Look out the window, far into the distance, and ask yourself whether this makes you feel any fear. If the idea of infinity, in any form, scares you, you're suffering from apeirophobia.
Apeirophobia, simply put, is the fear of infinity. It is one of the numerous fears with their own scientific name that are classified as phobias. A phobia is a pathological, obsessive, irrational and strong fear of a specific object, activity or situation.
Those affected describe the fear felt as excessive and unfounded, which quickly transforms into a compulsive disorder. It becomes the source of a particular kind of disorder that affects an individual's social functioning and is considered a mental disorder.
The term for the fear of infinity is a complex one and seldom heard. Apeirophobia is an abnormal, uninduced fear of infinity or other unimaginably large or eternal things.
The word comes from the Greek Apeiros, meaning something that is extremely big, gigantic, never-ending. Examples of such things include the open seas or outer space. Some people experience it when they find themselves staring off into the limitless Universe. We, as humans, like to know the boundaries of things, where they begin and end, but with the Universe these rules don't apply, as far as we know.
Boundlessly immense things and eternity in itself are good examples of this sensation. There are no rules to make our surrounding reality more predictable and foreseeable when it comes to these concepts. And some people just can't handle that idea. They fear the seas, the thought of eternal life, great distances, heights, the vastness of space. The mere thought of infinity invokes a severe and illogical phobia in them.
Apeirophobia can manifest in the form of panic, born of the intrusive thought that the person is doing the same thing over and over. Even if they'd like to, they simply cannot get out of the vicious circle. This lead to more panic attacks, characterized by increased heartbeat, difficulty breathing, fainting and sometimes even loss of consciousness.
The fear of infinity can also occur alongside various paranoid mental disorders, after use of psychotropic substances and as a side effect of certain medications. Certain religious or occult beliefs can also bring on this condition.