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Fear of Numbers : Everything You Need To Know About Arithmophobia

Hey there! Have you ever heard of arithmophobia? It’s all about the fear of numbers. Today, we’ll embark on an intriguing journey into the world of arithmophobia. The fear that numbers can evoke in some of us. As we delve deeper, we’ll unravel the symptoms of this fear. We’ll explore its origins, and uncover how individuals cope with or seek treatment for fear of numbers.

Get ready for a ride into the world of number phobia! We’re diving into what this fear of numbers is all about, how it affects people, and ways to tackle it. Stick with us as we uncover this fascinating fear and find out how to help those dealing with it. Ready to explore and discover ways to beat this fear? Let’s do it!

Fear of Numbers/ Number Phobia

fear of numbers

Arithmophobia is the fear of numbers or dealing with mathematics. Those with this phobia might experience anxiety, panic, or extreme discomfort when confronted with numbers, mathematical equations, or situations requiring numerical calculations. The person may have a fear of odd numbers. This fear can stem from various reasons, such as past negative experiences with math, a lack of confidence in understanding numbers or feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of mathematical concepts.

Living With Arithmophobia

Living with arithmophobia can be challenging and distressing. Imagine encountering fear or anxiety whenever faced with numbers or mathematical tasks. It might mean feeling a knot in your stomach, your heart racing, or even a sense of panic at the mere thought of dealing with numbers. Simple tasks like managing finances, following instructions involving numbers, or even basic calculations could trigger overwhelming fear or avoidance.

fear of numbers

It might lead to constantly avoiding situations that involve numbers, which can limit opportunities or cause difficulties in everyday life. The fear of making mistakes or failing in mathematical tasks could contribute to a persistent sense of unease or a feeling of inadequacy.

fear of numbers

This fear can impact various aspects of life, from academic or professional pursuits to personal relationships. It’s like having a shadow prevailing over daily activities, making something as fundamental as numbers a source of immense stress and discomfort.

Causes of Arithmophobia (Fear of Numbers)

The causes of arithmophobia, or the fear of numbers/mathematics, can be from various factors:

  1. Negative experiences: Previous struggles, failures, or negative encounters with math or numbers, especially during formative years, can lead to fear and anxiety.
  2. Learning difficulties: Difficulties in understanding or grasping mathematical concepts can create a sense of fear and avoidance.
  3. Inherited traits or environment: Sometimes, a predisposition to anxiety or fear might be inherited or influenced by the environment, where a person grows up in an environment where math is portrayed negatively.
  4. Pressure or expectations: High expectations from oneself or others, such as parents or teachers, to excel in mathematics can lead to anxiety and fear of failure.
  5. Psychological factors: Underlying anxiety disorders or phobias might manifest specifically in the context of dealing with numbers, contributing to arithmophobia.

What Causes Fear of Certain Numbers?

Well, sometimes it’s linked to religious beliefs or superstitions. Some numbers carry significant fears in different cultures such as

13: The fear of the number 13, known as triskaidekaphobia, has ties to various cultures. In Christianity, 13 was linked to Judas, the betrayer of Jesus at the Last Supper. Norse mythology also places Loki as the 13th god, adding to the fear. This fear extends to Friday the 13th, seen as an unlucky day (paraskevidekatriaphobia).

666: Western cultures have a widespread fear of 666. It is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. The Bible’s Book of Revelation, 666 is dubbed the “number of the beast.” It’s often associated with evil or doomsday scenarios in horror movies and tales.

4: In Japan, China, and Vietnam, the number four is seen as unlucky because it sounds like “death” in those languages. It’s often skipped in elevators, hotel rooms, and even serial numbers on products.

Prevalence Rate

fear of numbers

Arithmophobia, the fear of numbers or mathematics, varies in its prevalence among individuals. While specific statistics might not exist for arithmophobia alone, fears related to numbers or math can be relatively common. Many people experience some level of discomfort or anxiety when dealing with numbers, but for some, it can be severe enough to interfere with daily life. The intensity of this fear can vary from person to person.

Symptoms of Arithmophobia (Fear of Numbers)

Some of the Symptoms of Arithmophobia, the fear of numbers or mathematics are as follows.

