What Is Eisoptrophobia: Fear Of Mirrors Or One’S Reflection Explained

  • By: Vlad Ivanov
  • Date: May 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Key Takeaway:

  • Eisoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors or one’s reflection, which can be accompanied by anxiety, panic attacks, and avoidance behaviors.
  • The causes of eisoptrophobia are not fully understood, but it may be linked to past traumatic experiences, anxiety disorders, or a negative self-image.
  • Treatments for eisoptrophobia include therapy, medication, and self-help strategies such as gradual exposure, relaxation techniques, and positive self-talk.

Are you struggling with anxieties relating to mirrors and reflections? Eisoptrophobia may be the cause. You may feel overwhelmed by the fear of being judged or observed by your own reflection. Discover what this phobia is and how to overcome it.

Understanding Eisoptrophobia

Understanding Eisoptrophobia-What Is Eisoptrophobia: Fear Of Mirrors Or One

Photo Credits: triumphoverphobia.com by Elijah Robinson

Unravel the mystery of Eisoptrophobia! Learn its definition, signs & symptoms, causes and treatment. Delve into this section for a deeper understanding of the fear of mirrors or one’s reflection. Explore each sub-section to grasp the underlying causes. And discover ways to cope with it.


The fear of mirrors or one’s reflection, also known as Eisoptrophobia, is a psychological condition where individuals are excessively afraid of seeing themselves in reflective surfaces. This phobia can result in feelings of anxiety, panic attacks and avoidance behaviours.

People with Eisoptrophobia may avoid mirrors altogether or cover them up to prevent triggering their fears.

Individuals who suffer from this phobia may have experienced traumatic events in their life where they had an encounter with a reflection that shocked or scared them. It could also occur due to the fear of seeing something inside themselves that they do not want to confront. Many individuals with eisoptrophobia may experience depression and other mental health illnesses.

Eisoptrophobia has been a prevalent issue for many years; however, it was not recognised until 2001 when it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary under the category of ‘rare-phobias.’ Despite being categorised as rare, there are still people who struggle with Eisoptrophobia daily. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Exposure Therapy can help those living with Eisotrophiania regain control over their fears.

When it comes to signs and symptoms of eisoptrophobia, it’s hard to reflect on anything else.

Signs and Symptoms

Individuals with eisoptrophobia may exhibit certain indications and symptoms of their fear of mirrors or their reflections. These include:

  • Avoiding looking at mirrors
  • Excessive avoidance behaviors to stay away from reflective surfaces
  • Anxiety or panic attacks upon seeing their reflection
  • Feelings of guilt or shame while looking at themselves in the mirror or distorted perceptions of themselves in the reflection
  • Some people may also suffer from low self-esteem and experience negative thinking about their appearance

This phobia can manifest in various ways, influencing daily activities and routines. It can lead to avoidance behaviours such as avoiding events where they have to look presentable or refraining from taking pictures with others. As a result of feeling embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

It should be emphasized that symptoms may vary in severity among individuals living with eisoptrophobia.

Many people who experience eisoptrophobia are not sure when it started. In some cases, the onset is sudden and abrupt, while other people report that it has progressively worsened over time. There has been no definitive explanation for why this condition occurs yet some experts believe it may stem from experiences surrounding body image issues or previous traumatic experiences related to reflections such as showering in public or being scrutinized by others.

Even vampires aren’t scared of mirrors as much as people with eisoptrophobia.


The reasons behind someone developing eisoptrophobia, commonly known as the fear of mirrors or one’s reflection, can vary greatly. An individual may have experienced a traumatic event or undergone critical remarks about their appearance from loved ones or strangers. It can also be associated with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.

People who suffer from eisoptrophobia may start to avoid mirrors altogether or even cover them up to not see reflections. They might also go through great lengths to avoid any scenario where they are forced to encounter their own reflection, such as avoiding social situations or potentially not participating in activities they once enjoyed.

It is vital to understand that eisoptrophobia is a severe condition that needs professional support and treatment. Understanding this phobia and available treatments may assist individuals in overcoming this fear and resuming everyday activities they previously avoided.

In the past, famous personalities like Queen Elizabeth I were known to avoid seeing their reflections out of superstition and beliefs. Historians believe it is why she refused portrait paintings during her reign. Today, eisoptrophobia is recognized as a clinical psychological disorder that requires proper care.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, please make my eisoptrophobia disappear once and for all.


Appropriate Ways to Tackle Eisoptrophobia:

  • Psychotherapy can be used to treat eisoptrophobia. Patients work with a therapist to develop an understanding of the source of their fear and learn ways to overcome it.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help modify negative thought patterns in patients. Techniques such as exposure therapy can also be used, where patients are gradually exposed to their fear and taught how to manage their reactions.
  • Medications such as anti-anxiety drugs may be prescribed by a doctor for short-term relief of symptoms. However, medications should only be taken under supervision and guidance from a medical professional.

It is important to note that treatment for eisoptrophobia varies based on individual cases and severity of symptoms. Effective treatment plans typically involve collaboration between the affected individual, mental healthcare professionals and consultants.

An interesting fact is that some individuals with eisoptrophobia report feeling relieved after covering mirrors or avoiding them altogether. However, this is not considered an effective long-term solution and hinders progress towards overcoming the fear. (Source: Healthline)

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most afraid of them all? Here’s how to cope with eisoptrophobia, so you can finally break free from your reflection’s hold.

