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Vitricophobia- Fear of step-father

With the incidence of divorce and separation increasing, it is now very common to see children having a step-father or step-mother. Fear of your step-father is called Vitricophobia and it results from the fear that your father will be replaced by another man when ones parents won’t live together anymore. This fear is real and usually begins with the fear of change when ones parents gets separated or divorced in the first place. This fear then extends to the fear of having a ‘stranger’ for a parent and this can be traumatic.

Most fear comes from a personal experience. Some may have had abusive step-fathers, or may have a very different personality from the real father and the person becomes traumatized of this change. Others might have only seen this fear of their step-father with their friends or in the movies but becomes a part of their life as well.

Symptoms include avoidance of your step-father; trembling, tremors, shortness of breath, palpitations; nausea, and anxiety when faced with your step-father.

Family counseling can be very helpful with this phobia and is a must during treatment. This will allow but the child and parent-to-be or new parent to voice out their concerns.