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Do you suffer from mimphobia?

Hello friends!

In many, many cases, art anticipates science. There is a phrase that has become very well known by Millor Fernandes that says: “I suffer from mimphobia. I am afraid of myself and I face myself every day”.

Evidently, mimphobia is not a mental illness listed in DSM-5 or ICD-10. When I say that art anticipates science, I don’t mean that Millor’s idea of ​​mimphobia will one day be in these diagnostic manuals, but rather that the idea describes very well a type of symptom that we find in the doctor’s office.

Yes, because it’s not always a relationship issue. It is not always what Sartre used to say – also brilliantly – “hell is other people”. It happens relatively often that the problem is internal. Mimphobia: the fear of being one way. The fear of being different. The fear of imposing yourself, of saying no. The fear of choosing one’s own path, having the strength to face criticism and overcome obstacles, imaginary or not.

Millor’s phrase made me think a lot. Does this exist? If yes, how to recognize? Do you suffer from mimphobia? Do we all suffer?

What is mimphobia?

As I said, mimphobia is not a mental illness. It is a poetic creation by a fantastic Brazilian artist. But, as diseases are ultimately concepts and as concepts have to be forged and modified over the centuries, we can allow ourselves the freedom to think of a (created) disease like mimphobia.

Psychologically, there is a significant difference between fear (or phobia) and anxiety. While fear is a feeling of apprehension that has a specific object, anxiety is nonspecific. For example, someone might be afraid of snakes. It is a feeling that has a specific object: snakes.

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In the case of mmimphobia, we would also have a specific object: myself. Is what it would mean to be afraid of yourself? What could this object, internal and intangible, and therefore different from an external visible object like a snake, cause fear?

Types of Mimphobia

Like all classifications, we feel more clarity with group enumerations or distinctions. Just as there is Bipolar Disorder 1 and Bipolar Disorder 2 and not otherwise specified, we could imagine types of mimphobia.

Millor says: “I face myself every day”. So that we can think of types of self-coping to outline distinctions, in addition to the classic differences in intensity between mild, moderate and severe.

Mimphobia due to imaginary limitations

It would be that type that fears itself because it does not believe in its own potentialities. Paralyzes, when he should act. And, in the midst of the standstill, he imagines that he is not capable, he will not be able, not now, not later.

Mimphobia due to emotional outbursts

He would be a type who fears himself for the likelihood of doing wrong, either morally or disciplinarily. Finally, fear of losing control, of losing one’s temper, of saying or shouting what one cannot say or shout, fear of doing what one dreams of hiding or hiding from oneself.

Mimphobia of undefined guilt

There is a kind of guilt from the lightest to the heaviest that is not easily recognizable. Someone who has this type of guilt feels guilty but doesn’t know exactly why. You may feel guilty about spilling milk or about war and famine in the world. In any case, the guilt is there, although the reason, the real reason, is unknown, the feeling of duty (in the sense of having a debt, something to pay) never leaves the subject.

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It is clear that this is a text that does not intend to be serious, although truths about mental and emotional states have been told. In its own way, it is also poetic license – following Millor – to describe an aspect of humanity.

While some are afraid of others (from social phobia to persecutory paranoia), others would be – and are – afraid of themselves. Fear of not being able and not being able to. Fear of losing the center and doing silly or crazy things. Fear of having done something wrong and being punished for a future event around a corner.

I keep thinking… are there other types of mimphobia? Is there a way to overcome fear of yourself? Will they one day catalog a similar disease, collect statistics and much sooner create a revolutionary medicine to fight this evil?

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