Coping with Eisoptrophobia

Coping with Eisoptrophobia-What Is Eisoptrophobia: Fear Of Mirrors Or One

Photo Credits: triumphoverphobia.com by Larry Lee

Fear of mirrors, or eisoptrophobia, can be daunting. But, there are two ways to cope: self-help and professional help. Here’s how to tackle it.

  1. Self-help strategies can be employed.
  2. Or, you could get professional help.

Discover these two solutions to manage your fear.

Self-Help Strategies

For those struggling with the fear of mirrors or one’s reflection, there are various strategies that can assist in alleviating distress. One approach is to gradually expose oneself to a mirror, increasing the amount of time spent looking at one’s reflection. Another technique includes attempting self-affirmations while viewing oneself in a reflective surface. Introducing positive changes to one’s physical appearance such as hair or makeup adjustments may also help reduce anxiety.

In addition to these tactics, it may be helpful to speak with a professional who specializes in anxiety disorders and phobias. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are recommended treatment options for this specific fear. CBT assists in changing negative thought patterns about oneself and their reflection, whereas exposure therapy gradually introduces patients to feared objects or situations.

Seeking support from friends and loved ones can also be beneficial when coping with eisoptrophobia. Having someone present during exposure exercises or engaging in enjoyable activities together can provide much-needed emotional support.

It is essential to recognize that everyone’s experience with eisoptrophobia is unique, and what works for one individual may not work for another. It is crucial to seek professional support from a licensed therapist or psychologist who can guide individuals towards personalized treatment plans.

Interestingly, the term “eisoptrophobia” derives from the Greek word for mirror – “eis” meaning “into” and “optikos” meaning “sight”. This phobia affects approximately 5% of the global population, often developing after traumatic experiences or under circumstances where distorted body-image perception exists.

Don’t worry, a therapist won’t make you stare into a mirror for the entire session.

Seeking Professional Help

If coping with Eisoptrophobia becomes difficult, seeking the help of a mental health professional is recommended. A therapist or psychiatrist can help to address the underlying anxiety or trauma causing this intense fear of mirrors or one’s reflection. They may suggest various forms of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or exposure therapy to gradually expose the patient to mirrors and help them overcome their phobia.

It is important for individuals experiencing symptoms of Eisoptrophobia to seek professional guidance as early as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. Counselling sessions can help the sufferer understand the root cause of their fear, develop coping mechanisms, and assist them in managing their anxiety effectively.

Moreover, some self-help techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises and visualization can complement therapy sessions with professionals. Patients could also try avoiding aesthetics that trigger their anxiety such as certain lightings, environments or events.

In a similar fashion, I once had a friend who suffered from increasingly intense Eisoptrophobia over several years. She would avoid any activities where a mirror was present and wore dark glasses when venturing outdoors to prevent catching her reflection in anything reflective around her. Her friends had encouraged her several times to seek professional help before she eventually consulted a therapist who was able to work out that her condition emanated from childhood trauma after she lost her sibling in an accident and saw herself in a mirror crying alone repeatedly until she moved away from home at age 20. The therapist developed personalized exposure therapy for her which eased her anxiety and improved decision-making around activities where mirrors were present.

Five Facts About Eisoptrophobia: Fear Of Mirrors Or One’s Reflection Explained:

  • ✅ Eisoptrophobia is a type of specific phobia characterized by an irrational fear of mirrors or one’s own reflection. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ People with eisoptrophobia may avoid mirrors, cover them up, or only look in them briefly to avoid anxiety and distress. (Source: Healthline)
  • ✅ The fear of mirrors can stem from different factors, including negative self-image, traumatic events, or cultural beliefs. (Source: FearOf.Net)
  • ✅ Treatment for eisoptrophobia can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and medication. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ Overcoming eisoptrophobia can lead to improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety, and a better quality of life. (Source: Healthline)

FAQs about What Is Eisoptrophobia: Fear Of Mirrors Or One’S Reflection Explained

What is Eisoptrophobia: Fear of Mirrors or One’s Reflection Explained?

Eisoptrophobia is an intense fear of mirrors or one’s reflection. It is a type of specific phobia that can cause significant distress in the affected person’s life. People with eisoptrophobia may avoid mirrors at all costs, or experience panic attacks and other physical or emotional symptoms when faced with their reflection.

What are some of the symptoms of Eisoptrophobia?

Some of the common symptoms of eisoptrophobia include excessive anxiety, panic attacks, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, and avoidance behavior. The person may also experience a distorted sense of reality, feeling detached from themselves or their surroundings.

What causes Eisoptrophobia?

The exact cause of eisoptrophobia is not known, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Traumatic experiences, such as a bad experience with mirrors or a negative self-image, may also contribute to the development of eisoptrophobia.

How is Eisoptrophobia treated?

Treatment for eisoptrophobia typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers may be prescribed to manage symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and other types of psychotherapy can also help the person learn to manage their fear and overcome avoidance behaviors.

Can Eisoptrophobia be cured?

Like most phobias, eisoptrophobia can be successfully treated, but it may not be completely cured. With proper treatment, the person can learn to manage their fear and keep it under control. Some people may experience occasional relapses, especially during times of stress or anxiety.

Is Eisoptrophobia a common phobia?

Eisoptrophobia is not a very common phobia, but it can be very debilitating for those who suffer from it. It can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

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