Why Atychiphobia (Fear of Failure) Does Not Have the Final Say

Phobias are irrational fears related to certain objects or situations. Having an irrational and persistent fear of failing can really derail your thoughts, your body, and hijack your recovery. The last thing you need is to let it get the best of you when you are already fighting so hard to stay sober and clean. Learn more about the symptoms of atychiphobia and how to kick it to the curb for good.


People experience fear differently. The severity runs on a spectrum from mild to extreme. Phobias like atychiphobia can be extreme and paralyze you, making it hard to carry on tasks at home, school, or at work. If you miss important opportunities in your life, you may be struggling more than you realize with the symptoms of fear of failure. Triggering situations can cause you to feel like you might fail. In some cases, these symptoms may come out of nowhere. Physical and emotional symptoms may include:

  • Hard time breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Digestive issues
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Sweating
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Thinking of death or passing out
  • Feeling powerless over the fear
  • Feeling detached from the self
  • A need to escape
  • Intense feelings of panic or anxiety


If fear of failing is severe, it has likely started to impact your daily life. You may be suffering from atychiphobia without realizing the true impact on your own life. A doctor can help diagnose this phobia and suggest treatments to help. Doctors may ask questions about symptoms you are experiencing. They may also ask about psychiatric and social histories before using different criteria to make a formal diagnosis. In order to be diagnosed with a phobia, you must have had symptoms for six months or longer, including:

  • Self-recognition fear is severe and irrational
  • Avoidance of situations and objects that bring anxiety
  • Excessive anticipation of situations that bring fear


A doctor may refer you to a mental health professional for therapy. Exposure therapy involves gradual but repeated exposure to things you fear in hopes of changing the response. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves exposure and other tools to help deal with fear of failure. A doctor may recommend a combination of things to support your journey.

The healing journey of recovery is about trying things that work to best support long-term health. The challenge with understanding the self is that it takes introspection to look deep enough to move beyond the issues on the surface and dig below into the dirt. Keeping up with therapy, community support groups, medication, and other means of recovery help will continue to grow and strengthen the mind and body against the challenges you may face now and in the future. In this way, a feeling of failure does not get to have the last word.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.