Feretrophobia: The fear of caskets or coffins

Feretrophobia is the fear of caskets. The meaning of feretrophobia comes from the greek words feretro which means coffin and Phobos which in Ancient Greek: Φόβος, pronounced [pʰóbos] means”fear“. The fear of caskets is quite common amongst people and sometimes it can be mistaken for taphophobia which is the fear of being buried alive or necrophobia, the fear of dead things. Such misinterpretation or misunderstanding comes from the fact that caskets are indeed a symbol for death, and sometimes the uneasy feeling they give with what they are associated with is so strong on some individuals that they have developed their fear to the point it has become a phobia.

Common Causes and Triggers of Feretrophobia

Depiction of caskets in movies

There are a large variety of reasons that cause or trigger feretrophobia the fear of caskets. But the most prominent ones are are:

  • Upbringing – While growing up some may have stumbled upon scary spooky stories about people raising from the dead ands spirits coming back to haunt the living. It all starts with decayed body going out of the casket. This mental image might get stuck on peoples minds and leave with them a feeling of unrest and unease everytime they are near or see a casket. Plus as previously mentioned it is symbol and reminder of death.
  • Past Experience – It might be also induced, or suggested from people that might have had bad past experiences that have left a mark in them such as the loss of a loved one.

Treatment of Feretrophobia

For many individual who are suffering from the fear caskets – Feretrophobia. Don’t always feel the need of treatment because they can just avoid the object of their fear. This gives people suffering from Feretrophobia a feeling of control on the problem. But sometimes avoiding caskets might not be possible or enough. As death is something we are reminded of nearly daily, be it from the news or some mishap. The reminder of death might cause for people to get the visual queue of caskets which will trigger in them the anxiety associated with it.

It is important for someone to always seek professional help when possible. This way you don’t lose time and do a better job and understanding what is happening. With understanding you can next move on to overcoming your fear of caskets and not allow it to control your life.

While most phobias are curable, there is no single treatment available for all of them, or guaranteed to work. It strongly depends on the person suffering and severity in which that person is experiencing Feretrophobia. There are cases that a combination of treatments might be more effective.

Please be advised that you should not take treatment on your own! Always consult with a doctor before hand. The treatments mentioned below are for informational purposes and not specific to Feretrophobia. The treatments below are used on most phobia cases.

Talking Treatments for Feretrophobia

Photo that causes unease on people with feretrophobia

Talking treatments or talking therapies, which include counselling, might be very effective at treating fear of caskets or Feretrophobia. Talking therapies are very laid back treatments and physically non intrusive which involve talking to a highly trained and proficient professional about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. There are many different types of talking therapy, but they all aim to:

  • help you recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act, and find ways to change them (if you want to).
  • help you resolve complicated feelings, or find ways to live with them
  • help you make sense of things and understand yourself better
  • give you a safe time and place to talk to someone who won’t judge you

Talking therapies are in most cases the same as counselling, therapy, psychotherapy, psychological therapy, talking treatment. There is usually a very little difference between what’s meant when talking about any of these.

(CBT) Cognitive behavioural therapy

CBT treatments stand on the concept that what we thing and perceive are constantly influencing our behaviour. Experiencing anxiety and distress are in some cases distorting and bending ones perception over reality. Cognitive behavioural therapy aims to identify if they are an accurate depiction of reality, and, if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.

For example when someone is experiencing Feretrophobia. Through the help of Cognitive behavioural therapy you could identify if the fear and anxiety experienced from caskets is an accurate depiction of reality. And if not working on ways to change that.


Medication should be never taken without asking a doctor first. In general medication is not recommended for overcoming phobias. Therapies have resulted to be a definitive way to overcome fears. However some types of medication are prescribe as short term solutions to the side effects of phobias. Which include anxiety or depression. There are three general types of medication recommended for treating anxieties.

  1. antidepressants
  2. tranquillisers
  3. beta-blockers

Symptoms of Feretrophobia

Phobias should never be taken very lightly. Because, all phobias can to some degree limit a persons daily activities and are in some cases the root cause that make someone experience anxiety and leading up all the way to depression.

The People that are suffering from phobias, are most of the times purposely avoid coming into contact with what it is that triggers them to experience fear or anxiety. For example people that suffer from Feretrophobia, which is a of things phobia, try to avoid not only the exact objects or situations that trigger it but sometimes in severe cases the thought of those thing all together.

There have been a lot of cases in which an individual has develop a phobia from caskets where they become fearful of experiencing anxiety itself because it would make them feel very uncomfortable.

A person doesn’t necessarily need to be in a situation exposed to caskets to experience Feretrophobia. The brain doesn’t have to be in that situation to experience the symptoms of panic. A persons brain is capable of creating a reaction to fearsome situations even when the subject is not actually in that situation.

People are different and so are all the types of phobias someone might suffer from. So the symptoms also vary strongly on the severity in which an individual is experiencing these fears. But generally speaking, of things phobias and fears such as Feretrophobia fall under the category of anxiety disorders. Meaning that a person can experience any if not all of the below mentioned physical and/or psychological symptoms.

Feretrophobia Physical Symptoms

People with fear of caskets often experience panic attacks. These panic attacks can be extremely frightening and distressing for the person suffering from those. These symptoms most of the time happen suddenly and without any prior signs or warnings. No matter how overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a panic attack can cause real physical symptoms, such as but not limited to the ones below:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • nausea
  • headaches and dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness or pins and needles
  • dry mouth
  • a need to go to the toilet
  • ringing in your ears
  • confusion or disorientation
  • hyperventilation
  • tightness in the chest/chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • rise in blood pressure

Feretrophobia Psychological Symptoms

In some very severe cases, a person suffering a panic attack triggered from Feretrophobia. Usually when exposed to its triggers such as caskets. Can have one/or all of the following symptoms.

  • fear of losing control
  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying
  • fear of harm or illness
  • guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • anxiety and fear

On some very special cases, there may be people experiencing intertwined phobias. Or what may be called complex phobias. These can often have a detrimental effect on a person’s everyday life and mental wellbeing. Because they may limit someones life so much that they become uncap-able of leading a normal personal and social life. Hence triggering a chain reaction of the above mentioned symptoms and lastly depression.

Self-help with Feretrophobia

One of the best ways to overcome any difficulty or be prepare if any might arise in life, is to take good care of oneself. Being able to know how to help yourself is vital not to just be able to control your fear of caskets, but also other phobias and anxieties before they get more severe.

Famous people with Feretrophobia


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