Understanding The Fear Of Time (Chronophobia)

Last Update on August 25, 2022 : Published on August 25, 2022

Have you ever felt the weird feeling of not being able to do anything and your time is just running? The weird feeling is actually anxiety about the time. You fear that the time is passing and you’ve not been able to do anything at all.

This anxiety about the time can be described as chronophobia. Chronophobia is a condition where you have a strong but irrational fear of time. You feel like your time is passing quickly and that feeling gives you stress and anxiety.

There are a lot of people who feel a lot of stress about the concept of time, they are constantly thinking about how much time they have to cross certain milestones in life or how much or little time they have to achieve certain things in life, etc.

To understand the fear of time better, you need to understand the entire concept of chromophobia…

Let’s have a look at the meaning of chromophobia first;

Chronophobia: Definition


Chronophobia is a type of phobia that can be characterized by an extreme and irrational fear of time. If you have chronophobia you will constantly be worried about time and all the things in your life that are dependent on your time.

It’s very common for people to worry about time, so many of us must have faced a time when we knew we were running short of time and that we have to run even faster to accomplish what we are trying to do.

When this feeling comes to you once in a while, it can be managed and it does not really damage your mental health that much. It becomes a problem when you feel anxiety about time almost every day.

Even though things have been great with you but you still have this fear of time, you feel like your time is running out and you aren’t doing enough. This feeling describes chronophobia, the fear of time.

Symptoms Of Chronophobia

The basic symptom or sign of phobia is experiencing intense fear, worry, or anxiety about a particular thing. In the case of chronophobia, there is an intense fear of time.  Let’s have a look at all the other signs & symptoms of Chronophobia;

  • Experience panic attacks
  • Sleep disturbances
  • The feeling of anxiety and nervousness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Feel weak in the limbs
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Dizziness and nausea

These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of chronophobia. These symptoms of the fear of time are usually experienced when you are thinking about time or someone mentions something about time or you are dwelling upon the thought of being short on time.


What Causes Chronophobia?

In the case of phobias, the exact cause of their condition can never be certain. Some people develop phobias because of a personal traumatic experience and some might develop it because they have a family history of anxiety disorder or phobias.

Anyway, in the case of fear of time, there are some causes that can trigger or make someone develop Chronophobia. Let’s have a look at them;

  • You can develop chronophobia if you have been living or confined in a small space. It mostly happens to people who are in solitary confinement. They lose the sense of time, which might result in the development of fear of time.
  • A natural disaster can also cause chronophobia. The most relatable example is the COVID pandemic, many people experience the fear of time. They had anxiety of time slipping off their hands as we were all in lockdown for almost 2 years.
  • An illness can also make people develop chronophobia. The fear of time is usually seen in those people who have a terminal illness.
  • Age obviously has a role to play because you know you have lived for a good amount of years and now all the unfinished business has to be taken care of.
  • People with some mental health illnesses can also develop a fear of time. It is most commonly seen in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, anxiety, etc.

How To Deal With Chronophobia?

Fortunately, phobias like chronophobia can be treated. Sometimes the fear of time is self-diagnosed, if not when your doctor diagnoses you with chronophobia, the first thing that you’ll be asked to do is master your thoughts. For that, you need to require some help, preferably from a mental health professional.

Here’s what all you can do to deal with chronophobia;


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: CBT will help you replace your negative and intrusive thoughts with positive ones.
  • Medication: your doctor might prescribe you some clinical drugs to manage your panic attacks and anxiety so that your vulnerability is managed.


  • Knowing relaxation techniques can help you in managing your symptoms
  • Try engaging in mindfulness techniques so that you can master your emotions
  • Try to have a practical plan for your future, do not jump right in without any planning
  • Invest your time in support groups. Being with people who have experienced the same fear can help you in dealing with your chronophobia.

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about chronophobia, and the fear of time informative, interesting, and helpful. It is very common for people to feel like they are running short of time but it’s important to know your strengths, trust yourself, and believe that things will happen on time, just be consistent with your effort.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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