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Hylophobia – Fear of forests

Hylophobia – Fear of forests

One of the most common themes of the fables and fairy tales of youth often involves a forest. Whether it Goldilocks, or Red Riding Hood or even the Wizard of Oz forests play a major role in the plot of the stories. However there are people who find forests something to be feared rather than enjoyed. People who fear the forest are said to be suffering from Hylophobia.. The origin of the word hylo is Greek (meaning forest) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). Hylophobia is a specific phobia, in that it exists on its own without contributing parts, however, Hylophobia can be related to Dendrophobia (fear of trees), Nyctohylophobia (fear of darkish wooded areas or of forests at night), and Xylophobia (fear of wooden objects and/or forests).

 

Like with so many other phobias, we can trace the cause of this problem back to childhood. The cause can be related to the very stories I mentioned earlier. It is also possible that the fear relates to a particular trauma associated with forests. Perhaps on a camping trip a child may have got lost in the woods which causes the phobia later in life or perhaps the tales around the campfire lead to such anxiety the fear continues years later.

Hypnotically and behavioural based psychotherapy can be very helpful in treating people with this phobia.

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