Signs you may be suffering from chronophobia (Photo: iStock)

Chronophobia is a condition characterised by an overwhelming fear of time and the passage of time.

While often overlooked, chronophobia can significantly impact an individual's quality of life especially if you constantly dwell on it.

Individuals with this fear may experience persistent anxiety and worry about the future, fearing the unknown and uncertainty that lies ahead. While it may sound like something we all do, the difference here is how they become obsessed with upcoming events or milestones, fearing the inevitability of time passing.

Chronophobia can lead to avoidance of time-related activities such as scheduling appointments, making plans or even checking the time. This avoidance behaviour stems from a fear of confronting the passage of time and the responsibilities associated with it.

Strange as it may sound, it also breeds fear of ageing and mortality is often intertwined with chronophobia. Individuals may become preoccupied with the physical signs of ageing such as wrinkles, grey hair and declining health viewing them as symbols of time's relentless march forward.

Women and individuals who haven’t accomplished their life goals struggle the most with this. They will experience transitions and life changes such as birthdays or career milestones triggering intense feelings of anxiety and dread. Why? These events serve as stark reminders of the passage of time and the inevitability of change.

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Do you ever feel like time is moving too quickly or too slowly? This distortion can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and disorientation further fueling the fear of time. If it goes unchecked, this fear can rob you of your life and that is why you need to practice coping mechanisms.

Start by evaluating negative thoughts. Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques can be effective in challenging and reframing negative thoughts and beliefs associated with chronophobia. Encourage yourself to identify and question irrational beliefs about time and aging replacing them with more balanced and realistic perspectives.

Establishing a structured daily routine can provide a sense of stability and predictability thus helping you to feel more in control of time. Learn how to schedule activities and to set goals in order of priority to reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Lastly, reach out to a mental health professional if all else fails. They are equipped and trained to help individuals with unique problems like this one.