Phobias Types Aichmophobia: The Fear of Sharp Objects By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on November 11, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print PeopleImages / Getty Images Aichmophobia is the fear of sharp objects. This phobia of sharp things encompasses a wide range of specific fears. Some people are afraid of cutting or stabbing themselves, and others fear injuring someone else. Trypanophobia, the fear of medical needles, is sometimes considered a subset of aichmophobia, but the two phobias are quite different. While those with aichmophobia are afraid of working with sharp tools, trypanophobia is specific to medical procedures. Aichmophobia Triggers Like all phobias, aichmophobia has different triggers in different people. Some people are afraid only of particularly sharp knives, such as chef knives or hunting knives. Some fear all knives. Others are afraid of pins and needles. For example, sewing might trigger a fear of needles as a person visualizes needles piercing their skin. Some people fear all objects that they perceive as sharp, including umbrella points, paper clips and clothes hangers. In general, the worse the phobia, the more items that are perceived as triggers. Aichmophobia and Cooking Mageirocophobia, or the fear of cooking, is sometimes related to aichmophobia. It is difficult or impossible to prepare meals from scratch without using sharp knives. Ironically, this fear actually makes it more likely that you will cut yourself during the cooking process. Many people with a fear of sharp knives attempt to chop vegetables or de-bone meat with a dull knife, vastly increasing the chances that the knife will catch or jump. People with this fear might also use knives incorrectly, believing that it is safer to hold the knife further back on its handle. This provides less control over the knife, again increasing the risk of injury. Outlook A fear of sharp objects may drastically limit your ability to perform common tasks of daily living because so many of them require sharp tools. Opening packages, making minor household repairs, sewing, and many craft projects often require the use of knives, scissors, or other sharp objects. Aichmophobia can actually make tasks more dangerous, since people who are afraid of tools tend to wield them improperly. Getting Help for Aichmophobia Like all phobias, untreated aichmophobia tends to worsen over time. For example, a mild fear of very sharp knives might gradually grow to include knitting needles, then straight pins, and eventually scissors. With treatment, however, aichmophobia is generally easy to overcome. Many people find that they can beat a mild fear through education and exposure. Learning proper knife skills, studying expert sewing videos, and working alongside a competent handyman can provide confidence. If your fear is more severe, however, professional assistance may be required to treat the phobia. In most cases, specific phobias like aichmophobia respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 2 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Andrews G, Shaw D. "So we started talking about a beach in Barbados": Visualization practices and needle phobia. Soc Sci Med. 2010;71(10):1804-10. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.08.010 Kaczkurkin AN, Foa EB. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: an update on the empirical evidence. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015;17(3):337-346. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Phobias Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.