Your Guide to Arithmophobia and How to Cope

Arithmophobia is the dread of maths or numbers. It's a rather typical phobia. Your connection with numbers can be changed with the aid of gentle exposure therapy.

One category of mental illness is phobias. Depending on how bad they are, these concerns can make it difficult for a person to function and go about their regular lives. More well-known phobias are those related to spiders (arachnophobia), public spaces (agoraphobia), and small spaces (claustrophobia).

Nonetheless, over 500 identified phobias are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-Five), which groups them into five main categories.

Given the prevalence of phobias, it makes sense that not everyone is aware of arithmophobia, sometimes known as numerophobia, which is the fear of numbers. It may be a fear of all numbers, or some numbers in particular, like unlucky numbers.

What causes arithmophobia?

Although arithmophobia is not officially recognised by the DSM-Five, it is nonetheless regarded as a particular phobia. People with specific phobias experience anxiety and bodily reactions due to their dread of particular things or circumstances.

Since arithmophobia can have a significant impact on a person's everyday functioning and academic achievement, it is nonetheless treatable as an anxiety illness. Arithmophobia manifests itself, for example, in maths class anxiety. People who are afraid of certain numbers, such as thirteen, may steer clear of certain situations, occasions, and structures because they believe them to be unfavourable or harmful.

Experts speculate that arithmophobia, like other phobias, may have its roots in painful experiences in the past. Someone who struggled in maths class as a child, for instance, might have grown to have this reaction. Similarly, an individual with arithmophobia may be more prone to have painful memories related to maths, such as a parent who severely disciplined their child for performing poorly in maths class.

How rare is arithmophobia?

Although it may sound like a relatively recent phobia, maths or numbers anxiety is extremely widespread. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed in the United Kingdom who had children between the ages of six and sixteen felt that maths was a crucial subject that was necessary for success in life as a whole.

Approximately one-third of that group, though, believed they were unable to assist their kids with their maths homework. Furthermore, fifty-two percent of the respondents said they were likely to make mistakes when assisting youngsters with their arithmetic homework, and nineteen percent said they would not enrol in courses to increase their math proficiency.

It's critical to remember that additional research is required because there is a dearth of data on this subject. A for-profit organization's research centre carried out this specific investigation. Although we are aware that maths and numbers can cause anxiety, the precise amount is unknown.

What are the symptoms of arithmophobia?

Arithmophobia, like the majority of phobias, is typified by fear and anxiety related to dealing with numbers. Arithmophobia can cause a person to avoid circumstances where they are likely to be around numbers or when maths is required. This can make things harder at work, in school, or when doing regular chores like paying the bills.

Additionally, it may result in panic attacks, which may present with other symptoms like:
  • sudden urge to go to the bathroom
  • hyperventilation
  • increased blood pressure
  • nausea
  • racing heartbeat
  • trembling
  • sweating
  • tightness or pain in the chest
  • headache
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • dry mouth
Other psychological signs and symptoms that may occur include:
  • depression
  • isolation or withdrawal
  • guilt and shame
Arithmophobia may be the reason if you or a loved one has been experiencing the symptoms above regularly for six months or more when dealing with numbers or math-related circumstances. If necessary, a mental health specialist can collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan in addition to providing an official diagnosis.

How is arithmophobia treated?

Arithmophobia differs from other phobias in that it is not always possible to avoid the cause of fear. It's imperative to understand how to deal with arithmophobia because numbers are a part of everyday life and necessary for everything from reading traffic signs to going to the grocery shop.

As treatment options, exposure therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may be suggested by a mental health practitioner. They let you re-learn how to approach numbers and gradually enhance your contact with them.

Hypnotherapy might also be helpful for some individuals. This could assist you in identifying the underlying cause of your anxiety more precisely and in creating new coping mechanisms for its symptoms.

Medical practitioners may occasionally recommend medication, particularly if your anxiety or depression is seriously impairing your quality of life. While these drugs may not immediately treat arithmophobia, they may alleviate its symptoms and make you feel more prepared to begin exposure treatment or other related practises.


Although maths is a necessary subject, many people find it to be stressful and anxiety-inducing. These sensations could be strong enough in some individuals to be classified as arithmophobia, a particular kind of phobia.

Arithmophobia may have a clear correlation with traumatic childhood experiences or tense math class memories for certain individuals. For others, it might be a more widespread phobia of numbers or circumstances involving certain numbers. This could be connected to other events or beliefs, such as those centred around the number 13.

Since avoiding maths and numbers is a challenging endeavour, overcoming arithmophobia requires professional assistance. Arithmophobia sufferers can learn coping mechanisms and how to function in a society where numbers are nearly everywhere with the aid of exposure therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnosis, and even medication.


How do you overcome Arithmophobia?

Exposure therapy is often the first treatment

Is it OK to have trypophobia?

Trypophobia is not listed as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Can you fix trypophobia?

There's no set treatment for it

Does trypophobia ever go away?

there is no cure

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