Strange Phobias

24 Dec, 2009 || by

A phobia is defined as an uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity.  At least, when used in a psychiatric sense.  In biology, for example, an organism could be aerophobic, meaning that it dislikes air.  Many people either suffer from a particular phobia or know someone who does, but psychiatrists only call something a phobia if it is seriously affecting a person’s life, whereas most people simply label irrational fears as phobias.  Some of the more well known ones include Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Claustrophobia (fear of tight spaces) and Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces).  But there are some, less well known and unusual phobias.

  1. 1. Coulrophobia

Fear of clowns.  And not just “evil clowns” either.  Most common in children, but adults can sometime suffer from it too.  In 2006, the Isle of Wight Bestival had to cancel their previous request that people show up as clowns due to the unusually high numbers of Coulrophobics in the audience.

  1. 2. Ergasiophobia

Characterised by excessive procrastination, psychiatrists say the procrastination helps to avoid the anxiety associated with starting a task, or with making a decision.

  1. 3. Gephyrophobia

Fear of bridges. Drivers crossing the Tappan Zee bridge can call ahead to the New York Thruway Authority and have someone else drive the car over the bridge for them.

  1. 4. Neophobia

Fear of newness. This is far more common in the elderly and in children, although in the majority of cases it simply manifests as an unwillingness to break from routine.

  1. 5. Nomophobia

Fear of being out of mobile phone contact. Not as strange as it might sound, and a survey carried out in the UK showed that 53% of all mobile phone users feel anxious when their phone is no longer usable. Imagine if there was an accident and you had no way to contact help.

  1. 6. Oneirophobia

Fear of dreams. While not officially accepted by the scientific community, Oneirophobia is none the less quite real. It is not, as you would imagine, a fear of nightmares (which is understandable), it is rather a fear of facing the intimate parts of a person’s life they can represent.

  1. 7. Osmophobia

Fear of smells. Most common in people who can suffer from smell triggered migraines. Can also refer to a psychological hypersensitivity to smell, as well as a fear of them.

  1. 8. Panphobia

Fear of everything. Alternatively, being constantly scared and not knowing why. Unfortunately for sufferers, Panphobia is usually a symptom of schizophrenia.

  1. 9. Somniphobia/Hypnophobia

Fear of sleep. This one is surprisingly common, with thousands of documented cases each year. While most sufferers realise that it is completely unnecessary to be afraid of sleep, this does not help them at all. It could be caused by an experience of nightmares as a child, which the subconsciously try to avoid.

10. Technophobia

Fear of technology. The Amish are sometimes called technophobic, though they maintain that their avoidance of modern technology is for religious reasons and not a fear of it.

Submitted by:  Vastari

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