who takes a nap and wakes twenty years later, his family and friends are dead, he's confused and freaks. Eventually, he overcomes his Chronophobia by the ability to garner new friends, and regain the memories of a lost life while asleep.  

Next time...

I'll think twice when I say.

"Time sure is flying by fast, where is it going? I don't have enough time!"

Dog Brindle


A Long said...

I used to be afraid of getting old. Now I'm just afraid. :oD

Rea de Miranda said...

When we are kids we want to grow up in a hurry and when we grow old we want time to stop. Never happy are we? :)

Martin Rice said...

No, Rea, we never seem to be, do we? But of course it makes sense. As youngsters it SEEMS as though adults can do whatever they want to while "we kids" have to do what we're told. So of course we want to get older so that we, too, can be "free."

And obviously people usually don't want to die. So if we could slow down time, we'd live longer.

It's all eminently human, isn't it?