Hippopotomonstroses-quippedaliophobia: What is it?

Is this common?

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is one of the longest words in the dictionary and, in an ironic twist, is the name of a fear of long words. Sesquipedalophobia is another term for phobia.

The American Psychiatric Association does not officially recognize this phobia. Instead, hippopotaminosis is a social phobia.

The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) describes a very specific definition for social phobias. Medical professionals use the DSM-5 to help them make diagnoses. According to the DSM-5, some of the criteria that social phobias should have include:

  • a distinctive fear or anxiety about social situations where a person can be examined, such as meeting new people or talking

  • Fear or anxiety is disproportionate to the social situation.

  • Fear or anxiety is persistent and the social situation is excessively avoided.

  • Fear, anxiety or avoidance cause clinical distress.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a social phobia. They will make sure that there is no underlying condition that causes fear or anxiety, such as panic disorder.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can be triggered when a person sees a long word, such as "antidisestablishmentarianism". This can cause a person with hypopotomonstrosis or atophobia to feel a great deal of fear and anxiety. They can also avoid reading so they do not have to find long words that cause them to panic.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that fear of long words can trigger embarrassment or feelings of mockery when pronouncing or reading long words.

Other symptoms may include:

  • tremor

  • perspiration

  • dizziness

  • Fainting

  • dry mouth

  • headache

  • difficulty breathing

  • avoiding reading because of your fear

  • Feeling distressed by academics or working with long words.

There are also more general phobia symptoms that you might consider, including:

  • Be aware that your phobia is unreasonable, but feel powerless to control your fear

  • unable to function as he normally would because of his phobia

  • feel nauseated

What can cause phobias like this?

Not much is known about the causes of this phobia. But there are some causes and risk factors that are common in multiple phobias.

Some of these factors include:

  • An associated negative event: For example, a person who had difficulty learning children's words may panic every time they see a long word. His difficulty in learning words could be a scary and traumatic moment.

  • Genetics: People who have a family history of certain phobias, anxiety, and other mental health conditions may be more likely to develop the same type of phobia.

  • Ambient: This phobia can also be caused by a learned behavior, such as hearing negative experiences about that specific phobia or traumatic experiences related to it.

  • Brain function: According to the Mayo Clinic, changes in your brain's activity can also have an effect on whether you develop a certain phobia.

How is it diagnosed?

In general, people with this phobia will probably never seek medical help. People with phobia would presumably take jobs where they were not exposed to long words and phrases.

However, if the symptoms become unbearable or other symptoms arise, your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms to determine if you have an anxiety or phobia disorder. They will also review your psychiatric, medical, family and social history. Your doctor will also refer to the DSM-5.

Because mental health and medical associations do not officially recognize hypophotomyostrosis as a phobia, technically it is not a diagnosable condition. However, your doctor can offer general information about phobias and recommend treatment.

What treatment options are available?

In general, a phobia can be treated in many different ways. Exposure therapy is the most common and effective form of phobia treatment. This version of psychotherapy helps to change your response to the object, situation or word that is causing you fear and anxiety.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another common form of treatment used to control or cure a phobia. CBT combines exposure therapy with other therapeutic techniques to help you cope with your anxiety. It will also help limit any overwhelming thoughts.

It is known that medications are useful for controlling a wide range of anxiety disorders. However, not much is known about its effectiveness in the treatment of this particular phobia.

Other treatment options that can help you cope with your phobia include:

  • conversation therapy with a psychiatrist, counselor or social worker

  • Mindfulness strategies such as breathing carefully, listening and observing to help you cope with anxiety

  • Attend a support group to connect with other people facing the same or similar phobia.

You can also control your phobia symptoms by making certain changes in your lifestyle, such as:

  • get enough sleep every night

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Eliminate substances that can worsen anxiety, such as caffeine.

  • face fearful and anxiety-provoking situations as often as possible

When you face long words, you can also find useful:

Replace words Avoiding long words can help you cope, but it is not necessarily possible all the time. If you are facing a long word, try replacing it with a similar shorter term. For example, if you need to type "refrigerator," use "refrigerator" instead. You can also try replacing a friend's long name with his initials or his nickname, as long as they agree with him.

Break the words. Take your time when you read a long word. Inhale and divide the word into parts, then into syllables. For example, if you have a word like "semi-autobiographical", read it as sem-i-au-to-bi-o-gra-phi-cal.

Take advantage of technology. Computers, smart phones and a variety of other electronic devices have autocorrection and other versions of dictionaries available. These can help with spelling. They can also help with phonetic pronunciation in case you have to learn to pronounce a long word.


Since this phobia is not officially recognized, not much is known about it. Research is needed to better understand the fear of long words and what happens when a person is exposed to triggers.

Talk to your doctor or a counselor if you have symptoms. They can help you get to the bottom of your fear, understand your symptoms and develop a treatment plan. Friends, family and therapy groups can also provide support to help you cope with your phobia.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/health/hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia


That was Hippopotomonstroses-quippedaliophobia: What is it?

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