Pistatrophobia: fear of trusting others

When it comes to trusting others, we all go at different speeds. There are those who, from minute one, turn over their complicity, their secrets, their dreams and hopes on others. Others, on the other hand, are more prudent and cautious when it comes to bonding. However, a small part of the population shows a clinical condition called pistanthrophobia.

This dimension defines, as the word itself indicates, a type of phobia. It affects those with an irrational, persistent and excessive fear of trusting any man or woman. Often times this condition is the result of a previous traumatic relationship in which you suffered severe and profound disappointment.

The anxiety generated by this fear of being hurt again often limits social life. Not only are they reluctant to fall in love again; It is common for them to have problems at the work level, in their friendship and even family ties. We analyze it below.

What is pistanthrophobia?

Pistanthrophobia defines a constant and almost obsessive fear of being harmed when being intimate and establishing a relationshipEither friendship or emotional. We are facing a type of phobia, that is, an anxiety disorder in which the person develops an irrational and limiting fear of a stimulus or situation.

Thus, although the term «pistanthrophobia» does not appear as a clinical category in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-V), we do recognize it as a psychological problem because of the way it limits the life of the patient .

In these cases we usually have a man or a woman who limits social interaction, that they label everyone as false and that little by little they end up closing in on themselves in a dangerous and pathological way.

Fear of trusting others is often caused by a failed relationship that ended in severe disappointment.

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How is pistanthrophobia associated with defensive pessimism?

In most of the cases, pistanthrophobia has defensive pessimism as its psychological substrate. When we talk about this concept we mean a mechanism that serves the human being as a resource to protect himself from a certain situation. To do this, it is previously placed in the worst case scenario.

That is, this construct defines all those times when we anticipate events thinking the most adverse. For example, if I have an exam next week I find myself failing it.

Thus, since I already visualize failure, I tell myself that it is not worth showing up. Constantly putting the most negative and pessimistic filter in each circumstance and experience has a damaging cost.

Studies, such as the one carried out at Lakehead University (Canada), show us that This strategy has a very specific purpose: to safeguard us from failure. If you don't try, nothing will go wrong. In this way, it is easy to relate pistanthrophobia with defensive pessimism because they both have the same purpose: to avoid a situation so as not to suffer.

However, this resource always ends up being unsuccessful. Whoever runs away and dodges certain situations to avoid failure or being hurt again, does nothing but feed the suffering.

What are your symptoms?

Pistanthrophobia manifests itself in many ways. It is important to note that it does not appear only in affective relationships. We should not exclusively visualize the classic person who avoids falling in love. This type of phobia applies both to the affective field and to the family, of labor relations and friendship.

Its symptoms are as follows:

  • The person experiences the most negative fables about a good part of the figures in their environment or those who want to establish closeness. Thus, it is common for you to think that they lie to you. Also that a good part of human beings are disloyal. Co-workers are fake and friends are untrustworthy.
  • They avoid all kinds of situations that involve having contact with people.
  • They shy away from everything which implies establishing an emotional bond with someone.
  • They have committed themselves to not trusting anyone else.
  • Many of the people with pistanthrophobia have a previous traumatic history. That is, they have suffered from possible abandonments in childhood to painful relationships.

To treat pistanthrophobia, it is advisable to go to psychological therapy, so that confidence in others is restored.

How to deal with pistanthrophobia?

When treating pistanthrophobia, it is advisable to go to psychological therapy. We cannot ignore that we are facing a type of phobia that limits the quality of life. Therefore, it is advisable to take the following into account:

  • Recovery will come only if we are able to cope with the grief. That internal grief that we have not managed after the damage that someone caused us in the past.
  • Any betrayal, abandonment, or disappointment must be managed, unburdened, and accepted. After that emotional journey we will feel more liberated. Likewise, before recovering trust in people, we must recover it in ourselves.

If I don't trust that I deserve to be happy again, I won't give myself other opportunities. If I don't connect with myself to encourage myself to enjoy good friendship or healing love again, I will never embrace happiness.

You can also read: Autophobia, the fear of being alone

The others are important

Confidence is an essential psychological tendon for the human being. We need to be able to trust a number of people to have emotional support. The refuge of affections, the bosom in which to feel loved and delight in complicity is key. If all else fails, the brain suffers and stress or anxiety appears.

We need, therefore, to heal that wound of yesterday so that it allows us to move forward here and now, once again. So we can enjoy the trust with other close figures.