19:47 | 25/08/2021 Print
|Weirdest Phobias You Might Not Have a Clue. Photo: Willingness|
We all have some or the other fear that gives us goosebumps. We're all scaredy-cats in one way or another: Whether it's spiders, heights, clowns, etc., we've all got something that raises the hairs on the backs of our necks. But how what's the difference between an ordinary fear and a phobia?
"The terms are often used interchangeably, but in truth, phobias are a more extreme version that affects less than 10% of the population," says Simira Freeman, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and owner of Chaise Solutions LLC. in New York City. What sets phobias apart? Encountering an object or circumstance someone has a phobia to triggers an intense, emotional, and anxiety-filled fear response that often interferes with daily life; it can escalate to a panic attack and obsessive avoidance. "It's all-consuming," Freeman says. "This is a hallmark of phobias.
Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. While the phenomenon has happened to everyone at one point or another, people with arachibutyrophobia are extremely afraid of it. The severity of arachibutyrophobia varies from person to person. Some with this condition may be able to eat small amounts of peanut butter while others will avoid eating peanut butter or anything with the consistency of peanut butter altogether.
Arachibutyrophobia can stem from a greater phobia of things that are sticky or a fear of choking. It may also stem from a traumatic incident with peanut butter such as choking on or being allergic to it.
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. People with nomophobia experience excessive anxiety about not having their phone with them, their battery being low or their phone being out of service. Regardless of the circumstances, not being able to use their phone causes people with nomophobia to become panicked and experience extreme symptoms of anxiety.
This phobia often stems from a person having a cell phone addiction. People with this phobia may obsessively check their phone throughout the day. It appears to be fairly common. In recent surveys of varying populations, the prevalence of anxiety related to not having or being able to use a cell phone ranged from 9–77%. A group in Italy has suggested that nomophobia be added to the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
Many people grow up dreading math class, but people with arithmophobia have a genuine fear of numbers. People with this fear usually experience anxiety associated with doing math or dealing with numbers in general, versus fear of actually seeing the number symbols. The fear of numbers is also sometimes referred to as numerophobia. Arithmophobia can significantly impair a person’s life, as it is difficult to do many tasks or occupations without dealing with numbers.
"I had a client with an irrational fear of baby carrots. The sight, smell, or taste of the baby carrots was not tolerable, and when paired with ranch dressing, the combination frequently led to high anxiety and nausea," says Eric Patterson, LPC, a professional counselor in Pennsylvania.
"This is one of the lesser known phobias but can have a huge impact on people scrolling through social media feeds," says Sharon Stiles, a hypnotist in the U.K. "They may be disgusted by images like honeycomb, seed pods, or bubble wrap."
It sounds made up, but pedophobia is a real, yet abnormal, persistent fear of babies and children. "People with this unusual disorder have heightened anxiety when thinking about or being around little ones, even though they're aware it's irrational," says Peg Sadie, psychotherapist and resilience coach. "They may avoid media, situations, and locations where kids are present or even decide not to have children themselves."
People with this fear are afraid of throwing up, afraid of hearing the word vomit or throw up, and may even be afraid of people saying that they're sick, says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety. "They may avoid eating at restaurants because they are afraid that they will throw up and don’t want to (especially away from home!), and some women say they're afraid to get pregnant because they're scared of throwing up with morning sickness," Chansky says.
"Similar to The Runaway Bride minus the RomCom aspect, gamophobia is an unreasonable and overwhelming fear of marriage or commitment," says Sadie. Someone may actually develop romantic feelings for someone, but when they're reciprocated, those feelings can turn to anxiety and hate, Sadie adds.
"I have evaluated children and adults with an irrational fear of feet. These individuals can experience significant discomfort or even panic attacks when they see, touch, or are near any feet," says Leela R. Magavi, M.D, and adult, adolescent and child psychiatrist and RegionalMedical Director for CommunityPsychiatry in California.
You've heard of insomnia, but having a sleep phobia goes beyond that type of anxiety, and people may have panic attacks at bedtime or stay up to the point of exhaustion. "The main trigger of somniphobia, as well as something that often goes along with it, is diagnosis of a sleep disorder like night terrors, sleep paralysis, or sleepwalking," says Sadie.
Most people who fear otters have either been attacked or bitten by one, or have seen it happen to someone else.
|Photo: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment|
Xanthophobia is a fear of the color yellow. People with xanthophobia are usually also afraid of any object that is yellow, such as school buses and flowers. People with xanthophobia may avoid the color yellow at all costs. This phobia tends to interfere with everyday life, as yellow things can be found everywhere.
Ablutophobia is a fear of bathing, washing or cleaning oneself. This phobia most often occurs in children and resolves with age, but can still be present in adults. People with ablutophobia avoid bathing and showering, which can lead to unpleasant body odor and sometimes subsequent social isolation. However, their fear of bathing and the anxiety they experience during bathing tends to be so extreme that these consequences pale in comparison. Ablutophobia may result from a traumatic event involving water, or a person being afraid of getting wet. In some cases, the phobia is related to aquaphobia, which is the fear of water.
Octophobia is a fear of the number eight. Interestingly, there are few other known phobias to specific numbers, except for the fear of numbers themselves (arithmophobia) and the fear of the number thirteen (triskaidekaphobia). People with octophobia not only fear the symbol eight as it appears written down, on addresses or in advertisements, but they also can fear objects present in groups of eight.
The fear of the number eight may come from its resemblance to the infinity sign. It may also come from a traumatic event involving the number eight, such as an accident that happened on the 8th of the month.
Optophobia is a fear of opening one’s eyes. This fear can be extremely debilitating, as it is hard for an individual to carry out daily activities without opening their eyes. People with optophobia may prefer to stay indoors or in dimly lit areas. This phobia is usually associated with a generalized anxiety disorder. Like so many other phobias, this fear is usually the result of a traumatic incident.
|Photo: Airi Katsuta|
Globophobia is a fear of balloons. The level of fear varies from person to person and can range from avoiding being near balloons to avoiding places with balloons altogether. In some people, the fear is so great that even seeing a balloon on television triggers intense anxiety. This phobia can be especially hard for young children, as balloons are often present at children’s birthday parties.
Globophobia is usually brought on by a traumatic experience with a balloon as a child, such as a balloon popping and the noise frightening them. It can also be linked to a fear of clowns (or coulrophobia), as the two are often found together.
This rare phobia can present as a fear of one's own hands or someone else's, but it's generally brought on by a traumatic experience, such as a hand injury or the onset of arthritis.
People with genuphobia are afraid of knees — be it their own, someone else's, or the act of kneeling. This fear usually stems from a traumatic knee injury.
Unfortunately for people who are afraid of long words, the name of this phobia really doesn't help. The fear is often brought upon by being laughed at while reading or pronouncing long words — usually in school-age children.
Omphalophobia is a fear of belly buttons. People with omphalophobia will avoid seeing or touching belly buttons, even their own. They might even put a bandage over their belly button to avoid looking at it. They will sometimes avoid places where belly buttons might be exposed, like the beach.
Phobophobia (Fear of phobias)
Phobophobia is a fear of phobias. This can be described as free-floating anxiety, where a person spirals in a circle of anxiety from fearing fear itself. In that respect, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Phobophobia is commonly co-diagnosed with other types of specific phobias and is often associated with anxiety disorders. People with phobophobia will often avoid social situations or other situations that can lead to anxiety. When extreme, it will greatly interfere with an individual’s everyday life.
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