What is a phobia? A phobia is an irrational fear of a particular situation, or object which is exaggerated and cannot usually be explained away. Diabetophobia is the fear of diabetes.
Fearing diseases is quite normal, but when there is a persistent and extreme terror at the mention of illnesses, this can result in a range of psychological and physical symptoms.
For those who fear this disease, the idea of being diagnosed with diabetes is terrifying and they will do anything and everything in their power to minimize their chances of getting it. This could translate into paranoia, where they completely give up eating sweets or drinking sodas.
Just like any other phobia, symptoms may differ from person to person depending on the level of fear. The cognitive symptoms normally include feelings of extreme anxiety, dread, nervousness, while the physical symptoms run the gamut from shortness of breath, accelerated breathing, uneven heartbeat, extreme sweating, nausea, dry mouth, to the inability to articulate words or sentences. These symptoms are revealed in the face of trigger factors. Trigger factors are those that whose presence causes unrealistic anxiety.
In relation to phobias, triggers can comprise of literature and TV programs about the disease, as well as stories from friends of family members. Seeing a loved one plagued with this disease, seeing them withdraw into themselves more and more can also act as a trigger. Horror stories of amputations and going into coma can generate immense psychological tension and even result in clinical depression. Watching close family members go through painful dialysis treatments because their kidneys have been affected by the disease or watching chronic diabetics inject themselves several times in the day, can also act as triggers. This fear could also be brought about by fear of needles. If the person fears that they have diabetes, they would have to inject themselves or would have to subject themselves to frequent injections of insulin.
Medication can be prescribed, but it should be noted that these medicines can have side effects and may cause withdrawal symptoms that can be serious. It is also important to note that phobias cannot be completely cured by medicines, at best they only momentarily subdue the symptoms.
Proper medical care and education is of utmost significance as to the best line of defense against diabetophobia. Counselling and psychotherapy can also be therapeutic.