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Fear of Ugliness: Everything you Need to Know About Cacophobia

Have you ever heard about cacophobia? It is an intense fear of ugliness. It’s like really, really not liking anything ugly, and it’s tied to feeling super anxious. Imagine breaking into a cold sweat at the sight of a “bad hair day” or experiencing heart palpitations in the face of a less-than-perfect selfie. That’s cacophobia in action — the fear that cranks everyday woes up to eleven. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s dig into what cacophobia is all about, where what one person finds ugly might be different from someone else.

Cacophobia (Fear of Ugliness)

fear of ugliness

Cacophobia is an extreme fear of horror that’s rooted in anxiety. Cacophobia isn’t like regular fears where there’s a clear danger. Nope, it’s more like a personal rollercoaster. People with cacophobia decide what’s ugly, and it can give them serious chills. Individuals with cacophobia may look at various things, including objects, animals, other people, or even themselves, and label them as ugly. Additionally, there is often an underlying anxiety about encountering something that they subjectively judge to be unattractive.

How Many People Deal with Cacophobia?

fear of ugliness

Cacophobia affects 1-3% of the general population. Women are more prone to be affected by cacophobia as compared to men. Some people might not even realize they’re stuck with cacophobia; they just think it’s a normal part of how they think.

Beauty (or Ugliness) in the Eye of the Beholder

fear of ugliness

In the world of cacophobia, it’s all about how you see things. However, the symptoms of cacophobia are similar to those of other phobias. What might be ugly to one person is like a masterpiece to another. So, it is difficult to diagnose cacophobia. It’s not about what’s real; it’s more about how anxieties inside a person show up on the outside. The cacophobes determine their version of beauty, and anything falling short induces a wave of panic.

Symptoms of Cacophobia (Fear of Ugliness)

Here are some of the symptoms of cacophobia.

1. Feeling Dizziness 5. Shortness of Breath
2. Heavy Sweating 6. Upset Stomach
3. Trembling 7. Nausea
4. Chills 8. Lightheadedness

Diagnosis and Tests of Cacophobia

fear of ugliness

There are no specific tests for diagnosing cacophobia. A healthcare provider can determine the condition through discussions with you, considering factors such as your symptoms, the duration of their occurrence, and whether they are affecting your daily life.

Life of Cacophobe

Dealing with cacophobia and its symptoms can be tough, and it’s often something people keep to themselves. Others might not even notice it, and those with cacophobia might just think it’s a normal part of their everyday thoughts. Imagine going through life where being scared of ugly things is like having a secret friend who brings worries when you least expect it.

Why Talk about Cacophobia?

So, why are we talking about cacophobia? Because knowing about it is the first step to understanding and being kind. It’s about realizing that some people have fears that might seem small to others. It’s like an invitation to start talking openly and creating a world where no fear is too tiny to matter.

Diet Plan for Cacophobic Individuals

A diet for cacophobia, the fear of ugliness, typically isn’t a specific dietary plan. Some individuals experiencing mental health issues, including phobias, may benefit from a balanced and nutritious diet to support overall well-being. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can contribute to better physical health, which in turn might positively impact mental health.

Here is an example of a diet plan for cacophobic individuals according to the dietitians.

Promote brain health and reduce anxiety.
Probiotic foods
High in antioxidants for overall well-being.
Nutrient-rich for mental and physical health.
Leafy greens
Healthy fats for the brain and nervous system.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Support gut health and immune function.
Whole grains
Provide sustained energy and stabilize mood.
Chamomile tea
Calming effect and stress reduction.

Cacophobia Treatment

Possible treatments for cacophobia include

Cacophobia Treatment Options
Main Goal
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
people unlearn negative thoughts that happen when they think about or encounter ugliness.
Exposure Therapy
helps people confront their fears. It starts with something less scary, like a picture of something mildly ugly
the person under hypnosis is more open to suggestions and change.


There isn’t a specific medication designed specifically for treating cacophobia, the fear of ugliness. However, in some cases, a mental health professional might prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or panic that can accompany phobias. Medications like anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants might be used to help manage the emotional distress associated with cacophobia.

Similar Conditions

Some of the other phobias and psychological conditions that might co-exist with cacophobia are as follows.

Dysmorphophobia (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)

fear of ugliness

This is a mental health disorder characterized by an obsessive focus on perceived flaws or defects in physical appearance, which may not be noticeable to others. It can lead to significant distress and impairment in daily functioning. A person having body dysmorphic disorder may have a cacophobia.

Spectrophobia (Fear of Mirrors)

fear of uglinessSpectrophobia is an intense and irrational fear of mirrors or seeing one’s reflection. A person who has a fear of mirrors might have a fear of ugliness.

Routine Habits for Overcoming Cacophobia

Positive Affirmations: Incorporate daily affirmations to challenge negative thoughts about appearance. Repeat positive statements that reinforce self-acceptance and worth, gradually shifting your mindset away from fear.

Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness techniques or relaxation exercises like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help manage anxiety and promote a sense of calmness, reducing the intensity of fear responses.

Seek Support: Engage with a supportive network, whether it’s friends, family, or a therapist. Discussing your fears and seeking encouragement from others can provide reassurance and perspective.

Focus on Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities that promote overall well-being, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and hobbies that bring joy. Taking care of your physical and mental health can boost confidence and reduce anxiety related to appearance.

Consistency and patience are key when adopting these habits. Overcoming the fear of ugliness may take time and persistence, but these habits can gradually help in managing and eventually overcoming the fear.


In a nutshell, cacophobia might not be something everyone talks about, but it quietly affects those who fear things that others might not even notice. It’s a reminder that, in the big picture of being human, every fear, no matter how personal, is worth understanding and being gentle about.


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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