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Potophobia- Fear of alcohol

Fear of alcohol is called potophobia. This phobia can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from religious beliefs to the loss of control. We know the effects of the substance on the brain and body and too much of it can cause loss of inhibition and leads to bad judgment that can be life changing.

Also known as methyphobia, the potophobic individual may actually fear people who consume alcohol or the loss of control when alcohol is consumed. People compromised by this phobia will actively avoid any situation where they might be exposed to alcohol. As a result, they may avoid family gatherings such as weddings or holidays.

The symptoms of potophobia are individual and will vary among people. Some people, when confronted with their fear of alcohol, may begin to perspire, feel slightly uncomfortable or become nauseated. At the opposite end of the spectrum, other people are so severely compromised by this phobia, that they may experience crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks.

A referral from the primary physician to a therapist who specializes in the treatment of phobias. Treatment ranges from hypnotherapy, exposure therapy, self-help techniques such as purposeful muscle relaxation, support groups with other people who are coping with this specific phobia. In severe cases of methyphobia, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed.