Sunday, June 22, 2014

Siderodromophobia, or Who's Afraid of Trains?

Siderodromophobia—now there’s a word I’d never heard before.

Siderodromophobia is the fear of trains. It comes from the Greek sideros (iron) and dromos (race track or running). It is related to Hodophobia, the fear of travelling on a road.

Siderodromophobia can be caused by a traumatic event, or by heredity.

People with siderodromophobia can shake, sweat, develop gastrointestinal symptoms, or experience heart palpitations when they see or think of trains. 

They may also cry, freeze in place, or attempt to run away.

If the train phobia is severe, people who suffer from it may also be unable to visit railroad museums, theme park attractions that have miniature railroads, or places of historic interest that include railroad components.
At it’s worse, the phobia might make some people incapable of driving across railroad tracks or past a train station.
They might even become panicked if they hear a train horn in the distance.
Fortunately, train phobia is highly treatable. One of the most popular treatments is cognitive-behavioural therapy, where people are taught to stop and redirect their negative thoughts about trains.

For those of us who like trains, this seems very strange. If anything, our problem is siderodromomania—a love, fascination and passion for trains.

Yep—I think I have a bad case of that. And unlike siderdromophobia, apparently there’s no treatment or cure.

Note: Siderdromomania is not to be confused with siderodromophilia. (Look it up for yourself here for the short version, or here for the longer and more detailed version. Just don’t blame me for what you find.)

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