This Online Group Posts Pics Of Massive Things That Are A Big ‘Nope’ For People With Megalophobia
People can be afraid of many things, from darkness to spiders, to you name it. Some of these fears are totally irrational, others come from our childhoods and creep in well into our adult lives. One of such bizarre fears is megalophobia.
Think of large objects like huge cruise ships, animals, skyscrapers, underwater structures, and even statues. Now imagine how’d they look if they were bigger. If the thought of it makes your hair stand on your arm, you may also have some traits of megalophobia.
And this subreddit named r/Megalophobia puts a test on your fear of large objects because it offers one hell of a collection. “A place to post images of all things large, particularly ones that are "triggers" for those with megalophobia,” says their description and 340k devoted members are nodding their heads. Scroll down and upvote the most triggering images below!
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To find out more about megalophobia, which is a fear of large objects, Bored Panda reached out to Francis Merson, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Paris Psychology Centre who happily shared his expertise on the phobia.
"Megalophobia is a fear of anything really, really big – from skyscrapers to jumbo jets,” Francis explained and added that “phobias generally have their roots in our evolutionary history, reflecting phenomena that posed a real danger to our ancestors.”
“The classic examples are phobias of heights, snakes, spiders, etc. And Megalophobia is no exception to this trend,” Francis explained.
Francis argues that in a state of nature, “things that are larger are often more dangerous: insects are afraid of lizards, who are afraid of birds, who are afraid of humans, who are afraid of tigers. Large inanimate objects are also heavy and can crush you. In megalophobia, this primal fear of bigness is projected on the large objects of everyday life.”
The clinical psychologist said that if you find yourself “trembling and wanting to run away in the presence of an elephant at the zoo, or at the foot of a mountain, this could potentially be a sign you have megalophobia.”
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When asked how do we know if a person who feels uneasy next to large objects really has megalophobia, Francis said that it manifests as an “intense anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual danger over a period of at least six months.” This is because “megalophobia falls under the category of a Specific Phobia – an intense fear of a specific type of stimulus.” Only if it corresponds to the kind of disproportionate extreme anxiety which lasts for long periods, it can be qualified “as a full-blown mental disorder.”
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Moreover, Francis added that in the case of megalophobia, “you would also have to either be avoiding large objects altogether or tolerating them with extreme distress. And this pattern would need to be causing interference in your everyday life.” Therefore, “feeling a bit queasy when gazing up at the Empire State Building is pretty normal. It’s when large objects freak you out so much that you can’t work, go on vacation, or otherwise function normally that we might begin talking about a Specific Phobia,” the clinical psychologist explained.
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When asked whether there are treatments for megalophobia, Francis said that “specific phobias generally respond well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and particularly to a component called Graduated Exposure.” He added that “in the case of Megalophobia, this would involve gradually confronting larger and larger objects, and learning that you can cope at each step along the way.”
We also wondered whether exposure therapy is successful in treating megalophobia. Francis explained that it’s definitely considered as a first-line of treatment for phobias. “This means it’s the treatment with the strongest evidence to suggest it works, with some exposure studies reporting an 80-90% response rate (which is really high).”
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“However, because exposure involves getting people to do precisely the things that scare the crap out of them, there can be a fairly high drop-out rate,” he said. Therefore having a therapist you can trust to guide you through the process is key and can really help, according to Francis. “And if you stick with exposure, it’s the most powerful way there is to conquer your fears,” he added.
“So you might start with looking at pictures of tall buildings, then standing outside a large shopping mall, and gradually moving up the scale to mountains or skyscrapers. It’s like learning to swim by starting at the shallow end and very gradually going deeper.”
Francis concluded that if it feels like megalophobia is a problem for you, there’s no need to let it mess with your life. “Effective treatments are out there,” he assured.