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Scelerophobia (from Latin scelero, meaning "wickedness" or "crime") is the fear of criminals, including robbers and burglars. People suffering this fear would worry about the things they own like money as well as their lives. Some who have had a criminal in their home never again feel safe in that home.
This fear is often caused by ‘trauma transference’. It is usually picked up by observing a friend or family member who struggled so much with the fear that they are obsessed about locking doors and windows, pulling shades and locking away their valuables. Scelerophobes will likely have a security system – multiple locks on their doors, a guard dog, imposing fence and may have security lights with motion sensors. Some may even use surveillance cameras to cover all entrances to their home. Other symptoms include panic attacks, air hunger, trembling, paranoia, elevated heart rates, weeping, crying and feelings of control loss. This phobia can prove tiring for the individual who lives with it because they feel they must remain vigilant in order to ward off a criminal.
To help place the fear in context a therapist may cite statistics that point to the fact that a majority of homes will never experience a break-in or theft and that a majority of people will never get robbed or threaten to be murdered. These probabilities are low enough to stop or reverse the fear.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Harpaxophobia – fear of robbers or of being robbed