Contributed by – Healthians Team

Your inability to perform math could be more than a lack of interest in the subject. Perhaps you are afraid of numbers or for that matter, afraid of specific numbers. You might not be aware of this fear but that doesn’t change the possibility of you having it. In addition to that, do you believe that number 13 and 8 is not auspicious? If your answer is yes, then you certainly have arithmophobia or fear of numbers. So, let’s see what it actually is.

What is arithmophobia?

Arithmophobia, in general, is a fear of all or specific numbers. It can seriously affect your ability to do math or perform calculations. Your both educational and professional opportunities would get limited because of it. And beliefs like number 13 being inauspicious would impact your certain life decisions like buying a flat numbered 13. No matter how unusual arithmophobia is, it is the reality of many people. It is one of the many anxiety disorders which can impact the lives at an unimaginable level.

Fear of specific numbers

In many cultures number 13 in considered unlucky and India is not untouched by it. You must have noticed that buildings do not have 13th floor. 12th floor is usually followed by 12B or 14. Professionals in retail sector are well know of the fact that customers would not be interested in flats on 13th floor or numbered 13 or in street number 13. In fact, Chandigarh doesn’t have a sector numbered 13. Bombay Stock Exchange doesn’t have 13th floor. Airlines worldwide do not have a seat numbered 13. Number 8 is also considered unlucky in India as it’s the “number of Saturn” (Shani). Number 666 is another widely feared number as it is said to be the “number of the beast”. In Asia, number 4 is considered unlucky as it is a homophone for the word “death” in many local languages. Even the corporate like Samsung and canon have ignored this number while numbering their products.

There could be various theories for the origin of such beliefs and they certainly have a way of spreading. Many people are ready to challenge such superstitions today but most still follow them blindly. Such superstitions, when deep rooted in brain, start hindering your day-to-day life that is the moment for you to realize that something is not ok and that you might help.

How to deal with fear of numbers?

These kinds of fear can really change the way someone live their life. It may look harmless but the consequences can be bad. If you find yourself or anyone around you dealing with fear of numbers, then it’s only logical to seek advice from a professional. Since arithmophobia is a type of anxiety disorder, there could be more risk. A professional would be able to get to the root cause of the fear. He/she might be able to guide you to how to deal with situations when your anxiety reaches top level. Techniques like talk therapy or anti-anxiety medications might help you cope with the fear. If anxiety is left untreated it can also have impact on your physical health. So, do not compromise on your life and look out for the best psychiatrist near you.