Capiophobia or fear of getting arrested is also called the fear of police. In the real world, the police is a security agency that should secure the lives and properties of the everyday man. However, a lot has happened over the decades that has made people develop an intense and somewhat irrational fear of the police.
While not everyone is aware that Capiophobia is an actual phobia, it is important to note that a large percentage of people are actually living with this fear, so much so that it affects their daily lives.
If you have been living with the fear of getting arrested or the fear of police, it is vital to find out if it has become a full-blown phobia, and then seek help.
Some people may think that only those who are guilty of crimes develop a fear of getting arrested, but with the reality of issues such as police brutality, random arrests and arrests based on false accusations, anybody can develop this phobia.
Symptoms of Capiophobia (fear of getting arrested or fear of police)
Symptoms of Capiophobia may include :
- Loss of control
- Panic when encountering police
Causes of Capiophobia
Just like every other phobia, the cause of capiophobia cannot be generalized or even identified in some cases.
While some people may know why they developed a fear of getting arrested, some others may just find themselves living with such fear without any reason. What we know, however, is that the fear of getting arrested can be as a result of environmental or genetic factors.
A person who lives in an environment where police brutality or random arrests is reality may develop an irrational fear of getting arrested even if they have never committed a crime in their life.
Treatment for Capiophobia
There is no specific method of treatment that works particularly for the treatment of Capiophobia or any other phobia. However, there are few treatment options or combination of treatment options that may work for an individual.
Some of these methods of treatment include Cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, and others. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help tackle some of the symptoms that accompany this phobia.
Kindly note that there is no medication specially formulated for the treatment of the fear of getting arrested or any other phobia for that matter.
Also, exposure therapy may not be a realistic option for a phobia such as this, so your therapist may opt for cognitive behavioural therapy or any other safe treatment option.
4 ways to overcome the fear of getting arrested or the fear of police
Most of the time, the fear of police is often fear of uncertainty
It is quite realistic to randomly have negative and selfish thoughts. When this happens, a person may begin to feel like they could get into trouble with the police if these thoughts are materialized, or if it were possible for the police to read their thoughts from their body movements.
Once you understand that your thoughts are pretty normal and you can also control the things you think about, you may have partially won the battle against your fears.
Get rid of your past baggage to get rid of your fear of police
Once you have been able to determine whether or not you have a phobia, the next step is to try and figure out why.
If you have committed crimes in the past, you may live in constant fear of getting arrested as you are unsure where and when your past will catch up with you. If your past crimes can be remedied with an apology or restitution, go ahead and clear the situation.
If you feel like the damage you caused is unfixable, learn to forgive yourself and move on from your past.
This may not guarantee that your past will not catch up with you, but once you have made moves to fix what you can and forgive yourself for what you cannot fix, you may feel less guilty and not have any fears when you see the police or hear them coming.
Face the anxiety and also face your fear head-on
In exposure therapy, it is believed that the more or, the longer a person is exposed to the object of their fear, the less they panic or get frightened by the object.
While we are not telling you to deliberately get in trouble or be at the wrong place at the wrong time, if you can walk confidently on the streets without sweating at the sight of the police, it will help you overcome your fears eventually.
Fighting anxiety is not an easy task, and may not even be possible without professional help. Thus we encourage you to talk to a professional, and get help with the anxiety that you feel when you are around the police.
You may be given some medication to help deal with anxiety, but this is usually a short-term thing. Other more effective things you can do includes meditation, yoga, and joining a support group.
Try to find out why you have been afraid of the police
As we have earlier mentioned, it is almost impossible to find the actual cause of your phobia. However, if you can, do well to find easy ways to eliminate the cause if possible.
Final thoughts on fear of getting arrested
Capiophobia or the fear of getting arrested is a real fear that should be taken seriously. It could be a mild condition for some people, but when it becomes so intense that it prevents you from carrying out your daily activities, it is time to seek help.
For any fear to be called a phobia, it must have existed for six months or longer, and must also affect the daily life of the person who is affected.
Never attempt to self-medicate or hide from the reality of your condition. Talk to other people around you for emotional support and also talk to a professional therapist for help.