Halloween is coming: This is the phobia of the supernatural

Ghosts, demons, monsters, and other paranormal beings haunt bogiphobia sufferers. East pathological fear of the supernatural it causes great suffering and makes daily life difficult for those affected.

Although bogiphobia is more common in childhood, it can also occur in adulthood. “Just like children, it is very difficult for them to be alone, especially at night and, above all, in certain places,” says María José Collado Mateo, a doctor in psychology.

The specialist points out that the difference between bogifobia and apprehension of the paranormal It lies in the intensity in which the fear or anxiety manifests itself and how much it interferes with the person’s life.

Collado explains that the cause of fear of the supernatural is, to a great extent, our cultural baggage.

“The night is dark and harbors horrors.” This mythical phrase from television fiction pronounced by one of the characters in the “Game of Thrones” series is, for some people, a real threat. They believe that spirits, witches and other supernatural beings They are on the prowl and can hurt you at any moment.

“It is normal to be afraid of what may be uncertain or unknown to us. As in other ‘new’ situations we face, there is an important part of uncertainty and lack of control, both about whether we will be able to adequately resolve the situation and whether we will receive any kind of physical or psychological damage. In this way, we perceive a possible threat and try to anticipate it through the responses of flight or avoidance typical of anxiety”, details María José Collado Mateo, doctor in psychology and co-director of the Centro Cuarto de Contadores.

However, this fear of the supernatural can manifest itself in a very acute way in some people. It is what is known as bogyphobia. The specialist indicates that bogiphobia is “an intense fear or anxiety of the supernatural that causes significant discomfort and interferes with the person’s life, generally through avoidance behaviors, verification or both.”

It is included within the specific phobias in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

“It is a fear that usually appears in childhood through the stories that children see or hear. With exposure to this type of content, more or less intense fears are generated depending on the maturity of the child, their own personality and the responses of the environment to these fears, ”she comments.

So it doesn’t seem like a good idea to scare children by telling them that if they don’t finish their food, pick up their toys or go to bed early, the bogeyman, the boogeyman or any other character will come and will take them.

Collado explains that the cause of fear of the supernatural is, to a great extent, our cultural baggage. “That we should fear supernatural beings is something deeply rooted in different cultures, where we find references to gods, ghosts, angels, demons and all kinds of monsters.

Myths and legends describe them to us as violent, dangerous or vindictive. Since childhood we have been taught, for example, that ghosts can harm people; that God will punish us if we do not behave well; that the boogeyman takes the children who are bad, etc. ”, he says.

“Currently, in addition, to this is added children’s access to the Internet, where they can find all kinds of content among which it is very difficult for them to distinguish what is real and what is not.

All this ends up generating the idea that there are many kinds of dangerous supernatural beings hiding in the dark”, adds the psychologist.

Collado clarifies that the difference between bogyphobia and paranormal apprehension lies in the intensity in which fear or anxiety manifests itself and how much it interferes with the person’s life.

In this sense, the psychologist points out that the symptoms of bogiphobia “focus on recurrent thoughts about the damage that the feared supernatural being is going to do to them and that, if they are left alone or in the dark, it will appear. Therefore, they often try to avoid these situations and experience intense panic if they have to face them. At a physiological and motor level, the symptoms are the usual ones in any phobia, for example, palpitations, sweating, restlessness, tremors, flight or avoidance responses, etc.”

Collado emphasizes that bogyphobia causes a lot of suffering to those who suffer from it. “Avoidance and flight behaviors especially affect daily life, especially in terms of avoiding being alone and the dark. In many cases there are also nightmares. When it occurs in childhood, children are not able to sleep alone or move around their house at night, ”he notes.

Although bogiphobia is more common in childhood, it can also occur in adulthood. “Many adults suffer from this phobia. just like the children, they have a hard time being alone, especially at night and, above all, in certain places”, he highlights.

However, there is no reason to live like this forever because bogiphobia can be overcome. For this, it is necessary to have the help of a professional psychologist. In this way, Collado states that the approach to bogiphobia is similar to that of any other phobia. “Both the irrational thoughts associated with the phobia and the gradual exposure to the feared situations are worked on, in this case, to certain places, to loneliness or to darkness,” he underlines.

Halloween is coming: This is the phobia of the supernatural