Ballistophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an
abnormal, irrational, and/or intense fear of missiles or objects
that move through force exerted on it by an outside influence
(e.g., bullets). It is sometimes referred to as a fear of being
shot. As such a person with ballistophia may have an extreme
fear of guns. Ballistophobia can occur in patients suffering from
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who experienced a
traumatic event related to projectile weapons in combat. This
can occur in military personnel or law enforcement officials.
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PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs after a significant life stressor that
involves experiencing or witnessing actual or threatened death, serious injury ,or physical

Patients with ballistophobia are known to exhibit signs, symptoms, and features of PTSD.
This includes avoiding any situation that places them at risk of being shot or exposed to
projectile weapons.  It can include intrusive thoughts of projectile weapons. It can include
intense psychological distress and/or physical reactions (e.g., sweating, rapid heartbeat,
chest pain, abdominal distress) upon reminders of projectile weapons such as seeing
such weapons in the movies, television, or pictures. Ballistophobia comes from the Greek
word "ballista" meaning "catapult," and the Greek word "phobos" meaning "fear." Put the
two words together and you get "catapult fear," where catapult means to be thrown or
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