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Poinephobia- Fear of punishment

When we were kids, we learn that actions always have consequences and bad actions have bad consequences. Punishment may range from physical, emotional or loss of something you consider important. A positive outlook or understanding regarding punishment can provide good motivation for good behavior. When there is incapacitating fear for punishment, the person might be suffering from Mastigophobia or Poinephobia.

This fear often results from a tendency observed in others or a warning repeated by a family member. The dreaded warning usually sticks with the individual after the person who gave the warning is no longer present. The warning is usually repeated in the memory of the individual who suffers this phobia. The fear may be recognized by profound anxiety whenever a mistake is made. The individual usually fears the worst for even just a minor error.

This fear may require the assistance of a therapist. The mental chains associated with this fear are nearly impossible to break on your own. It can be incredibly problematic to believe there is a punishment waiting for every imperfection common to being human. The truth is we will all make mistakes and while there is punishment for some mistakes there is also forgiveness that can and often is extended in deference to good grace.

The proper role of punishment is to free an individual to make better choices in the future. The negative consequences associated with this fear is that life can’t be well-lived without second guessing every decision made or action taken.

We all make mistakes and no one is perfect so it would be very unfair to oneself to be so frustrated and so guilty even just for a simple mistake.