  1. Anxiety: Feeling tense, nervous, or panicked when faced with numbers or mathematical problems.
  2. Avoidance: Actively avoiding situations that involve numbers, such as refusing to handle finances or opting out of activities requiring math.
  3. Physical reactions: Experiencing physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, or even shortness of breath when encountering numbers.
  4. Difficulty concentrating: Inability to focus or think clearly when dealing with numerical tasks due to heightened anxiety.
  5. Fear of failure: Overwhelming fear of making mistakes or failing in mathematical tasks, leading to math anxiety.


fear of numbers

Diagnosing arithmophobia typically involves a process where a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, assesses an individual’s symptoms and their impact on daily life. This assessment might include:

  1. Clinical interview: The mental health professional will discuss the individual’s experiences, feelings, and behaviors related to numbers or mathematics.
  2. Questionnaires or assessments: Standardized tests or questionnaires may be used to measure the severity of the fear and its impact on the person’s life.
  3. Observation: The professional might observe the individual’s reactions when presented with numbers or math-related tasks to gauge their level of anxiety or avoidance.
  4. Ruling out other conditions: It’s essential to rule out other conditions or disorders that might manifest similar symptoms to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Based on these evaluations, the mental health professional can diagnose arithmophobia and determine an appropriate course of action, which may include therapy or other treatments to help manage the fear of numbers.

Treatment for Arithmophobia

fear of numbers

Treatment for arithmophobia, the fear of numbers or mathematics, can involve various approaches:

  1. Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often effective. It helps individuals understand and challenge negative thoughts about numbers, gradually exposing them to numerical tasks in a controlled and supportive environment.
  2. Exposure therapy: Gradual exposure to numbers or math-related situations in a safe and controlled manner can help desensitize the fear response.
  3. Relaxation techniques: Learning and practicing relaxation methods, such as deep breathing or mindfulness, can help manage anxiety when facing numerical tasks.
  4. Medication: In some cases, doctors might prescribe anti-anxiety medications to alleviate symptoms. However, medication is usually considered in severe cases or combination with therapy.
  5. Support groups: Joining support groups or communities where individuals share similar fears can provide comfort, understanding, and strategies for coping.

Treatment approaches may vary depending on the individual’s specific symptoms, the severity of the fear, and their personal preferences. It’s crucial to seek guidance from mental health professionals to determine the most suitable treatment plan.

Hypnotherapy For Fear of Numbers

fear of numbers

Hypnotherapy, a type of therapy that uses hypnosis to create a relaxed and focused state, can sometimes be used to address arithmophobia. In this approach, a trained hypnotherapist guides the individual into a deeply relaxed state and may suggest positive thoughts or associations with numbers to help reframe the fear response.

Self-Help Techniques for Overcoming Fear of Numbers

fear of numbers

 Utilizing self-help books, online resources, or mobile applications designed to address anxiety and phobias related to numbers can be beneficial. Here are some self-help techniques that might assist in managing arithmophobia:

  1. Gradual exposure: Start with small, manageable tasks involving numbers and gradually increase the difficulty as you become more comfortable.
  2. Positive affirmations: Use positive statements to counter negative thoughts about numbers. Repeat phrases that reinforce your ability to handle numerical tasks.
  3. Relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety when faced with numbers.
  4. Educate yourself: Learn about math or numbers in a non-threatening way. Understanding the basics can help demystify and reduce fear.
  5. Visual aids: Use visual aids like charts, diagrams, or other visual representations to understand and work through numerical problems.
  6. Seek support: Talk to friends, and family, or join online communities where others share similar fears. Sharing experiences and coping strategies can be reassuring.
  7. Self-paced learning: Use online resources or apps that offer step-by-step tutorials or games to improve math skills at your own pace.

Remember, progress might be gradual, and it’s okay to seek professional help if these techniques feel overwhelming or if the fear significantly affects your daily life.


Living with arithmophobia is tough, but there are ways to get better. Understanding the fear and using tricks to handle it can help. It’s okay if things take a while—getting help from professionals is always a good idea. With time, help, and not giving up, individuals can deal with arithmophobia or number phobia, feeling more in charge when dealing with numbers.


Farzeen Mubarak
Farzeen Mubarakhttps://bepsych.com/
Hello, I'm Farzeen, a writer who loves to explore different topics. I've written articles on a wide range of subjects, from technology to health, lifestyle, and more. My goal is to create content that's easy to understand and enjoyable to read. When I'm not writing, I'm out discovering new places and trying delicious food. I'm always eager to learn and share fresh insights with my readers.



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