Socrates and Archimedes are just two among the many people in history who loved knowledge and learning. They were individuals who spent years learning and gaining knowledge. They are a true embodiment that knowledge is power.

Today, we look up to them and others like them who have made it their goal to pursue knowledge. Unfortunately, there are people who cannot stand knowledge. Matter of fact, they are scared, extremely scared of learning new things. Did you know that this is one of the types of phobia?

Definition of Sophophobia

Sophophobia is a type of phobia which is made of two Greek words, Sophia and phobia. Sophia means wisdom or knowledge while phobia simply means fear. Therefore, we can deduce that Sophophobia is the fear of learning or of knowledge.

Sophophobia is closely related to Epistemophobia or Gnosiophobia which mean the fear of knowledge. Sophophobia is classified as a specific phobia because it is an irrational fear of what cannot hurt anybody.

Causes of Sophophobia

There many factors in play when it comes to the development of a phobia. People suffer from phobias because of a combination of external and internal factors. Internal factors have to do with how people are wired, psychologically or genetically.

External factors have to do with life experiences and the environment a person is exposed to. Interaction between both external and internal factors make a person more susceptible to develop a certain phobia.

In this case, a person who has a mental condition and is exposed to a traumatic event during their childhood is more likely to become Sophophobic. For example, a child who grows up with parents who keep telling her that education will not amount to her success and she is simultaneously suffering from a psychiatric problem like schizophrenia will grow up with a tendency to fear to learn or going to school.

The greatest contributor to the development of Sophophobia is the environment in which one has grown. A person who has grown in an environment where learning is shunned because of one reason or another will develop this fear.

Another cause of Sophophobia could be bullying. A child who was bullied in school because he was smart and always knew something other children don’t may be afraid of learning because they don’t want to know the answer. He is scared of being bullied for knowing too much which can trigger Sophophobia.

Sophophobia can also be triggered by disability. For example, a child who has a disability such as dyslexia may be afraid of learning because they never understand things. The failure to understand makes them feel like they can never learn and so it is better if they avoided learning altogether.

In many instances, Sophophobia is not necessarily caused by education but by the fear of attending the school which is known as Scoliophobia. A child who has experienced a traumatic event in school will have a fear of the learning system in totality.

Symptoms of Sophophobia

The symptoms of Sophophobia are different in every patient and to different degrees. This severity of the symptoms if depending on the degree of one’s fear. Nevertheless, Sophophobics have to deal with the same symptoms which include:

  • Anxiety which in an extremity can lead t anxiety or panic attacks
  • A parched mouth
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Excessive sweating
  • Reluctance to go to school which can lead them to come up with excuses not to go to school
  • Inability to speak coherently or properly articulate words

How do I get over my fear of learning new things?

When you try to remember a repeat of something unique that happened to you, you realize that the situation elicited the same emotional reaction as it did the first time you had the same experience. The nervous system usually creates a link between an experience and the intense emotional experience whether good or bad that resulted from that experience. This link is referred to as an anchor.

In order to get over your fear of learning new things, it is important to change the anchor that brings about the emotions of fear through a process called anchoring. Anchoring is a technique that taps into your neurology’s automatic system for linking feelings to experiences.

Now, when it comes to overcoming Sophophobia, you deliberately create a link between some kind of unique stimulus which you can control and initiate whenever you want and a mixture of powerful emotions like confidence and calm that you want to experience instead of Sophophobia.

Now, you can apply the stimulus when you are thinking about learning. This way your mind will build a new mind map with regards to emotions about learning. Your mind will create positive pathways and thoughts to replace the old.

Anchoring helps you to develop positive thinking. As you know, your thought life impacts your emotional life. You can do anchoring by yourself or with the help of a therapist.

If not anchoring, you can try other methods of treatment like hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling. All these forms of therapy will help you deal with any underlying issues if there are and to develop new neurological pathways of positivity concerning learning. It is in dealing with any past trauma or underlying triggers that you can indeed overcome the fear of learning new things.

How do I stop being scared of studying?

First, find an anchor by deciding the state or emotion you want to anchor. Positive emotions are the perfect anchor when you no longer want to be scared of studying.

Keep studying. Instead of shying away from studying, you should keep at it even it is one page a day. Studying progressively will help in desensitizing you from fear of studying.

Get someone to help you study. You can have a friend of member of your family stay with you while you are studying so that they can help.

You cannot stay a lifetime without learning. It would mean living an unfulfilled and unsatisfied life. The good news is that any phobia including Sophophobia can be overcome.