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Xenophobia and Its Symptoms: What Is The Treatment For Xenophobia?

Referencing Styles : Chicago | Pages : 1


Xenophobia is defined as the unreasonable and strong dislike or fear of people who belong from other countries.

The people who suffer from xenophobia are called xenophobes and the attitudes that they possess ate known as xenophobic. Phobia refers to fear however people who suffer from xenophobia are not scared of people who belong from foreign countries in the same way a person might be scared by looking at something dangerous like spiders but their fear is different. It is not exactly scared but a strong hatred that drives their repulsion towards the foreign people. Xenophobia can take place anywhere. United States of America is popularly known as the land of immigrants and there have been people from all over the world who have come to settle in the developed country in order to prosper and lead a life. According to reports there have been several cases of xenophobia in the United States where people have been attacked and the targets include Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Poles, Irish and many other immigrants who had come from Latin America.

Xenophobia has resulted in many immigrants who belonged from the mentioned backgrounds and other backgrounds face discrimination in housing, employment and in other aspects as well. This made the U.S government take a decision and introduce laws to restrict Chinese nationals in their country and also to strip the Japanese Americans from the coasts of the country.

Example of Xenophobia

Xenophobia has been seen many countries however the Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066 is one of the most classic examples of xenophobia.

The Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066

After the gold rush of 1849, there were over 20,000 Chinese nationals came to settle in the U.S. In the period of just three decades the Chinese became about 9% of the population of California and quarter of the labor force of the state according to American History. However, the natives of the country, the white managed to exclude the Chinese from jobs with high wage however, and the immigrants who came from the East made a mark in industries like cigar-making.

The whites became intolerant of the Chinese and as a result of intolerance the Americans had threatened the Chinese that they will burn the dock from where the Chinese had arrived in the country. Californians chanted, “The Chinese Must Go!” in rallies with people who were anti-Chinese. In the year 1882, Congress introduced and passed the law, Chinese Exclusion Act which was introduced to close down the migration of the Chinese nationals in United Sates of America. This shows how xenophobia in the country for the Chinese nationals fueled the government to make this decision.

In other parts of the United States of America, racism was directed against the African Americans. Blacks however were very few in California thus they found someone to target who were the Chinese nationals in the country.  According to the people and citizens of the United States of America, Chinese people were considered to be untrustworthy and thought them to be inferior to the westerners. These xenophobic opinions of the people kept the Chinese workers on the sideline of the labor force but also dehumanized them and also led the lawmakers of United States ban immigrants from China in the country. It proves and shows how the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in the U.S legislation with xenophobic roots.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the Pearl Harbor and after few months of this incident the then President of the United States of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt  signed the Executive Order 9066, this order allowed the federal government to force over 110,000 Japanese Americas who lived on the West Coast to leave their houses and stay in internment camps. It is said that Roosevelt had signed the Executive Order 9066 because he thought that any citizen was American of Japanese descent has the potential to be a threat to the United States of America and they were capable enough to join Japanese in order to conspire against the country or carry attacks against the U.S.

According to historians, the President, Franklin D. Roosevelt did not have any concrete reason or proof that made him view the Japanese Americans as possible threats in the country and the federal government of the country never linked in Japanese American to plots or espionage against the United States of America.

After understanding the mistake that the country has made the country started to make some headway in the treatment of the immigrants in the year 1943 and 1944. The country then withdrew the Chinese Exclusion Act as the step for their apology and also allowed the Japanese Americans who were forced to stay in internment camps to return back to their own houses.

This is considered to be the classic example of xenophobia and it can be seen that the fear of foreigners among people may have different consequences and repercussions which may negatively impact the target.

symptoms of xenophobia?

Xenophobia is characterized as a mental disorder in which the individual who is affected experiences an extreme form of fear upon coming in contact with a stranger, usually who belong from some other country. In extreme cases the fear of the person affected with xenophobia can be expressed in physical or verbal assault. The most common response to the fear is that the affected person disassociates him or herself from the situation as he or she might be uncomfortable. According to research there are a few symptoms of xenophobia which are the following:

  • Acceleration of the heart rate of the person
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Extreme sweating

The symptoms of xenophobia are very much similar to certain other panic attacks and anxiety disorders and thus it is important for a person suffering from these symptoms go to a psychologist to understand the problems faced by them.

Treatment for Xenophobia? 

Medical treatment for the disorder Xenophobia involves counseling and cognitive behavioral therapies in order to mitigate the fear which is irrational which is coupled with medication of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants.  There are other methods that are used to treat xenophobia. The psychologist may help the patients suffering from Xenophobia by explaining them the causes of the anxiety which they have and teach them certain methods that they can follow in order to reduce anxiety like relaxation techniques, biofeedback or distraction and many more. In order to treat a patient suffering from Xenophobia the psychologist or the person who is treating the patient need to help the affected person by training him or her in anxiety-coping mechanisms like analyzing situation before reacting and giving imploding reactions, deep breathing, meditation and many more.

Xenophobia causes an extreme and irrational fear thus the therapist or the psychologist mostly insist on getting into the bottom factor which is the cause of the fear and try to replace the negative associations with positive associations. The core therapy is something which can be used to treat Xenophobia where the patient learns to adopt the method which usually alters the harmful and incorrect perceptions of the patient. The core therapy helps the patient to reprogram the mind and accept the strangers as normal people.

The therapy can be done in many ways like gaining the confidence of the patient, ability to overcome the negative emotions like hurt, fear, anxiety, guilt and disappointment and anger management. The other is medication where the patient is given pills in order to reduce the negative emotions before the panic surfaces and also helps in lessening the symptoms of the panic attack. The medication often protects and acts as a shield against the panic attacks which become frequent. There are precautions that need to be taken before the treatment and thus the before the course of the medication begins the physician, the psychologist or the therapist needs to be informed, medical conditions of the person should be checked before starting the medication which include medical history of the patient, history of prescribed drug addiction, liver disease, allergy to benzodiazepines and many more. The side effects of the pill are an important aspect that needs to be measured.

However, majority of the psychologists and the therapists do not encourage and promote the use of drugs in treating disease like xenophobia. Xenophobia is a mental disorder which has had many negative effects on the target as well as the person who is affected with the disorder. There has been no specific cure of xenophobia and scientists are still researching and there are yet to discover a specific treatment that cures the disorder. The usage of drugs are generally not recommended by the therapists as drugs can help only during the process of treatment and depending solely on drugs is not healthy. During the treatment process the pills and the medication that is given to the patient only conceals the existing condition but then it again reappears. According to scholars and researchers xenophobia cannot be solely treated on the basis of medication and pills as they may have side effects which may have other effects o the patient and thus combination of medication and therapy if not help cure xenophobia but will help in reducing it.


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