All About Globophobia: The Fear of Balloons

Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S

December 12, 2022

Some people have a fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia. Others have a fear of being without their mobile device, known as nomophobia. One of the rarer phobias is known as globophobia: the fear of balloons. Globophobia originates from the Greek word “globo” which means spherical and “phobos” which means deep seeded fear or dread. Why do people develop globophobia, and how can it be treated? We’ll discuss all there is to know about globophobia in this post from the Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S blog. 

What Causes Globophobia? 

Like any other phobia, there are several different reasons why someone might develop globophobia. Although, the development of globophobia is usually individualized, and can be challenging to understand. In some cases, people may be able to pinpoint exactly what causes their fear of balloons. For other people, it may be a combination of multiple factors that resulted in their globophobia. Some of the most common causes of globophobia include: 

  • Traumatic or negative experiences including balloons: negative or traumatic experiences are the most common reason that people develop phobias. Something like a balloon popping and scaring you at a pivotal moment or a water balloon hurting you as a child are good examples of reasons that phobias developed. 
  • Learned phobia: If someone in your life also experiences globophobia, it’s possible to learn that phobia from them as a child. Those introduced to a phobia at a young age will be more likely to develop that phobia later in life.
  • Traumatic experiences not including balloons: There are several cases of individuals with globophobia that stems from the loud bang made when balloons pop. This may be related to PTSD and can result in a fear of balloons associated with the popping of balloons. 

What Are The Symptoms of Globophobia? 

Individuals suffering from globophobia tend to feel an uncontrollable fear at the sight, touch, smell, or even thought of balloons. In most cases, individuals suffering from globophobia are made most uncomfortable by the sound of popping balloons. As with other phobias, the most common symptoms of globophobia are in line with anxiety disorder. Therefore, some of the physical symptoms of globophobia include

  • Difficulty breathing, or hyper-ventilating 
  • Feelings of a panic attack 
  • Rapid heart rate or heart palpitations
  • Shaking or chills 
  • Stomach pain, as well as nausea 
  • Unusual headaches 
  • Insomnia ahead of situations that may include balloons 

There are also a number of psychological symptoms that relate to globophobia. Some of the psychological symptoms of globophobia are 

  • Overwhelming panic or fear when faced with a balloon 
  • Avoid parties, celebrations, or other events where an individual may encounter balloons
  • Difficulty concentrating or acting normally in situations with balloons 
  • Frequent and vivid nightmares regarding balloons 
  • Sense of impending doom ahead of a situation with balloons 

Given the relationship between phobias and anxiety disorder, the treatment for globophobia is similar to the treatment of anxiety disorder.

How Is Globophobia Treated? 

There are several effective treatment options for globophobia. If you find that globophobia impacts your day-to-day life, treatment is probably the best option for you. Like any other phobia or anxiety disorder, seeking treatment should be done through a therapist or counselor like the team at Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S & Associates. Treatment options from a therapist for globophobia may include:

  • Exposure therapy: exposure therapy is one of the most common treatments for phobias of any kind. With exposure therapy, your sessions will include gradual yet repeated exposure to balloons in a safe and controlled environment. Exposure therapy will start by you being exposed to a picture of balloon, with the goal of you eventually being able to blow up a balloon or even pop a balloon. 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps individuals manage negative or intrusive thoughts that may come with balloons. Cognitive behavioral therapy can turn feelings of “balloons are going to ruin my time at this birthday party” to “there’s nothing to be worried about and I’ll have a great time”. 
  • Medication: In the most severe cases of globophobia, your therapist may prescribe medication to deal with the anxiety that comes with the fear of balloons. There are several medications that can help you deal with globophobia or any phobia, and it all depends on the severity of your fear. 

Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S Can Help You Overcome Globophobia 

Those living in the Austin, TX area and that feel that globophobia affects their day-to-day life don’t have to live in fear. At Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW, LPC-S & Associates can assist you in alleviating the fear and stress that comes with the fear of balloons. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or give us a call. 

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