Haphephobia (also known as aphephobia, haphophobia, hapnophobia, haptephobia, haptophobia, thixophobia) is a rare specific phobia that involves the fear of touching or of being touched. This is often associated with a fear of sexual assault. Michell Dorais reports that many whom have been the victims of sexual abuse have a fear of being touched, quoting one victim who describes being touched as something that "burns like fire", causing him to freeze up or lash out.
As with other phobias and anxiety conditions, haphephobia may come with anxiety and stress-related symptoms that vary among those that suffer from it. A non-exhaustive list of potential symptoms that those suffering from haphephobia may have includes:
- Chest pain
- Choking sensation
- Cold or hot flashes
- Fear of dying
- Fear of loss of control
- Feeling of being trapped
- Heart palpitations
- Sense of impending danger
- Tingling sensations
- Cholinergic urticaria
- Charles Harrington Elster (1996). There's a Word for It!. Scribner. p. 160. ISBN 0684824558.
- Laurence Urdang; Anne Ryle; Tanya H. Lee (1986). -ologies & -isms. Gale Research Co. p. 557. ISBN 0810311968.
- Michel Dorais (2002). Don't Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys. McGill-Queen's Press — MQUP. p. 84. ISBN 0773522611.
- "Symptoms". Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA.