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What Is the Fear of Flowers?

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Updated August 02, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: What Is the Fear of Flowers?

Not to be confused with anthrophobia, or the fear of people, anthophobia is the fear of flowers. Some people are afraid of all flowers, while others fear only one or more specific types of flowers. A previous negative experience with flowers, a scene in a film or TV show, or even watching a parent's fearful reaction can trigger this phobia. Some people cannot trace their fear to a specific event at all. Fortunately, it is not necessary to discover the cause in order to treat this phobia.

Answer:

Anthophobia and Medical Concerns

Plants can cause allergies and skin reactions in sensitive individuals. If you suffer from a medical condition that is triggered by one or more flowers, avoiding those flowers is a prudent step toward keeping yourself healthy. By definition, a justified fear is not diagnosable as a phobia.

Nonetheless, it is possible for those with medical concerns to take their fears too far and even develop a legitimate phobia. If you are sensitive to only one or two flowers yet begin to avoid all flowers, your fear is no longer reasonable and justified. It can be difficult to tell when a healthy avoidance becomes an unhealthy phobia, so professional guidance may be appropriate.

Anthophobia and Related Fears

For some people, the fear of flowers is actually based in another phobia. Those with the fear of germs might be afraid of contamination from soil. Those who fear bees or other insects may worry that flowers are infested with bugs. People with food phobias might be afraid of flowers that are used in cooking.

In these cases, treating the underlying phobia generally eliminates the anthophobia. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly which phobia is involved. Additionally, many people suffer from more than one phobia. A trained mental health professional can tease out the various issues and develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses all of the concerns.

Source:

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  1. About.com
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  3. Phobias
  4. Introduction to Phobias
  5. Phobias A-H
  6. Anthophobia - Fear of Flowers

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