As we approach the general election in the UK, and indeed an array of other elections around the world, it is perhaps ironic that the subject of a fear of politics, known as politicophobia, is now being discussed. This description takes in a whole array of different aspects relating to politics including a fear of individual politicians as well as the overall political process. Some people may assume this is a "made up phobia" at first glance but it is very real!
Fear of the political process
When you bear in mind that any one particular phobia relates to a fear of some kind, or change, it is perhaps easier to understand a fear of politics. We only need to look at a number of countries around the world where democracy and politics have not always gone hand in hand. Indeed, there are many unfortunate instances where politics have attracted violence which has added to the fear of politics and politicophobia.
One example which has been used on numerous occasions is the so-called "Arab Spring" of 2011 which saw democracy sweeping across many countries but firstly having to overcome violence and mistrust. Can you imagine living in this type of atmosphere, an atmosphere which looks proactive on the outside looking in, and the fear and dread you must feel on a regular basis?
Fear of politicians
Sometimes it is difficult to find kind words to describe the political elite around the world who seem to promise the world and then fail to deliver on a mammoth scale. Politicophobia is a common fear of politicians and reflects the fact that many of them often tell you what you want to hear at the time and then do something totally different. If we are truthful, many of us have a distrust which can border on a phobia of politicians, and what they promise, when they suddenly appear at our door asking for our vote.
Politicophobia may not lead to the shakes and the trembles often associated with many other phobias but mentally it is a very challenging condition. In many ways it reflects the aggressive, challenging and often difficult to understand worldwide political arena. Politicians have enormous influence over our everyday lives and if there is mistrust then it is easy to see why instances of politicophobia would grow.
It is unfortunate that more and more people are averse to the political scene and unwilling or unable to cast their vote. Those who have a deep-rooted fear of the political arena are most likely suffering from a degree of politicophobia without knowing this. The political elite need to be more open and transparent with the general public, they need to stand by their policy promises and they need to reconnect with the electorate. Only then will we see a reduction in the mistrust and in some cases the fear of the political process around the world.
We would be interested to hear your views on politicophobia and whether indeed your fear has grown to such a degree that you may be a sufferer.