Pyrophobia refers to the overly acute fear of fire, sometimes to an irrationally intense scale.
It is one of the most ancient fears, as it is a regular response from animals to flee from and beware of fire.
This condition has most likely been part of humanity since the discovery of fire.
Animals cannot be deemed as “pyrophobic” as they are thought not to be able to understand the purpose of fire beyond danger and destruction.
A “pyrophobic” person will experience intense fear and possibly even panic, if in the presence of even a controlled fire, such as a stove, fireplace or even a lit candle.
Origin of the term
The condition is as old as the relationship between fire and humanity, though the term was created only around 1890.
It is comprised of the Greek words pyr, meaning fire and –phobia, meaning fear.
“Pyrophobia” is triggered by the life threatening nature of fire, though the condition usually lionks back to some traumatic childhood experience.
Spread of the term
The condition is rather common among humans, regarding the primal nature of a fear from fire this is appearing as an evolutionary fear.
The treatment of the condition includes exposure therapy, where the patient is shown fires, in an increasing size, ranging from cigarettes, matches to stoves or grill flames.
Another way of treatment is by medication, though the risk of addiction is present with this method.
- Healthline – Understanding the Fear of Fire