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While fear of the unknown is a common and understandable part of life, xenophobia is defined as an intense fear of strangers or foreigners. It often has extremely negative connotations, with historical and political undertones that many, if not most, people find distasteful. However, as a phobia, it can be examined scientifically as just something else than can cause extreme fear in people. When examining the condition from this perspective, a conversation about it can become less of a history lesson and more of a helpful therapy session that can help sufferers conquer their fear and develop a more open mind.
Symptoms of Xenophobia
People who suffer from xenophobia display an intense fear or dislike of people they do not understand or people they find strange. This fear can be intensified by racial, social, or religious differences, making the sufferer seem ignorant or biased when the real source of their behavior is a fear that they do not understand or know how to control. Sufferers will often go out of their way to avoid strangers or people of different races, ethnicities, or religions. They unconsciously identify the object of their fear as foreign – something that they believe to be disliked by the general public even when this is not the case.
Dangers of Xenophobia
Extreme xenophobia can lead to a general isolation of a person or even a group of persons. Also, a xenophobic person will almost always come off as bigoted in some way to non-sufferers, creating an even more isolated world view. While xenophobia does not start off as racism or bigotry exactly, it can easily morph into these without education and treatment. This is why treatment for xenophobia is recommended if the symptoms appear.
Treatment for Xenophobia
Treatment for xenophobia tends to be a bit more complicated than many other phobias. Education is a key factor in helping people overcome their xenophobic tendencies, and you can find therapists on GoMentor.com who are well versed on plenty of subjects that can help you understand where these fears are coming from. With therapy and an open mind, xenophobics can learn to expand their horizons and face their fears to find that maybe, the people they fear aren’t so very different from themselves after all.
Definition of Xenophobia
Xenophobia is defined as a severe fear of strangers or foreigners. Both online counseling and therapy are possible to help with all the symptoms and dangers of xenophobia.
Symptoms of / Reasons for Xenophobia
- The avoidance of people seen as foreign
- An unwillingness to keep an open mind about people they do not understand
- Often generalized or ill-educated opinions and stereotypes about a culture or group of people
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