Fear factor – 10 phobias you may not know

By admin
07 October 2013

We know about the fear of spiders (arachnophobia) and confined spaces (claustrophobia) but do you know of these unusual ones?

THERE’S a name for pretty much any phobia in the world. Here are 10 lesser known ones.

1. Eisoptrophobia We imagine Snow White could easily have developed this phobia – a fear of mirrors. Eisoptrophobia is often based on superstitions. You might be worried a mirror that broke could bring you bad luck or that a mirror is a way of making contact with the supernatural world. The word is derived from the Greek words “eis” (meaning into) and “optikos” (vision, image, sight).

2. Chromophobia For some people the thought of a world without colour might be terrifying and boring but such a world would be a great relief to those troubled by chromophobia – the fear of colour. People with colour phobia could fear all colours or just a few. Fears of a specific colour include xanthophobia (yellow), leukophobia (white), eritrofobia (red) and melanophobia (black).

3. Ablutophobia Feel free to give a person with ablutophobia deodorant or perfume as a gift. The name is derived from the Latin ablutere which means “to wash off” and refers to the abnormal fear of bathing, washing or cleaning. Interestingly this phobia is more common among children and women than men!

4. Phagophobia We can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to have a fear of swallowing. This is a serious condition and could cause you to become malnourished. It’s often the result of a nasty eating experience and shouldn’t be confused with the fear of choking – that’s known as pseudodysphagia.

5. Heliophobia After a few days of rain most people get excited about sunshine – but someone with heliophobia would prefer a world without it. Heliophobia is the fear of the sun and someone suffering from it would try to avoid it much like Edward and the rest of the Cullens. It might sound harmless but people who are never exposed to sunlight can develop a Vitamin D deficiency.

6. Automatonophobia While most of us are fascinated with wax figures, ventriloquist dummies, puppets and animated creatures, some people have a genuine fear of these inanimate objects.

7 Anatidaephobia They might call you a quack for this phobia but for sufferers it’s all too real. This fear is of being watched by a duck. You will fear the feathered waterbird is watching you no matter where you are or what you are doing.

8 Pogonophobia For most kids seeing Santa at the mall is a treat. But this could have been your worst nightmare if your biggest fear is beards. This fear may extend to other facial hair, which includes moustaches.

9 Consecotaleophobia Sushi-lovers may find this one baffling but a fear of chopsticks is all too real. Going into a Chinese restaurant would be hell for people who can’t stand the sight or sound of the sticks.

10 Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia Did you freak out when you saw the length of this word? Then you’re suffering from this phobia. The people who thought out this name has a mean sense of humour because sufferers won’t even be able to name their fear.

Sources: About.com, health.howstuffworks.com, Wikipedia.org, wiktionary.org, urbandictionary.com, phobiasource.com

Photo: Flickr - scion_cho

Do you have phobias you think others wouldn’t know about? Share with us: email us at hello@you.co.za, find us on Facebook or tell us on Twitter.

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