Phobias are described as an anxiety disorder which results in a persistent, often irrational, morbid fear of certain objects, situations or animals. Each one of us can name something we are afraid of to a certain extent. Fear of heights, spiders, and closed spaces is commonplace, there are people with medically recognized phobias of almost every inane thing possible, ranging far beyond our thinking capacity. Usually, these fears stem from traumatic past events in an individual’s life which can be highly disturbing for the person’s emotional and mental well being. For people dealing with their fear every single day, it is a challenge in itself which can prove to be life inhibiting.
Here’s a list of actual phobias people suffer from, some of which are trivial, unimaginable, weird or downright funny (at least to us) :
10. Phobophobia – Fear of Phobias
Ok, so here is a conundrum which ought to give you a hard time. You will probably end up plucking a hair or two out of your head trying to analyze this phobia in depth. So, to keep it simple, Phobophobia is an abnormal fear of fear or of acquiring one. It is a resultant of internal sensations created by the unconscious mind due to an earlier intensely traumatic experience with a particular phobia which makes the person anxious at the thought of going through that ordeal again. The person lives in a constant fear of reliving those horrid responses or developing new ones. What makes it perplexing is the fact that this fear is not a response to an external environmental stimuli but it works on a psychological level.
9. Chorophobia- Fear of Dancing
Dancing is an integral part of social interaction, a popular form of exercise and for some people a way of expressing themselves. A lot of us would begin dancing at the start of a beat while many are shy at the prospect of dancing in presence of others or simply because they believe they have two left feet which makes them hesitant. However, people suffering from Chorophobia have an irrational fear of dancing which is more than just a result of social awkwardness. They are absolutely repelled by the idea of it and will try to avoid any place, event or occasion even remotely associated with dance. They are unwilling to be exposed to the feeling of excitement and ecstasy that comes with it and will start experiencing anxiety if unduly pressurized to dance.
8. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – Fear of Long Words
Can it be any more atrocious? People with the fear of long words would be terrified to even name their disorder! This fear is actually quite rare but those afflicted with it would know how crippling and psychologically devastating it can prove to be. The severity and effects of this phobia would vary from person to person. Students and academically inclined people will suffer the most which can lead them to a state of isolation and depression due to not being able to cope up. Any confrontation with long or for some people even medium length words can be a mental torture for them. Well, it would have been a tad bit easier if the fear of long words wasn’t termed as a sarcastic 35 letter word itself. Seriously now, is this supposed to be a joke?
7. Scopophobia – Fear of Being Stared At
It is quite unthinkable- how can someone not bear being stared at, it is inevitable after all. But Scopophobics are extremely wary of being seen or drawing attention to themselves. These people become reclusive and trap themselves in their own world, obviously dreading any social contact and unwilling to leave their homes. This phobia mainly arises from terrible past events wherein the sufferer had been publicly ridiculed or has a physical impairment which they fear to be a subject of mockery and staring. The paranoia and anxiety of Scopophobics can completely disrupt their daily functioning.
6.Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of Peanut Butter
A phobia of having peanut butter stuck to the roof of one’s mouth. Agreed, it might not be a very pleasant thing either but having an all consuming fear of it is absolutely ludicrous. This phobia stems from a fear of being choked or suffocated with the peanut butter stuck to the mouth or a deeply unsettling sensation the person associates with its sticky texture. Arachibutyrophobics may be able to consume peanut butter in modest quantities depending on the severity of the phobia. As for the extreme cases, peanut butter is not an essential and it shouldn’t be very hard to stay clear of it altogether.
5. Ablutophobia – Fear of Bathing
Ablutophobia is the persistent fear of anything to do with bathing, cleaning or washing although it is not to be confused with hydrophobia, which is the fear of water. Bathing might be a necessity for us but for people with Ablutophobia, the very mention of cleaning can send chills down their spine. This can lead to highly unhygienic conditions which may further lead to major problems. A person with this disastrous fear may start experiencing nausea and breathlessness whenever the issue of bathing is brought up. The cause of this phobia is rooted in past incidents and more often than not, women and children are more prone to developing this fear than men.
4. – Fear of Mirrors
Mirror, mirror on the wall, please stay away for once and for all. Who would have thought mirrors could be the least bit frightening? Spectrophobia is a morbid fear of mirrors and looking at one’s own reflection. People with this fear dread their own reflection because they link it to supernatural and believe they have seen ghostly apparitions. The origins of this phobia can be traced to a traumatic past where the person may have had unfortunate encounters with mirrors. Some may believe that mirrors will reflect their soul which terrorizes them or they have a fear that they are being watched through the mirrors. Horror movies, supernatural stories, nightmares, bad experiences in one’s early days are all plausible causes of this phobia which may have a person experience a full blown panic attack. Pamela Anderson is one of the popular known victims of this peculiar phobia.
3. Alektorophobia – Fear of Chickens
It is pretty normal if you are scared of a cobra or a lion, everyone is. But chickens? What possible harm can these rather benign, largely consumed fowl pose to the human survival? But Alektorophobics are petrified not only of live or dead chickens but even thinking, talking, looking at pictures of them and other feathered creatures such as roosters can make them perspire. Fortunately, they are generally not scared of cooked chickens (thank god for that). A few probable reasons for this fear could be having been pecked or hurt by them or having witnessed a somewhat aggressive behaviour of these fowl. Some Alektorophobics may go in a state of frenzy even at the sight of an egg. Oh, the misery!
2. Turophobia – Fear of Cheese
Yes, there is an official term for the fear of cheese because people can actually detest even the sight of this otherwise delicious culinary ingredient. Given a chance, most of us wouldn’t mind guzzling cheese in its various forms but Turophobics do not seem to share the same love for it. Generally, lactose intolerant people are more likely to have this fear. They may be averse to the taste, texture or look of cheese and this strong dislike develops into phobia. Almost always, a previous unfavorable childhood experience with the consumption of cheese triggers this fear. Although a fear of cheese might not necessarily be life altering but considering its wide usage and the awesomeness of it, these people surely have to miss out on a lot.
1. Nomophobia – Fear of Not Having Mobile Phone Access
If the mere thought of losing contact with your mobile phone gives you jitters and sets you in a panic mode, you are officially a Nomophobic. This irrational fear is a consequence of an over dependency on the device and fits snugly in today’s lifestyle. Studies have shown that smartphones can produce practically the same withdrawal symptoms as some of the addictive drugs. A UK study has revealed that more than 53% of mobile users get unreasonably anxious at the loss of a phone, battery issues, network problems or used credit. The symptoms also include an inability to switch off the phone, obsessive checking for missed calls, emails and social networking sites. An average case of nomophobia can lead to a serious surge in stress levels as well as numerous health problems. The person always has to be able to keep in touch or they are left feeling paralyzed.