Fears and phobias no matter how irrational they seem are very real, and our minds can develop them towards just about anything. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is quite possibly the most ironic fear there is and while this may seem like a bit of a joke, it turns out Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is actually a fear of long words and this fear is very real for many people.
Sufferer of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia usually experience high levels of anxiety when faced with long words. The word Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, (which almost seems to be a bit of a dig at those who suffer from it) can be broken down into parts: Hippo is ‘horse’ in Greek and potam-os is river. Meaning the first part of the word refers to a water horse also known as a Hippopotamus.
The word: Hippopotamine refers to “something very large”. With the word “monstr” coming from Greek origin of a ‘monstrous being’ or something that is really big or scary and sesquippedalio comes from the Greek word “sesquippedali” meaning ‘measuring a foot and a half long’. Lastly phobos stands for a morbid fear.
Causes Of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, like most other phobias is caused by an event or events that are recorded as dangerous or deadly in parts of the brain called the amygdala and hippocampus. Every Time you are confronted with a similar event in the future you react as if the same event is happening again.
Symptoms of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Each individual will have different symptoms of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Some individuals will show high levels of anxiety and even have a panic attack when confronted with long words. Some symptoms include crying, shaking, trembling, headaches and an accelerated heartbeat.
Treating and overcoming the fear of long words phobia
Luckily like all other phobias Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia can be overcome with the help of a good therapist. Usually the individual will gradually be exposed to long words. Starting with looking at the words, then progressing to start thinking about the words and then eventually saying them. This kind of exposure helps contain the panic until there is complete comfort with the long words.
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