Catoptrophobia: Fear of Mirrors [Spectrophobia]

Catoptrophobia: Fear of Mirrors [Spectrophobia]

Last Updated on 2 weeks

Fear of mirrors is known by several names: Catoptrophobia, Eispotrophobia, and Spectrophobia. These names are derived from other languages like Catoptrophobia originates from Greek Catropto or katoptron (mirrors) and Phobos (fear), whereas, Spectrophobia derived from the Latin word spectrum (ghosts), and similarly, Eisoptrophobia originates from Greek ‘eis’ (into) and optikos (vision).

Fear of mirrors can be a weakness if it affects your self-esteem. Low self-esteem can cause of failure, shyness, low-confidence, and lot more.

Eispotrophobia or Spectrophobia, or Catoptrophobia, or fear of mirrors have causes and their treatments we are talking about here.

From the first search of Catoptrophobia, I found various blogs talking about the old stories and ghosts. These would be right but we need proof. Here, you will learn treatment to break Catoptrophobia and its effects.


What is Catoptrophobia?

Catoptrophobia is the irrational fear or anxiety toward the reflection seen in mirrors. As I said, you can also call it Eispotrophobia or Spectrophobia.

According to Wikipedia, “Sufferers of spectrophobia can fear the breaking of a mirror bringing extreme bad luck. They can fear the thought of something frightening jumping out of the mirror or seeing something disturbing inside of it next to their own reflection when looking directly at it.”

In simple terms, sufferers are not afraid of mirrors itself, but reflections within. It is a fear of yourself.

Helpful Article:

Causes to Fear of Failure. [ 10 Ultimate Cautions ]


How to Pronounce Catoptrophobia?

Here is an audio file, play, and listen carefully.

Pronounce Catoptrophobia:

Here is the source.


Pronounce Eispotrophobia.

Here is the source.


Pronounce Spectrophobia.

Here is the source. 


What causes Catoptrophobia?

Some commonly known causes of fear of mirrors are:

  • A past very negative event linking emotional trauma to mirrors.
  • Trauma caused by watching scenes of television shows or horror films involving mirrors.
  • Superstitious beliefs like ‘breaking of the mirror will bring extremely bad luck’.
  • Fears like ‘someone is watching me from the mirror’, ‘a mirror is a link to the supernatural world’, ‘someone might jump out of the mirror’.
  • The fear of seeing something else besides one’s own self in the mirror.
  • When a person has apprehensions about his looks he might want to avoid looking in the mirror.


What are the symptoms of Catoptrophobia?

There are two types of symptoms: Physical symptoms and Psychological symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

Mirrors sufferers, often experience panic attacks. These panic attacks can be extremely frightening and distressing for the person suffering from fear of mirrors. 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
  • the rise in blood pressure


Psychological Symptoms

In some very severe cases, a person suffering a panic attack triggered by Catoptrophobia. Usually when exposed to its triggers such as mirrors. 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


Treatments of Catoptrophobia.

There are 5 several tactics to resolve catoptrophobia or whatever call it. Without any ado, let’s learn treatments.

1. Effective Treatment of Eisoptrophobia With Duloxetine.

Result: Ms. A continued to experience both depression and eisoptrophobia until the introduction of duloxetine 60 mg/day. Approximately 6 weeks after the initiation of duloxetine treatment, Ms A’s depression was in full remission. Concomitantly, her level of fear associated with mirrors dropped from an analog score of 9 to 2. Ms A considered this improvement as very impressive, with a complete disappearance of feelings of shame and distress. Six months later, Ms A was still taking duloxetine, and eisoptrophobia was no longer a problem.



VRT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy and the newest high-tech treatment for helping people address their phobias. VRT lets patients experience their fears in a safe, controlled, and realistic environment in a medical office. VRT uses virtual reality therapy goggles to travel to various locations, create unique situations and experiences for each patient.

This eliminates the need to travel to public locations or use live specimens to trigger fear. Each VRT session is realistic enough that is can trigger an emotional response and the same session experience can be repeated as many times as necessary.

The therapist can regulate the simulations and pace of each session to help coach the patient through their phobia experience. VRT can be used by both adults and children and seems to be an effective tool for helping children because of the various environments that can be created.

Result: The subject was a 32-year-old married woman, who was diagnosed and treated for fear of flying. The virtual scene was a simulated city. She participated in eight sessions, each lasting about 30 minutes. She reported a high level of anxiety at the beginning of each session, gradually reported lower anxiety levels after remaining in the situation for a few minutes, and eventually reported an anxiety level of zero. To investigate the transfer effect of VRT to the real world, she was flown with the therapist accompanying her on a helicopter for approximately 10 minutes at low altitude over a beach of the Gulf of Mexico. As with the VRT sessions, she reported some anxiety at the beginning, but the anxiety rapidly reduced to a reasonably comfortable level.



NLP is basically the study and practice of how we create our reality. The basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of our problems. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, they will create an underlying problem as long as we continue to use and to think about them. Our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In this therapy, a neuro-linguistic therapist will analyze every word and phrase you use in describing your symptoms or concerns about your health. He or she will examine your facial expressions and body movements. After determining problems in your perception, the therapist will help you understand the root cause. The therapist will help you remodel your thoughts and mental associations in order to fix your preconceived notions. These preconceived notions may be keeping you from achieving the success you deserve.

It’s Your Turn.

Do you suffer from Catoptrophobia? How do you manage your fear of Catoptrophobia?

What treatment do you wanna try first? Do you ever meet the therapist? if no! make it yes.

Rakshit Makvana

A man who loves his pen more than his tooth-brush. Books and the Typewriter are made me a voracious reader and writer and give the opportunity to share my wisdom.

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