What Is Pogonophobia?
Pogonophobia is an irrational fear of beards, whether real or fake. So if you happen to have a beard and someone who sees you runs away screaming and you never even met them before, it's probably the beard. Unless of course they have a different phobia which you've somehow managed to trigger.
Those with pogonophobia might not run screaming, but they're not going to get too close. There is a possibility that they might just turn around and walk away, even if they're in a long line. It doesn't matter how long they might have been waiting. However, depending on how severe their pogonophobia is, they might just give up their spot in line at the sight of a frightful beard. Your beard might not be unkempt, but a pogonophobic doesn't care, all beards to them are terrifyingly horrid.
If you've been thinking about growing a beard, you might want to ask your significant other how they feel about it.
What Causes Pogonophobia?
There is no real cause for the irrational fear of beards. That's why it's irrational. However some might suffer from pogonophobia, because they had a bad experience with a beard or someone with beard. Especially if the experience occurred while one was young and a bad person had a beard. A child would then begin to associate bad people with beards. Usually children grow out of pogonophobia whether or not they had a bad experience. However there are those whose conditioned response to beards and anyone with a beard is so ingrained that it continues on into adulthood.
Who Is Afflicted by Pogonophobia?
There are many people who are afflicted by pogonophobia. Those who do suffer from pogonphobia are often surprised that they're not alone with their fear. It is actually a very common phobia, although perhaps more under the radar than other of the better known phobias out there such as ones linking to an irrational fear of needles, doctors and clowns. There is perhaps also the fact that many of them realize that their fear of beards is irrational and would prefer to hide their weakness.
A beard to someone suffering with pogonophobia is like kryptonite to Superman. Although of course Superman's fear of kryptonite wasn't irrational, as it could really do him harm. It's not the beard which can do harm to a a pogonophobic. It is the fear of a beard which can cause a good deal of harm to the person with pogonophobia. The irrational fear could cause damage to the pogonophobic's day-to-day life, or worse.
Many children too are afraid of beard, usually very young children in particular. It may account for a reason why children do not want to sit on the red suited bearded mans lap in the winter season. They might love the idea of him bringing them presents, or grow out of their initial fear of the white bearded gift bearer. It will however not stop them from crying, or having an accident while getting their picture taken on old Saint Nick's lap.
Pogonophobia, particularly from young children fearing beards or people with beards might be the reason not many presidents had any facial hair. Only sixteen presidents have had facial hair and still fewer had beards. In fact, only six presidents sported beards, one of which only had a goatee during his vacation. So if you're looking to be a president or raise a future president, you may want to keep that in mind.
What Can Happen To People Who Have Pogonophobia?
People with pogonophobia can under certain conditions, die. That is however only if their blood pressure has soared to a point that they faint. It has the potential to cause a heart attack. This is one of the problems with all phobias. Particularly when they're extreme enough to where the pogonophobic faints when faced with their greatest, or one of their greatest fears. It doesn't matter if the fear is irrational or not, people can be scared to death. Which does not bode well for anyone with a phobia. It's far worse when a person with pogonophobia already has a heart condition. A heart condition plus being presented with their phobia is sure to bring disaster.
Is There Help For People Suffering From Pogonophobia?
Yes, there is help for anyone who has pogonophobia. As with any other phobia, cognitive behavioral therapy and gradual exposure to what they fear can help. However its best to consult with a psychologist or mental health professional on how to overcome ones fear, or fears best. No one can be cured instantly, but that doesn't mean its impossible.
Although there may be mental health professionals and psychologists who have beards, not all of them do. It might be best, at first, to find a mental health professional who does not sport a beard. It's better to start off small after all, otherwise there could be large setbacks. For those with pogonohobia, it's almost always, if not always uncomfortable when in the presence of something they fear.
What Should I Do If A Family Member Has Pogonophobia?
If you happen to have a family member, a friend, or even just someone you know never tease them about their fear. Their fear is real and if you think for one moment its funny, imagine your biggest fear and being faced with it. Then you'll understand why you should never tease about someone else's fear or phobia.
Furthermore do not grow a beard just to see the other persons reaction. You don't want to be responsible for their heart attack, or death caused by fright. While it could get you on 1001 Ways To Die, that person is never coming back. Don't think you wont be blamed either, because you will. Therefore its important not to play upon someone elses weaknesses or fears. It will never end well, not even for the one who instigated the so called prank as they might have seen it.
How Do I Know If I Have Pogonophobia?
It's very easy to know if you yourself have pogonophobia. Just the sight of a beard gives you the heebie jeebies. Perhaps you even feel faint, which is a sure fire sign that you're suffering from an extreme case of pogonophobia. If this happens, you should seek immediate help from a psychologist or mental health professional. There is no other treatment plan that will work as well as cognitive behavioral therapy.