Uranophobia is the irrational fear of the mystical idea of a paradise or a sky and not being worthy of it. As is reasonable, this fear comes from the fear of dying and not having done enough to deserve to go to heaven. By extension, it also refers to the simple fear of death.
Since the origin of the human race, man has feared his death, and this experience has led him to develop myths and religions, many of which have an idea of where man will go when he dies. In general, there is usually an idyllic place for those who have done the right thing, and another nightmare for those who have done the wrong thing.
This latent threat that life is over and that there is nothing else or that what follows is not pleasant is based on fear of the unknown, the unexplored. That is why urofophy is also linked to irrational fear of infinite space and the physical sky. Because of its immensity and all that it can hide.
It is this type of generalized phobia, which means that its effects are felt at any time of day, without a stimulus to provoke, as it does with simple phobias (such as fear of dogs). For this reason, it can be highly disabling or limiting for the victim.
In this article, we will discuss uranophobia in detail, in order to clearly understand its symptoms, the possible associated causes and how to reduce its symptoms. The course of this condition and guidelines for differential diagnosis with other similar phobias will also be discussed.
Symptoms of urophophy
Like other phobias, uranophobia is characterized by a marked and persistent fear, excessive and unreasonable, which occurs in the presence of situations or problems related to death, life after death or the immensity of space.
It is said that a fear is accused when the subject himself is capable of expressing it and understands that it exists. It is not considered a phobia if the person is not able to distinguish the reason of his fear. It is considered, in turn, persistent when it is maintained without major variation in time (months or years).
This indicates that fear is excessive when it exceeds the expected quota depending on context, age and culture. For example, fear of death is common in almost all human beings, but at a level that does not prevent them from living life to the fullest. In the same way, the fear of not ascending to heaven is common among many believers.
Fear of space or the immensity of the physical sky is rare, so a little more than a slight expression will be considered excessive. In most cases, however, the evaluation of who suffers from it will be taken into account. If fear is excessive for this person, it should be taken as such.
Finally, fear is considered irrational when it has nothing to do with reason or arguments against it. For example, the subject with uranophobia can be sure that he or she is healthy, that he or she is young and lives in an environment without violence and without good medical care, and yet still feels a deep fear of dying.
The same would happen if you try to convince the subject of spiritual goodness and deserve according to his belief system, or if he has been given to read books to dispel myths about the dangers of space. Adults generally recognize that their fear is irrational, while in children it is uncommon.
Another major symptom is that exposure to situations or subjects (including thoughts) associated with death, life after death, or the vastness of space always or almost always causes an automatic anxiety reaction. A panic attack or panic attack can also occur.
The person may also be afraid of these stimuli for the very fear of feeling anxious or having a panic attack. And as one of the symptoms of a panic attack is the fear of death, it can intensify the effects of uranophobia and this, in turn, spiral panic attack more and more.
When the person has panic attacks constantly in the presence of phobic stimuli can also diagnose the disease without agoraphobia, if there are no symptoms of agoraphobia, and if necessary agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia may occur due to the relationship between outer space and open spaces.
In children, phobic anxiety may manifest as anger attacks, tantrums, inhibitions or freezing behaviors and seek emotional protection. In the case of children or those under the age of 18, it is indicated that urophobia must have been present for at least six months.
Finally, uranophobia leads to avoidance behaviors to control anxiety and fear. One of the most common forms of avoidance is not sleeping, for fear of not waking up or dying while sleeping.
Therefore, this phobia may be associated with different forms of insomnia.
It is also common for the subject to avoid talking about death, participate in vigils and affinities, look at the sky, or read about life after death. These avoidance behaviors and anxiety itself reduce a person’s quality of life and affect interpersonal relationships or generate significant discomfort.
Causes of the urophobia problem
There is not much literature on the causes of uranophobia, but most agree that they can affect situations similar to those of other phobias. For example, a past traumatic experience, such as an accident, a near-death experience, or a very strong religious education.
It is possible, for example, that the subject has been systematically threatened to go to hell or not to win heaven for small behaviors of moral relevance during childhood, whether by parents, school, or religious tutors. This led him to think that nothing he does will be enough to go to heaven when he dies.
You may have experienced the death of one or more loved ones in a period of brief or very emotional vulnerability, or who have suffered a serious illness or received an invasive medical procedure, suggesting that life is fragile.
At other times, phobia may develop through learning or modeling, for example, when an important family member also suffers from uranophobia or similar phobia, such as thanatophobia (fear of death), fear of being buried alive (fear of being buried alive), or stiglophobia (fear of hell).
Another cause is that the person had an unexpected anxiety attack, which triggered a widespread fear of death or any other form of uranophobia. The prior presence of any other similar or associated phobia also predisposes the person to have this specific phobia.
Finally, there will be cases in which the person will not be able to remember the origin of their fear or the person will be moved according to logic. For example, the person may have been sexually assaulted and from there, while traveling, began to fear heaven as a place to live after death.
