MENOPHOBIA (Fear of Menstrual Blood)
Fear is a strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat. Another name for fear is phobia. Phobia is a psychological term for the word fear. It is an irrational or obsessive fear of something induces by something or someone. However, in life we all have one fear or the other induce by someone or something, and this fear keeps tormenting us every now and then if we don’t make deliberate attempt to overcome them. It is important to note that this fear are numerous that we cannot total mention each and every one of them. But our concern here is on menophobia.
Menophobia is the irrational fear of menstruation or menstrual blood. As we already know that menstruation is the normal monthly flow of blood from the private organ of women also known as period or menstrual cycle. While some people see this as normal, some others sees it as abnormal and this result to menophobia for some people.
Menophobia is not a thing for women alone, both men and women are liable to experiencing menophobia as it has to do with psychology not biology. People with menophobia see menstrual cycle as dirty or monstrous while on the real sense it is normal and natural occurrence for women that necessitate reproduction. The reason for menophobia can be linked to physiological ignorance and important of menstruation.
Menophobia may cause someone to have anxiety at the thought of a women being on her period, or being around the woman in question. Women with the fear of menstruation have an uncontrollable fear of their own periods, especially when they experience them for the first time in their life time. A female menstrual period may last for three days, though different for other women. Someone with menophobia will have dreadful days of terror. This is not just because of fear alone, but due to many natural symptoms menstrual cycle such as mood swing, food craving, sore breast, nausea, lethargy, bloating, headaches, waist pain, and abdominal pain and so on. These normal symptoms trigger menophobia on some people.
There are some common symptoms associated to menophobia during menstruation that tend to make it very difficult for women to go out in public or be seen around people as they may exaggerate their menstrual symptoms. These symptoms make them feel so ill even though they are not ill in the real sense. Some of these symptoms are: inability to control emotions, intense anxiety, anxiety when thinking of menstruation, shaking sweating and so on.
Research have proved that there is no known cause of menophobia, but it will not be out of place to say that one can develop fear/phobia due to his environment or genetic formation. Someone with anxiety disorder can easily develop irrational fear of menstrual blood. Such trauma could be a result of a woman having her first period ever, even though these tends to be normal for over 80% of young ladies out there.
In a recent research, I discovered that 80% of young ladies have had menophobia one way or the other when they witnessed their first menstrual period; this is as result of menstrual ignorance. A particular lady noted that she had her first period over the night, she realised it when she woke up in the morning to ease herself. She could not attend school that particular day; it took a lot of encouragement and education from her mum before she could go to school the next day. She had to go to school with extra pads so that she could be able to change during school hours. But even at that, she could not change the pad due to the fear of blood.
Such an event could result to trauma, leading to a life time fear of blood on the young lady. Even though such experience is very normal but abnormal to some people, everyone will not have a normal reaction towards it. There are other factors that could cause menophobia.
Just like every other phobia, there is no known cure or specific treatment design for the fear of menstrual blood. However, there are some methods that have been helpful in overcoming menophobia for some people.
Exposure Treatment: This is a treatment method of exposing the individual to their fear, by bringing them closer to what scares them. The therapist will slowly expose the patient to videos or pictures of women on menstrual period in an attempt to desensitize them from their fear. Such education or exposure normally has a significant edge in reducing menophobia.
Discussion Treatment: This is also known as talk therapy. The therapist engages the patient in a wide discussion on their fear, why they usually have that phobia and how to overcome menophobia. This process is a gradual process of healing.
Anti-anxiety drugs: This is a treatment process that requires the use of drugs, such drugs can be used to prevent panic attack and it is extremely useful for people suffering from serious menophobia. Some of these drugs are valium, klonopin xanax etc. It is also important to note that these drugs are not taken on a daily basis, and it should be discussed with a doctor before taking.
Exercise for Menophobia: According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can condition the mind to cope with stressful situation. Exercise can help relieve one’s stress and aerobic exercise has been effective at releasing some feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
Yoga: This is a physical exercise activity consisting mainly of postures often connected by flowing sequences, sometimes accompanied by breathing exercise, and frequently ending with relaxation, lying down or meditation. This helps the individual to concentrate on a particular thing and have a deep thought about it. The Yoga exercise has helped a lot of people to overcome certain fear or situation. Therefore this can also help to overcome the fear of blood.