Do you feel squeamish at the thought of settling down with a suitable partner? Do you experience hot flashes when asked about your marriage plans? If yes, it maybe the fear of commitment that’s been keeping you on your toes. Whatever the reason, you must know it is fine to sometimes feel these things, and with the right attitude you can overcome the fear.
However, in certain extreme cases, fear of commitment might actually be a real condition which might also require medical attention, points out Dr Binita Priyambada, senior consultant, medical team at Docprime.com.
She adds, “On the other hand, having only an aversion to commitment itself, may be quite normal for aromantics (people who do not feel a romantic association with another people). Aromantics don’t experience phobia to that extent because their indifference to love or marriage is an innate personality trait, as opposed to gamophobia, wherein the fear is evoked in a specific situation,” explains
What exactly is gamophobia and how serious is it to live with this condition?
Contrary to popular opinion, gamophobia is not just the fear of marriage. It is the fear of commitment categorised by the inability to maintain relationships to the point of experiencing psychological and physical symptoms. These symptoms can sometimes be extreme in nature, resulting in panic and anxiety attacks.
According to a popular opinion, gamophobia is more commonly observed in men — a notion derived from the conventional stereotype that men have a deep-rooted fear of commitment and living “tied down” to one person for life.
“Then there is the evolutionary theory that no male mammal stays with the female to help raise their offspring and their sole purpose is to spread their seeds to extend the next generation. But from an objective perspective, women are as likely to develop this phobia because the most common cause of gamophobia is having experienced a traumatic experience in the past,” adds Dr Priyambada.
Some causes of gamophobia are:
*Fear of abandonment
*Unhealthy parental attachment
*Panic caused by any thought of marriage/commitment
*Inability to commit to other areas of life
*Negative thoughts and flashbacks
*Loss of control
*Light-headedness or fainting
*Shortness of breath
*Settling for wrong/unsuitable partners
Just like other mental health problems, gamophobia also can be treated with therapy and medication. Mentioned below are a few treatment options —
*Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This form of therapy is highly recommended for people who have bad impulse control and those who have harmful cognitive behavior. People with gamophobia often end up taking self-destructive measures and hence cognitive therapy is helpful for them.
*Counseling: It is the least intensive form of therapy and non-invasive in nature. It allows people to open up about their experiences, fears, and feelings. It is highly recommended for people who have experienced trauma or unfavorable conditions in the past.
*Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy has become less popular over time due to the controversial opinions surrounding this practice. It is ideal for people who tend to suppress their past memories and are in denial of an underlying problem.
*Behavioral Therapy: Replacing a negative reinforcement with a positive one is the main concept of this kind of therapy. It is slightly time consuming as it involves changing any undesirable behavior or pattern observed in the person. The treatment is slightly unconventional but ideal for a person raised with any unhealthy attachment.
*Medication: In some cases, the doctors recommend some sort of medication, either with therapy or as a stand-alone form of treatment.
Managing gamophobia is relatively easy as it is a social disorder and can be overcome with a positive attitude and the right treatment.