If it is generally recommended that the person cannot remember the cause of his phobia, remember when he began to avoid these stimuli and describe the context of his life at that time. This may provide a vague but useful picture to understand the genesis of irrational fear.
Course and evolution of uranophobia
Like other phobias in the situation, uranophobia tends to have two more frequent onset ages: in second infancy and in the middle of the third decade of life. When urophobia begins in childhood and is well followed, it is very likely to be eliminated; but the same does not happen in adulthood.
If urophia originates in childhood and reaches adulthood intact, the chances of eliminating its symptoms with psychotherapy are very low. They can be reduced or learned to control, but difficult to eliminate. If it starts in adulthood and starts early, it can be eliminated, but at a lower rate than in childhood.
Similarly, when uranophobia has a traumatic experience or panic attack, symptoms are generally more severe and more difficult to treat, in addition to requiring special attention for symptoms of panic attacks or integration of the traumatic experience.
Finally, when the subject lives with one or more people who have the same or similar or related phobia, and have not considered their symptoms, they are less likely to completely eliminate the presence of the phobia. The same is true if the cause is still valid. For example, parents still threaten not to go to heaven.
One of the hardest things to diagnose about a specific phobia is that there are many of them, and among them, there are so many similarities that they can easily be confused. Uranophobia is no exception. Below is a list of phobias that can be confused with uranophobia and its differences.
Eophobia is the irrational fear of eternity. This refers both to the possibility of being immortal and to any other form of eternal life (e.g., the hereafter promised by many religions). It also has to do with fear of the very idea of eternity.
As you can see, it is closely related to uranophobia, but it differs in that I uranophobic I am not specifically afraid to live forever, but I do not wait for the place: the paradise that the religion he believes promises. Or fear space for its immensity, but not for its characteristic of being eternal.
Thanatophobia, as has already been expressed, is the irrational fear of dying or of dying. It is usually associated with hypochondria, or the belief that you have diseases you don’t have, and necrophobia, which is irrational fear of things dead or associated with death (e.g., urns). Thanatophobic may also fear the death of family members.
The tanatophobia of uranophobia differs from that of the first: fear of death is what happens unexpectedly or before the person can do the minimum necessary to reach heaven or the paradise promised by their religion. In thanatophobia, on the other hand, fear is simply the idea of death or death.
Stigophobia, also mentioned above, is the fear of hell, and hadephobia is the fear of committing sins worth living in hell. They may be associated with sinfulness and enosiophobia, which are the fear of sin and the commission of an unforgivable sin, respectively.
It is necessary to distinguish these four phobias in the first two refer to the fear of hell, while the hell of uranophobia as such does not fear, but does not go to heaven.
And in the last two, the fear of sin does not come from the fear of not being able to go to heaven, which is what the urofanophobic fears.
Astrophobia is the irrational fear of celestial space or the starry night sky. And antiphobia is the fear of looking up. The first differs from uranophobia which does not cause an immense fear of celestial space, but its only presence, and the second anabolic is more related to vertigo.
As you can see, there are many phobias that maintain similarities with uranophobia, and it is important to note that if you meet the criteria for more than one you must understand that both are present. Otherwise, we must choose the one that best explains the person’s situation.
Treatment of Uranophobia
The treatment of uranophobia does not differ from that of other phobias and may include the use of psychotropic drugs, depending on the assessment of the specialist and the will or interest of the patient. The use of psychotropic medications is usually justified by the presence of panic attacks or the intensity of phobic anxiety.
In the field of psychotherapy, the use of behavioral or cognitive therapy is very common.
In behavioral therapy, the goal is to expose the person to the feared situation.
But this can be done from different approaches. One of the most used, because of its effectiveness and respect for the patient’s rhythms, is systematic desensitization.
This behavior modification technique consists of gradually exposing the patient to higher levels of the feared situation, while becoming less sensitive to fear. It usually begins with imagined situations, then sees from afar and then lives up close.
For this, the patient develops a list of situations in which his phobia occurs and evaluates them from greater to lesser anxiety. On this basis, desensitization takes place. For example, a patient with uranophobia will be exposed first to imagine the sky, then to see maps with graphical representations, then to talk about the subject, and so on.
Cognitive therapy focuses on restructuring the distorted thoughts that cause or maintain phobia. For example, the person may make a selective abstraction (see only a part of reality) by analyzing their behavior within their faith system, which leads them to conclude that it is incorrect.
Other cognitive distortions that might occur are polarized thinking (“Never in heaven”), overgeneralization (“I am a bad Christian today, every time I am”), disqualifying the positive (“I helped this beggar, but not as much as I could”), catastrophe (“if I sleep, I can die”), and so on.
Since phobia is irrational, these distortions of thought are easily maintained. Therefore, psychotherapeutic attention is necessary to achieve a truly positive result. Self-help can work in mild cases and, in spite of everything, expert advice is recommended to prevent it from developing negatively.