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Decidophobia: The Fear of Making Decisions

Discusses the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this phobia.

What Is Decidophobia?

Decidophobia is the overwhelming, irrational fear of making decisions. The person coping with this phobia is painfully aware that life if full of choices and decisions are made based on those choices. The decidophobic individual may actually fear making the wrong decision and so is paralyzed from making any decision at all.

Decidophobia is a combination of Latin and Greek words. It derives from the Latin word “decido”, meaning to decide and the Greek “phobos”, meaning fear.

What Causes Decidophobia?

The person coping with Decidophobia has experienced a traumatic, real-life event. That experience is then automatically associated with making decisions.

Perhaps, as a child, the decidophobic individual was never encouraged to make independent decisions that were well thought out. Maybe this person was consistently encouraged to simply go along with the majority or the status quo. Perhaps the person coping with Decidophobia has made unwise decisions that have led to devastating consequences. This individual may have knowledge of someone else making decisions that resulted in severely negative consequences.

Whatever the cause, the decidophobic person can experience anxiety and emotional turmoil that is completely disruptive to daily functioning.

What Are the Symptoms of Decidophobia?

The symptoms of Decidophobia are individual and will vary from person to person. Some people, when confronted with their fear, may feel slightly uncomfortable, become nauseated or begin to perspire. At the opposite end of this spectrum, other people are so severely impacted by their fear of making a decision, that they can experience full blown panic and/or anxiety attacks.

Other symptoms of Decidophobia can include:

* A Dry Mouth

* Heightened Senses

* Breathlessness

* Feeling Dizzy

* Muscle Tension

* Hyperventilation

* Trembling

* Rapid Heartbeat

* Feeling Out of Control

* Feeling Trapped and Unable to Escape

* Intense Feeling of Impending Disaster

How Is Decidophobia Diagnosed?

The vast majority of cases of Decidophobia are self-diagnosed. The phobic individual realizes that their fear of making decisions is irrational and is severely compromising their ability to function on a daily basis.

The decidophobic person may speak to their primary physician about their phobia. Rarely would the doctor diagnosis Decidophobia based on the initial discussion with their patient. More routinely, after ruling out any physical reasons for the phobia, the doctor would refer the individual to a mental health professional for further evaluation and assessment.

How Is Decidophobia Treated?

When the fear of making decisions becomes so intense as to disrupt an individual’s ability to function, there are a number of different ways to treat Decidophobia.

These can include:

* A referral from the primary physician to a therapist who specializes in the treatment of phobias.

* Traditional “talk” therapy that will teach the person to recognize and control their phobia.

* Hypnotherapy.

* Exposure Therapy.

* Self-help techniques.

* Support groups with other people who are coping with this specific phobia.

* Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Desensitization Therapy.

* Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

* In severe cases of Decidophobia, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed.

Decidophobia is an intense, irrational fear of decisions. Sometimes that fear can become so overwhelming as to completely halt a person’s ability to maintain any level of daily functioning. Unchecked, Decidophobia can become a debilitating condition that interferes with an individual’s social life, their personal life and job responsibilities. Untreated, Decidophobia touches every aspect of an individual’s life.

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  1. I know for sure that I have this problem .I would like to know what books are good for self treatment .

  2. thank you very much for the info!! its the most accurate one i have seen on this phobia. ^^

  3. Thanks, I always thought I had this problem, but never knew there was a name for it. I’m not saying I need a label, but it’s good to know I’m not the only one.

  4. I have not decided if I have this or not, but when I do I am sure I will use this information .. maybe

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