Treatments for Pathophobia
Due to the debilitating effects and progression of pathophobia, patients who suffer from the fear of disease are generally strongly encouraged to seek professional treatment. The following treatments have been shown to be effective for almost all phobias, including pathophobia.
Hypnosis Therapy is exactly what it sounds like. According to the AllPsych Online Psychology Journal, while many patients may not be able to identify the root causes of their phobia, their subconscious mind is often able to help. Experienced hypnotherapists will use age regression to attempt to identify the original traumatic event associated with the patient's phobia. Once the event is identified, the patient may be able to objectively view it and work to overcome their associations.
Systematic Desensitization, or exposure therapy, is a highly effective therapy that directly addresses the symptoms of pathophobia. Exposure therapy works by gradually exposing patients to the subject of their fears. For example, a patient starting exposure therapy would be asked to think and talk about diseases, then graduate to looking at images of germs or sick people. Moving on, the patient would then be exposed to a crowded public area, then finally a hospital waiting room. Ultimately, by gradually being exposed to their fear, the patient is able to overcome their negative feelings and regain control over their thoughts.
Anti-Anxiety Medication is another option sometimes used to control the symptoms of pathophobia. However, according to AllPsych Online again, medication has not been shown to be effective at treating the root causes of pathophobia. Thus, medication is not an effective long-term treatment for the phobia.
NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.