Philemaphobia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

The Philemaphobia is the irrational and excessive fear to the kisses. N or all fears to kiss itself imply the presence of Philemaphobia, because fear is experienced in this anxiety disorder must have certain characteristics.

Firstly, it should be noted that to speak of Philemaphobia one must experience high levels of anxiety and feelings of fear when exposed to a kiss.


This first assessment may sound superfluous and unnecessary, since from the beginning it has already been commented that filemaphobia deals with that, with phobia of kissing.

Philemaphobia Symptoms


However, it is important to clarify this first point, since the filemafobia is an anxiety disorder in which irrational fear is experienced when the person is exposed to a kiss but does not when exposed to any other situation.

In this way, it is important that the dreaded object is examined and described very precisely.

People can be afraid of many things, and these fears can be extrapolated to the action of kissing, however, the Philemaphobia does not have these characteristics.

An example to clarify the subject

A person can get very nervous when having to kiss someone for the first time, to the point of becoming blocked and not being able to perform the action.

In this situation, the person experiences a lot of anxiety at the moment of kissing, but is the kiss really the phobic element?

Probably not, since in this situation the person will surely experience anxiety for other reasons.

She is nervous because she wants to start a relationship with that person, she has to be rejected, the other person does not want to kiss her or the other person does not want to maintain a relationship with her.

In this case, we see that anxiety is experienced before a kissing action, but the feared element is not the kiss itself, but everything that the act of kissing represents.

That is, the person is not afraid to kiss, but is afraid of being rejected or discovering that the other person does not have the same loving intentions as her.

So, in this case we would not speak of filemafobia (in principle) since the fears are not subject to the action of kissing, but to other aspects.

Characteristics of the filemafobia

When we speak of filemaphobia, the object feared in itself is the kiss, so that the person fears kissing, that kisses him and even terrifies him to see other people doing it.

Likewise, in order for this experienced fear to be considered as corresponding to an anxiety disorder, it must possess other main characteristics. These are:

  1. The fear experienced in the exposure of a kissing situation is disproportionate to the demands of the situation.
  2. The person can not explain or reason the fear he experiences in those situations, he does not find sense, he knows that it is irrational but he can not avoid it
  3. The fear that he experiences when he kisses or is kissed is beyond the voluntary control, he can not manage the sensations of terror and fear governs him totally.
  4. The fear experienced by the person is so high that it leads him, systematically, to avoid any situation in which the action of kissing can take place.
  5. The fear that appears before the actions of kissing persists over time and does not appear only sporadically or occasionally.
  6. Fear is totally maladaptive, does not bring benefits and causes relational problems in the person.
  7. The fear that is experienced in these situations is not specific to a particular phase or age, so it persists in different stages of life.

With these 7 main characteristics of the fear that is experienced in the filemafobia we already see clearly that not all the anxieties that can appear before a situation of kiss correspond to the suffering of this type of specific phobia.

In this way, if you get nervous when you kiss, you fear that they kiss you unexpectedly or you are afraid to kiss someone in a concrete way, it does not mean that you have a phobia to kiss.

Likewise, people with filemaphobia do not usually fear the kiss only when they experience it in the first person, but they also present an exaggerated increase in anxiety when they see other people kissing.

Finally, it should be noted that, as obvious as it may seem, people with filemaphobia are totally unable to enjoy themselves when they kiss or are kissed, although this action possesses gratifying elements for most people.

When a person suffering from filemaphobia is exposed to a kiss, he responds automatically with sensations of fear and terror, so he lives the moment as highly unpleasant and all he wants is to avoid that situation.

What are its causes?

The causes of anxiety disorders are a controversial issue and, in the case of Philemaphobia, no single factors are currently known that can explain the appearance of the disorder.

A good approximation that tries to explain the appearance of this type of phobias are the cognitive-behavioral theories.

These theories try to explain how a previously neutral stimulus (such as the kiss) can be associated with aversive stimuli to the point of ending up fearing them completely.

An approach that is quite explanatory for the resolution of this formulation is the theory of the two factors of Mowrer.

This theory postulates that the neutral stimulus (the kiss) becomes aversive (fear of kissing) through motivational properties.

In addition, he explains that fear is maintained due to the avoidance behavior that is carried out.

In this way, when a person who has a phobia of kissing avoids situations in which they can be exposed to a kiss, such avoidance is the main factor that keeps the phobia.

Likewise, it is postulated that filemaphobia may be a consequence of other related phobias, such as fear of intimacy or sexual intercourse.

As regards the motivational factors that convert the neutral stimulus into a phobic and highly feared stimulus, it is postulated that religious or cultural beliefs can play an important role.

In this way, educational styles and early experiences could be major factors in the development of these types of fears.

Likewise, the experience of some trauma related to the sexual environment such as suffering a rape or having unpleasant sexual relations could be other factors that explain the beginning of the filemaphobia.

Thus, the cause is understood to be this psychological alteration from a multifactorial point of view in which both educational aspects, learning, beliefs, early experiences and personality traits are fed back to each other to give rise to the phobia of kissing.

Can it be treated?

The most positive aspect of phobias is that they can be treated and managed with relative effectiveness, so it could be said that filemaphobia has a solution.

In general, there are many types of specific phobias that do not require treatment, since the impact they have on the day-to-day of the person suffering from them is minimal.

A clear example may be the phobia of spiders or other animals, which interfere very little in the quality of life of people and an individual can live with these phobias with practically no problem.

The case of the filemafobia is different since due to the characteristics of the feared object, it deals with a disease that can have a much greater impact on the person’s life.

In fact, kissing is one of the most special and rewarding behaviors that people have, as well as one of our main resources to express feelings and appreciation to our loved ones.

A person with filemafobia has emotional patterns equal to those that a person without this alteration possesses, so he is able to love, appreciate and love other people.

However, what limits him is one of the actions of emotional expression that humans have, the kiss.

Therefore, it is convenient that people with filemaphobia treat their fear through psychotherapy in order to eliminate their phobias.

Cognitive behavioral treatment

The psychological intervention that has proved to be most effective in these cases is the cognitive behavioral treatment, since it allows to remedy practically all cases of specific phobia.

These treatments are characterized by applying both cognitive (approaching the thought) and behavioral techniques (they address the actions).

In the case of the filemafobia the two main techniques are relaxation and exposure.

With relaxation, anxiety levels are reduced and the person is provided with a calm state that allows him to develop skills to control his fear.

Also Read: Anxiety Dizziness: What They Are and How to Treat Them

With the exhibition the person is exposed to a feared element (to the kiss) when this has been previously relaxed and it is intended that the person is getting used to the feared stimulus until they stop fearing it.

Finally, cognitive techniques can be applied to restructure distorted beliefs about the kiss that may be important in the maintenance of the phobia.