When fear for personal safety is more than a short-term concern it is known as Scelerophobia. To entertain a burglar is to sense a loss of safety while gaining a profound sense of vulnerability. Some who have had a burglar in their home never again feel safe in that home.
This fear is often caused by ‘trauma transference’. It is usually picked up by observing a friend or family member who struggled so much with the fear that they are obsessed about locking doors and windows, pulling shades and locking away their valuables.
The fear can also come from personal experience such as the result of living through the aftermath or even during a burglary.
A person who has a profound fear of burglars may have the following signs and symptoms. They will likely have a security system – multiple locks on their doors, a guard dog, imposing fence and may have security lights with motion sensors. Some may even use surveillance cameras to cover all entrances to their home.
Other symptoms include panic attacks, air hunger, trembling, paranoia, elevated heart rates, weeping, crying and feelings of control loss.
This phobia can prove tiring for the individual who lives with it because they feel they must remain vigilant in order to ward off or expose a would be burglar.
To help place the fear in context a therapist may cite statistics that point to the fact that the majority of homes will never experience a break-in or theft. However, this is rarely enough to stop or reverse the fear.