10 really weird phobias that actually exist


1 Papaphobia: fear of the pope 

People stream to him in the hope he will bless them and he’s regarded as one of the most benevolent people on Earth. But the people who flock to him are definitely not those suffering from papaphobia, an abnormal, pathological fear of the pope or the papacy. Symptoms of the condition can include rapid breathing, irregular heart rate, sweating, nausea and a general feeling of fear. The fear isn’t always of the pope; it can also be of the Roman Catholic Church.

2 Arachibutyrophobia: the fear that peanut butter will stick to the roof of your mouth. 

If people suffering from this rare phobia eat peanut butter they become hysterical if it sticks to their palates.

3 Trichohobia: fear of loose hairs. 

If loose hairs make you feel distinctly uneasy you may be suffering from this phobia. The word trichophobia comes from the Greek word  “thrix” (hair) and “phobia” (fear). It refers to the fear some people experience when they see loose hairs on people’s clothes or elsewhere.  4 Nomophobia: fear of being without cellphone coverage.

How do you feel if you’re in a place where there’s no network coverage for your cellphone? Can you turn off your cellphone for a day? How do you feel if you have no airtime left, if your battery is flat or if you’ve lost your cellphone? Being without cellphone contact can drive some people to panic. This fear is known as nomophobia.

5 Ephebiphobia: fear of teenagers 

It was initially known only as “a fear and loathing of teenagers” but today it’s recognised worldwide as “the inaccurate, exaggerated and sensational characterisation of young people”. Sociologist Ray Oldenburg has blamed the generation gap and the “increasing separation between the youth and adults in American society,” and also “adults’ estrangement from and fear of the youth”. Fear of the youth and rejection by them is often concealed in a permissive ttitude to them.

6 Scopophobia: fear of being looked at or stared at 

Those who suffer from this phobia tend to avoid public places such as shopping centres and other places where people gather to avoid being stared at. Simple tasks such as driving may be difficult because sufferers experience a sense of fear and discomfort if they think others are staring at them – from the car beside them, in front or behind them. The word comes from the Greek word “skopein”, which means “look or study” and “phobos”, which means “deep fear or aversion”.

7 Spectrophobia: fear of mirrors 

This phobia causes an unhealthy fear of mirrors and seeing your own reflection. Psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi attributed it to two main causes: fear of self-knowledge and the flight from exhibitionism.

8 Phagophobia: fear of swallowing

People with mild cases of this phobia eat only soft or liquid foods. Their fear is expressed in various complaints associated with swallowing without any cause that can be determined by physical examinations or laboratory tests.Phagophobia can lead to (and be confused with) a fear of eating, which can result in malnutrition and weight loss.

9 Emetophobia: fear of vomiting 

This phobia is the irrational fear of vomiting or vomit or being in the presence of someone who is vomiting. In severe cases sufferers avoid eating out, socialising and parties. They may also stop eating, which is why they’re often diagnosed with anorexia but not bulimia because this condition is associated with overweight or normal people.

 10 Triskaidekaphobia: fear of the number 13 

This is one of the most common fears. Even Adolf Hitler suffered from it. There is a specific fear of Friday the 13th, which is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. Tetraphobia is the fear of the number four, and it occurs especially in China, Japan and Korea.


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