WHAT IS POGONOPHOBIA?
Pogonophobia is about the irrational and disproportionate fear of the beard , people with beards or basically facial hair.
According to the World Health Organization, 7% of the world’s population suffers from this phobia which was already established since 1851. This may be one of the phobias with the best history around it, in 1920, the psychologist John B. Watson and his pupil Rosaline Rayner were in charge of carrying out some experiments, which basically consisted of presenting a baby with furry animals with a totally unpleasant noise for the child, after a while the animal was presented without any sound, causing the same unpleasant reaction on the part of the child.
This simple experiment showed that phobias could be triggered and learned by humans.
Something quite particular about this phobia is that those who suffer from it are usually quite specific about their fears, some are afraid of mustaches, others of a full beard.
SYMPTOMS OF POGONOPHOBIA
The symptoms vary with respect to the level of fear that the person suffers, and these appear when the person sees other people with mustaches, beards and in more extreme cases any light facial hair.
When spotting a person with these characteristics, the affected person may suffer from any of the following behaviors:
- Extreme anxiety
- Respiratory problems
- Excessive sweating
- Shaking chills
- Chest pain
- Dry lips
- Imagination and expectation for the scenario they fear so much to present itself.
- Inability to keep facial hair in the same place as the person.
TREATMENT TO OVERCOME POGONOPHOBIA
Today many more men with beards are seen than in other times, little by little it has become a constant fashion and therefore this phobia has become a really important impediment for some people, reaching the extremes that any type of relationship that the affected person may have, can be really affected by this fear.
For this reason, anyone who suffers from this phobia should go to a professional who can treat it and in the best cases, eradicate it so that those affected can have a full life again.
One of the most used treatments for both this phobia and others, is exposure to the feared stimulus , which consists of the same thing, exposing the affected person to their greatest fear, of course this is done gradually so as not to mentally hurt the person.
Another fairly similar treatment is systematic desensitization, which is basically a list made by the affected person with situations in ascending order according to discomfort, from here the affected person faces these situations in order without going to the next one at least fear for that situation has completely disappeared.
The rest of the treatments to treat Pogonophobia range from hypnosis to cognitive techniques to eradicate fear, certain drugs can also be used, but they have never been proven to bring good results, in fact they are said to be totally counterproductive for the patient.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.