Dendrophobia is the fear of trees and many people suffer from this phobia in silence. But it is important that we recognize the causes and signs of dendrophobia so that we can support and help someone to overcome their phobia.
Background and Causes of Dendrophobia
Most of us find it very peaceful to walk through a park full of trees on a nice summer day or have a weekend of camping out in the woods. We feel relaxed and at ease with nature during these times and could not imagine someone being afraid of something so magnificent and beautiful. But there are people who suffer from something called dendrophobia which is a fear of trees and the forest. This individual may avoid all trees or there may be a certain type of tree, such as a palm or oak tree, that will bring out this excessive and persistent fear. Since most people with dendrophobia do not talk about their fear of trees, there hasn't been a lot of research done on this phobia. But the most likely cause of dendrophobia is linked to an emotional trauma or just a bad experience with trees. For example, if a tree fell on an individual's home it may trigger the phobia or if someone has seen a lot of trees falling due to a hurricane or a natural disaster. They may dream and fear that the tree may fall on their home again or cause major damage in some way. Some people have even reported that movies with scary trees triggered this phobia in them when they were a child. But that is not the only cause of this phobia, people who are prone to depression or anxiety may develop dendrophobia without even having a traumatic experience. So when a person develops dendrophobia this way it is similar to how a person could develop or have a panic attack. This is because a person with panic attacks may feel anxiety or fear in certain situations but when the situation has passed they feel fine again. A person with dendrophobia may realize they are afraid when they are near trees but normal once away from any trees.
Signs and Symptoms
If you know someone with dendrophobia, you may have noticed some of the signs of this phobia. The biggest sign would probably be avoidance of parks with trees or a forest. You may notice that this person might cut down all the trees in their yard or move to a urban area. This person will probably never go with you to a park or out camping. These signs could mean that someone may have dendrophobia, but then again it could just mean that this person does not like nature. When an individual with this phobia is around trees they will experience various physical symptoms as well such as shortness of breath, sweating, panic, dizziness, nightmares, or nausea. This individual may feel helpless and want to run because they're thinking that something bad could happen while they are surrounded by one or many trees. A child may also exhibit signs and symptoms of dendrophobia, such as crying or running away when they see or are forced to go near trees.