For many people, love is an incredible and life-affirming emotion that brings joy to their lives. However, for individuals with philophobia, even the idea of love can give rise to fear and anxiety. Philophobia is the fear of falling in love or emotional attachment. While the medical community does not officially recognize it, philophobia has steadily been gaining recognition within mental health support groups.
There is some controversy surrounding philophobia, with many experts not viewing it as a "real" phobia. This is partially because it is a relatively new concept and is difficult to research. Clinically, a phobia is an anxiety disorder that causes excessive and persistent fear in response to a stimulus. While philophobia does not appear in the DSM-5, it may still qualify for two diagnoses that are recognized: social phobia and specific phobia. These terms refer to fears of social situations and specific stimuli, respectively. Regardless of philophobia's existence within medical research, there is no doubt that some people experience fear and anxiety when thinking about love or emotional closeness.
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