Pin Me

What is Dipsophobia?

written by: jason1244 • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 3/8/2011

“My mother’s father drank and her mother was an unhappy, neurotic woman, and I think she has lived all her life afraid of anyone who drinks for fear something like that might happen to her" is a quote by John Hurt who is probably best known as the lead actor in “The Elephant Man". Can you relate?

  • slide 1 of 5

    What is Dipsophobia?

    Dipsophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of drinking alcohol. If you have what might be considered an undue anxiety about becoming addicted to alcohol and you are concerned about the effect that it could have on your body, you could be suffering from dipsophobia. The opposite of dipsophobia is dipsomania or a strong desire or cravings for alcohol, but that’s another article.

  • slide 2 of 5

    What are the Causes of Dipsophobia?

    Red Wine Glass Like many phobias dipsophobia is caused by irrational thoughts about your situation or some object that you may be focused on, but actually presents no danger to you. The natural thing to do under these circumstances is to avoid the things that frighten you. If you are dipsophobic, you may try to avoid environments where people will be drinking or you may choose not to associate with drinkers at all in your personal life. The debate about the causes of phobic behavior in the mental health community are many, some believe it could be a result of trauma, or a learned behavior from your parents and/or a chemical imbalance in the brain.

  • slide 3 of 5

    What are the Symptoms of Dipsophobia?

    People who suffer from phobias often share the same or similar physical symptoms when they feel threatened or anxious. The symptoms can come simultaneously or be sequential. Take a look at the partial list below to see if you recognize any of the symptoms.

    • Panic and fear (terror, extreme fright, feeling like you might die)
    • Rapid heartbeat (you can actually feel your heart beat in your chest)
    • Shortness of breath (tightness in your throat and/or chest)
    • Trembling (shaking hands, weak knees and general nervousness)
    • A strong desire to get away (all you can think about is the exit)
    • Nausea (swirling feeling in your stomach, dizziness in your head)
    • Sweating (sweaty hands, under arms, forehead and/or legs)
  • slide 4 of 5

    What are the Treatments for Dipsophobia?

    Anti-Anxiety drugs to Treat Dipsophobia

    There are a lot of treatment programs available for phobia suffers. It’s important to find the treatment that’s right for you and to find something you feel comfortable doing. Some commonly prescribed drugs are Klonopin, which is used to treat social phobia and GAD (general anxiety disorder) and Ativan and Xanax that are prescribed to treat people who suffer from panic, phobias and GAD.

    These drugs can be habit forming and you must communicate with your doctor while taking them if you are suffering from any side effects. The most common side effect is drowsiness

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Treat Dipsophobia

    CBT helps you learn how to manage your thinking (cognitive) and your reactions to whatever is causing you to be phobic and anxious (behavioral). The idea is if you can learn how to control your thinking, positive behavior or reactions will follow and your emotions won't get out of control.

    CBT is usually conducted by a therapist who may gradually introduce the thing you fear most by exposing you to the objects and or situations. In the case of dipsophobia, this could entail exposing you to a glass of wine on a table while you’re sitting in the room, or something milder like having you look at a picture of people drinking alcoholic beverages. Ultimately, the idea is to get you face to face with your most feared object or situation. The specific methods will depend on you and the therapist working together.

    Whatever you choose to do, don’t hesitate to get help. You can free yourself of irrational fears and start enjoying a more fulfilling life today by taking positive steps. You are already on the first step as you are researching the topic. Dipsophobia can be treated and the only thing standing between you and that treatment is your desire to take action from here.

  • slide 5 of 5

    References

    1. Phobias: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/phobias.html

    2. Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/treatment-of-anxiety- disorders.shtml

    3. What Causes Phobias: http://www.stresscenter.com/mwc/phobias/what-causes-phobias.html

    4. Quotes: http://thinkexist.com/search/searchquotation.asp?search=fear+of+drinking&q=

    5. Image by André Karwath aka Aka and released into the public domain under GNU Free Documentation License.