Chronophobia: Fear of Time, Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

We all must have encountered some occasions in our life where we realize that time seems to pass like a flash. This awareness can point us out of our mortality. Of course, it is impossible to get back the time elapsed and also to predict the future. This untold future generates fear for many individuals which in turn starts to control their lives.

Have you ever felt petrified to make the decision you want because of the fear of risks involved and uncertainty associated with that?
Are you finding yourself panicking about the future at some point every day?
Are you worried about having limited time to accomplish your goals to the idealized image of the life you should be leading?

By these queries, people compromise their lives, never nervy to step into their roles that they are craving deep down. This can drive us into misery and feel incomplete and also lead us to feel concerned about our position in the world. This common phobia of the time or future is known as Chronophobia.

What is Chronophobia?

Chronophobia is defined as the irrational fear of the future or the fear of transitory time. The word Chronophobia is taken from the Greek word ‘Chronos’ that means time and ‘Phobos’ fear.

A specific phobia is found as anxiety accompanied by an intense, sometimes sort of permanent fear of a particular thing that shows a very low amount of danger, but requires a lot of attention.

In the case of Chronophobia, the victim will be scared of passing time. They always have a fearful thought of the future and cannot live the present moment to the fullest. This phobia dominates over time, makes the victim difficult to concentrate on day-to-day activities.

What Causes Chronophobia?

The causes of Chronophobia vary greatly from person to person. These include:

  • Depression and highly stressful life.
  • A person with some anxiety disorders or traumatic events can suddenly bring up this phobia.
  • Losing or separation of our loved ones.
  • Women undergoing menopause are more susceptible to this phobia.
  • Prisoners spending a long period suffer from this phobia as they often lose the sense of time. This situation is called “prison neurosis”.
  • The misery of old age as well as the inevitability of death.
  • Experienced in major events like natural disasters, where people are panicked for prolonged periods uncertain about their future.
  • Chronophobia can also be a result of genes or the gift of heredity.

A sense of a foreshortened future has been used as a diagnostic criterion for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

What are the Symptoms of Chronophobia?

Symptoms can be triggered when the person thinks about the phobia. For a person with Chronophobia, often a particular situation that focuses on the passage of time intensifies the fear. Chromophobes suffer various kinds of physical, emotional, and social symptoms such as:

  • Completely detached from reality.
  • Feeling of a full-blown panic attack, fear, and anxiety.
  • Rapid heart rate, breathlessness, dizziness, excessive sweating, completely out of control.
  • Embarrassing in front of others, feeling alone.
  • Depressed, feeling like quitting.
  • Thoughts of death and dying.
  • Socially isolated.
  • Nightmares and sleeping disturbances.

How To Reduce Anxiety About Time Passing?

  • Make yourself occupied
    We cannot predict what is going to happen in the future and also, we can’t control it. So, we always have to live in some uncertainty. However, there are few things that we can control to shape our future. Instead of worrying and thinking about what is going to happen tomorrow, start exploring the things you want and make you joyful, make a list of those things, and engage yourself in those activities. Paying attention to these things can make you strong and empower you.
  • Let your emotions out
    Allowing all your emotions and thoughts to come out as they are, regardless of the order. This may seem helpful. You may get some connections in your thoughts when your mind is allowed to roam freely. Writing a journal or about the things that you are undergoing can make you understand the phobia much better.
  • Challenge yourself
    These lines by Jim Morrison explain it all, “If you Expose yourself to your biggest fear, then your fear will get weak and the fear of getting free decreases, this is the way you can get freedom, it is a necessity to step out of your comfort levels. Fight with your phobias and it will build you strong, increase your confidence, and also reshapes your fears making them tiny and bearable.

Treatment of Chronophobia:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and prescribed drugs, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Psychotherapy, NLP ( Neuro-linguistic programming) is a proven therapy for overcoming this phobia.
  • Relaxation and stress relief techniques.
  • Yoga to manage anxiety, breathing exercises, meditation.
  • Any form of talk therapy with an experienced third person will be useful, as it will make you clear why and how this phobia is developed.

Complications one Can Face:

Specific phobias can contribute to different issues as-

  • Mood disorders
  • Social isolation
  • Drug abuse
  • Mental illness


FEAR – False Exaggerated Appearance of Reality

Fear is an emotion triggered by the threat of danger or a memorable life experience that has been traumatic. This emotion drives us, releasing enzymes, brings the heightened status of alertness needed to respond to the threat. Fear is just a thought that we create ourselves in our mind which don’t exist. Usually, we suffer more in imagination than in reality, all this is because of our negative thoughts and false worries.

So just Stop Procrastinating and live the present moment to the fullest without having any thoughts about the future, this kind of living will be way more awesome. Sometimes our minds will drift towards negative and hopeless thoughts, but it is we who should control and make it right. When you have gained success over fear then you have truly a master. Life is once, enjoy it in the way you want to without any worries.

I would like to end this article with a quote “If we could see our fears as others see them, we would realize that most of our fears make no sense!”.


Ques. What is chronophobia and is there a cure?
Well, we all live in uncertainty, most of us always worry about our future thinking about what is going to happen tomorrow? what might be the situation next year, etc? all these thoughts create some irrational fear of the future or time that is known as Chronophobia.

Every problem has a solution. It is in our will to overcome this phobia, this fear is only our imagination and it doesn’t exist in reality. So, we have to control our minds to avoid these unwanted thoughts. We must understand this phobia and realize what we are afraid of. Challenge yourself to overcome this fear. Consult a therapist for treatments.

Ques. Is the fear of time a common phobia?
Yes, it is common for everyone to worry about their future, no one knows what is going to happen. This fear is experienced by almost everyone in the world. All we wanted to take care of is about not letting fear control us. Once it does, it will affect your life greatly. So, do not worry about tomorrow and live your present happiness.

Ques. How can I help someone with Chronophobia?
The person suffering from chronophobia will be mentally disturbed, even a small incident can trigger fear in them. Here are some tips to deal with the victim:

  • Make them understand what they are undergoing.
  • Let them feel free towards you to share their thoughts, make them release all their emotions from their heart without hesitation. This will make their mind and heart free.
  • Always talk positively with them, implement good thoughts.
  • Consult them with a therapist.

By doing all these, they will gain the confidence to overcome these fears and it can even reframe their point of view towards this phobia making them less significant.

Ques. What are some treatments for Chronophobia?
Here is the list of the following treatments for this phobia, consult a therapist for proper treatment.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Antidepressant pills
  • Psychotherapy
  • Doing meditation, yoga, and keeping your mind relaxed will have good effects.

Ques. How do we know that we are suffering from chronophobia?

When we are suffering from this phobia, our feelings and thoughts will be different. We feel stressed, cannot able to express ourselves, avoiding to mingle with others, etc. even a small sentence you see or an incident that reflects time will create fear. Your mind will be full of negative thoughts and always worrying about the future. Our mind does not want to live in reality. All these are the few signs that show we are suffering from this phobia. If you find yourself on the list, know about this, and take proper treatment.

So this was all about Chronophobia.

W hope all your queries are answered and, in case you have some other query then please do comment down below.

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