We all love receiving gifts. Well, ever heard someone say ‘ I dread gifts, they scare me’. Welcome to the world of ‘cainotophobic’.

A persistent ,exaggerated or irrational fear of a specific object or situation is termed as ‘phobia’. In Greek ‘Cainoto’ means ‘newness’ and ‘Phobos’ means ‘fear’; so the term cainotophobia refers to the ‘fear of newness or new things’. Other terms for this phobia are Cainophobia, Kainophobia, Kainolophobia and Neophobia. The phobia opposite to this one is called ‘Paleophobia’ i.e. ‘fear of old things’.

The person suffering from cainotophobia feels distress when facing a change, innovation, unfamiliar or new things. The reason for this distress can be either of the two mentioned below:

  1. The fear of the unknown or hidden features of the new thing.
  2. The unwillingness to accept and embrace a novelty.


1) Like many other phobias the trigger to cainototphobia can lie in a past traumatic event.

2) A frugal sense of living can contribute to this fear.

3) Sometimes people get too comfortable in their familiar zone and can fear a change because of this.


A cainotophobic avoids anything that is new or any situation where he or she would have to face something new, like he would avoid celebrating events or birthdays to avoid gifts. He would not go shopping unless absolutely necessary. When faced with new things a cainotophobic is likely to experience extreme anxiety or dread, symptoms of panic like shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, dry mouth,etc.


This phobia can be treated with counseling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy.

          Vidhi Pipara Adolescent Psychologist – Guidance on personal or psychological problems in Ahmedabad,Gujarat and India.

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