It is a rare phobia and varies in severity. Some people are afraid to see their knees open, while others are afraid even to be photographed with their knees uncovered. In other words, it is necessary to understand that a person is not afraid of knees directly – a person is afraid of everything connected with them – that they can be seen, of touching something.

It is a rather strange and complicated phobia, and it is not always associated with past negative experiences. However, a past knee injury can cause fear. And it’s not necessarily that a person has hurt his knee, he can be a witness to some incident, and such a picture is deeply rooted in the head. And the sufferer of this phobia will be constantly replaying what happened in his head. Gangster movies, where one breaks another’s knees, also leave a strong impression, especially at a young age.

This phobia can also come from childhood, where strong religious upbringing and beliefs took place. Many religions require the wearing of conservative clothing, where the legs are covered by a dress. And the emphasis is on the knees, which should not be shown.

Those who suffer from genufobia will never play sports where their knees must be exposed (athletic uniforms are short), there will be problems with intimacy. They are sensitive to touch in this area, negatively sensitive, it is difficult for them to share a bed with someone and have any kind of intimate life at all.

If a person is unable to overcome this fear, consultation with a psychotherapist is necessary. As a rule, this phobia is 100% treatable.

Look at your knees. What do you feel? Probably nothing at all, indifference. Genophobes, on the other hand, are panic-phobic about their knees and other people’s knees. What causes the phobia and how to deal with it – let’s figure it out.

Genufobia – what is it

Genufobia is a fear of knees, most often open knees. Some genufobes are afraid of seeing other people’s knees. Others are afraid that someone will touch their knees and see them. Two forms of genufobia can be distinguished: fear of one’s knees and fear of someone else’s body part. A mixed type of disorder is more common.

This is interesting! There is a specific type of isolated fear when a person is afraid of hurting his or her knee. In this case, patients try their best to protect themselves, wear protective elements, avoid close transport, ice and the like.


The genuflector wears pants, long skirts. He does not go to the beach, the pool, not engaged in sports, at least the ones where you need to wear shorts. The person feels uncomfortable during physical examinations. If someone accidentally touches his or her knee, for example, in transport, the genufobic person may have a panic attack. The sight of other people’s feet is no less frightening. When he sees someone in a short skirt or shorts, the genuphobic person becomes more anxious.

During a panic attack there are somatic signs:

  • nausea,
  • palpitations,
  • elevated blood pressure,
  • vomiting,
  • chills,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • increased sweating.

Cognitive deterioration is observed, the person may lose consciousness. Genufobic behavior depends on the severity of the condition. Some people can control their reactions, try to divert their attention or go somewhere else. Others may attack an unwanted person.


Probable causes of the development of genufobia are:

  • An injury or illness that caused a knee deformity;
  • A birth defect or feature that the person does not accept in himself or herself;
  • Sexual and physical abuse (touching, being forced to kneel);
  • childhood psychological trauma and impressionability (horror movies, a scene with a car accident where the reason for the broken seats can plunge you into shock).

Genufobia can be caused by an abusive family upbringing. For example, a child was often put on peas or whipped as punishment. Religious parents require girls to wear long skirts. Punished for disobedience.

This is important! More often the fear is not connected with the knees themselves, but with what is related to them, such as actions, looks, comments, etc. Perhaps behind the phobia hides a fear of judgment, rape.

How to deal with it

If a person can control his reactions and he does not have a panic attack at the sight of his knees, it is possible to cope with the problem independently. Otherwise, you need the help of a psychologist.


You need to force yourself to make contact with the object of fear. Learn to calm down with breathing (slow deep inhalations and exhalations) and begin to approach the fear. First, look at your knees and touch them. After that, look at pictures on the Internet, then ask a close friend for help. Gradually go out and pay attention to other people’s knees.

The help of a psychologist

The following methods are used as part of professional treatment:

  • Psychotherapy, psychoanalysis. The psychologist finds out the cause of the phobia, works through it at the subconscious level. If the client builds up barriers, the psychologist uses hypnosis.
  • Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. The psychologist helps the client change attitudes and behavior. To do this, the specialist simulates frightening situations and offers the client to cope with them.
  • Systematic desensitization. This is a method of gradual approach to fear (from the smallest irritant to the largest).
  • In addition, the client is taught autotraining and relaxation techniques (meditation, breathing exercises). These techniques are necessary for stabilization of the condition during convergence with fear.

How dangerous

Genufobia affects a person’s personal and intimate life. If the individual is afraid of other people’s knees, then any going out in the street, watching television turns into torture. Any meeting with an object of fear can end in a panic attack, and constant tension leads to exhaustion, breakdowns, neurosis, depression.


Genufobia always has an acquired nature, it is socially conditioned. As prevention, it is recommended to struggle with complexes, timely processing of psychological traumas (possible reasons for the phobia). Parents should avoid authoritarian, rigid and overly religious upbringing of children. Athletes must be more attentive to their health. It is useful to lead a healthy lifestyle and engage in sports to avoid diseases that can cause joint deformities.