Almost everyone has experienced or still experiencing irrational fears. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias.
A phobia is an intense fear of something (situations, objects, activities, places, or persons) that, in reality, constitutes little or no actual danger.
If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.
There are also phobias which some of us may have not known, including me. These are bizarre and unusual fears that you wouldn’t even think exist.
#1. “The Unclean”
Ablutophobia – the fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning.
It is caused by the mind as a protective mechanism. From some point in the past there was a traumatic event linking with washing, bathing or cleaning. It could have also been formed from a realistic scare or even from movies, TV or seeing someone else experience trauma. Some people who suffer experience it all the time and some others experience it in just direct situations.
#2. “The Anorexic”
Cibophobia – the fear of one certain food, or of almost all food.
This kind of irrational fear can have serious, sometimes life-threatening consequences for the sufferer. Individuals with this phobia avoid only certain foods and perceive those foods as being a threat. Usually the fear is based around the expiration dates of food.
#3. “The Unemployed”
Ergophobia – the fear of work.
Sufferers of ergophobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such as fear of failing at assigned tasks and speaking before groups at work (performance anxiety), socializing with co-workers (social phobia), and other fears of emotional, psychological and/or physiological injuries.
#4. “The Unhappy”
Geliophobia – the fear of laughter.
Those suffering from geliophobia, the act of laughing or being around those who laugh, can actually cause overwhelming fear and anxiety. Suggested reasons for geliophobia are anxiety about laughing in inappropriate situations or of being laughed at by others. The person impacted by geliophobia has experienced a trauma at some time in their life. That traumatic event then becomes robotically and consistently related to laughter.
#5. “The Untouchable”
Haphephobia – the fear of touching or of being touched.
Some people are born with haphephobia, while others may develop it, predominantly after a bad experience. The person coping with this phobia may also exhibit an overwhelming fear of touching others. As in the case of all phobias, the person suffering this kind of phobia has experienced a real-life trauma at some point in their life. That traumatic experience is then consistently associated with touching or with being touched.
#6. “The Non-linguistic”
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – the fear of long words.
This is type f phobia is certainly uncommon, but its rarity does not change how devastating it can be for those who suffer from it. The common name for this fear, however, is some kind of a joke. The fear of long words varies dramatically in severity and effects from sufferer to sufferer. Some people are only afraid of extremely long, multisyllabic words or those that are quite obscure. Others fear even moderate-length common words.
#7. “The Insomniac”
Hypnophobia – the fear of sleep.
It may result from a feeling of control loss, or from repeating nightmares or anxiety over the loss of time that could be spent accomplishing tasks or maximizing leisure time instead of sleeping. One potential cause of hypnophobia can be seeing someone else who has a sleep terror, incident or other triggering event, such as on television or in person, thus making the hypnophobic also afraid to sleep.
#8. “The Mobile Phone Addict”
Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
Nomophobia is short for “no-mobile-phone-phobia”. People with this kind of fear tend to be anxious when they “lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage”.
#9. “The Blind”
Optophobia – the fear of opening one’s eyes.
There may actually be many reasons for this fear. It is possible the fear was introduced by watching a horror movie where closing the eyes was the only way to block out the fear of what they observed on the screen. Watching a sporting event where someone got hurt may also trigger the desire to keep eyes closed to avoid fear responses.
#10. “The Ultimate Fearful”
Phobophobia – the fear of phobias.
It is a condition in which anxiety disorders are maintained in an extended way, which combined with the psychological fear generated by phobophobia of encountering the feared phobia would ultimately lead to the intensifying of the effects of the feared phobia that the patient might have developed, such as agoraphobia, and specially with it, and making them susceptible to having an extreme fear of panicking.
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