This is a specific phobia that is characterized by an overwhelming persistent fear of mirrors. A person suffering from this abnormal fear of mirrors or one’s own reflection may have underlying self-apprehensions.
The fear may be the product of a traumatic event or experience involving mirrors in the past, often during early childhood. Or it can possibly be a result of a person’s superstition of being watched by someone through the mirror. In some cases, the sufferers have low self esteem associated with personal physical looks or appearance. This makes one to shun mirrors so as to avoid looking at one’s own reflection.
A catoptrophobic may fear that an event involving breaking of a mirror may bring bad luck. In some cases, catoptrophobia causes one to fear an entity walking out of a mirror or fearing existence of ‘other things’ inside the mirror.
Those with catoptrophobia can suffer a number of symptoms. Reactions may differ from one person to another and this is mainly due to the amount of fear one has in relation to the object of fear. To those having severe form of this phobia, it would not be out of place to state that a panic attack may also occur, coupled with an increased level of anxiety.
When catoptrophobia starts to intervene with personal life, it’s time to seek professional help. Some of the effective options available for catoptrophobia treatment are exposure therapy, systematic desensitization techniques and behavioral therapy.