Decidophobia: What is the paralysing fear that can prevent you from moving forward in life?

Some people have a phobia of making choices and this disorder is called decidophobia. Here we explain what it is.

Arachnophobia, agoraphobia, tapophobia... It is possible to be phobic of almost anything, whether it is animals, objects, or vague concepts. Of course, some phobias are more common than others: meeting someone who has a fear of heights is not surprising in itself, but did you know that some people have a phobia of decision making?

What are the symptoms of decidophobia?

First of all, it is important to remember that we are not talking about a simple fear of making choices. If you spend a little more time than the average person choosing which shoe to wear today, or if you have a little trouble deciding what to eat tonight, this does not necessarily make you a decidophobe.

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Decidophobia: What is the paralysing fear that can prevent you from moving forward in life  Burst / Unsplash

No, we are talking about a phobia: an irrational, disproportionate, paralysing, disabling, frightening fear that can have a serious impact on your personal life, your relationships, your work, etc. In concrete terms, a person suffering from decidophobia may feel anxiety and anguish at the idea of making a choice.

They may also feel nauseous, have palpitations or even have abdominal pain. They will therefore do everything to avoid making decisions, whether it be for major or trivial matters.

What are the consequences of decidophobia?

Anxious at the idea of making choices, the decidophobe will do everything to avoid making them. This is when the phobia can impact the person's life: procrastination, pressure, and above all, a strong dependence on those around them.

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A person suffering from this phobia will tend to let other people make decisions for them: a mental burden that has the potential to degrade social relationships. And as Verywell Mind rightly points out, a decidophobe 'may attract a lot of manipulative or authoritarian people into [his or her] life because their willingness to take charge [makes him or her] feel better at first.'

Raised to the level of a phobia, the fear of making decisions is primarily an anxiety disorder. And like any mental health issue, it can be treated by a health care professional to determine the cause and implement appropriate therapy.

This article was translated from Gentside FR.

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