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Other namesMath anxiety

Numerophobia, arithmophobia, or mathematics anxiety is an anxiety disorder, involving fear of dealing with numbers or mathematics.[1][2][page needed] Sometimes numerophobia refers to fear of particular numbers.[3][4] Some people with this condition may be afraid of even numbers, odd numbers, unlucky numbers, and/or lucky numbers. Those with this phobia may have a hard time holding certain jobs, paying bills, or managing a budget.[5]


There are two types of arithmophbia: generalized arithmophibia and fear of specific numbers. Generalized arithmophobia is a fear of all numbers. Fear of specific numbers can be associated with cultural and religious factors. For example, 666 are 3 numbers combined that represent the antichrist in the bible. In China, Vietnam, and Japan, 4 is a number that represents death. In many cultures the number 13 is also an unlucky number which people fear. These fears in numbers make it difficult for people to perform well in professional and educational settings. 

Fears of specific numbers

Number-related superstitions in music


Symptoms of arithmophobia are similar to other types of anxiety disorder. These symptoms include chills, dizziness and lightheadedness, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath, trembling or shaking, and an upset stomach.[5] Symptoms of arithmophobia can be more or less intense in different cases.  


One common treatment for anxiety disorders is exposure therapy, in which the patient is carefully exposed to the fear object in a controlled environment to help them understand that the object is not harmful. Other common treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, which is talking to a therapist, hypnotherapy, which is guided concentration and relaxation, and medication to reduce anxiety.[5]


  1. ^ "How to Find Out in Psychology: A Guide to the Literature and Methods of Research", p 119
  2. ^ Numerophobia Psychological, disorder (February 2004). Understanding Psychology by Feldman. ISBN 9780070586987.
  3. ^ Kerr, Alistair W.; Hall, Howard K.; Kozub, Stephen A. (2002-03-08). Doing Statistics With SPSS. SAGE. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4462-3071-8.
  4. ^ Doctor, Ronald Manual; Kahn, Ada P.; Adamec, Christine A. (2010-05-12). The Encyclopedia of Phobias, Fears, and Anxieties, Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 361. ISBN 978-1-4381-2098-0.
  5. ^ a b c "Arithmophobia (Fear of Numbers): Diagnosis & Treatment". Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved 2024-04-17.