Nov 13, 2015

Posted by in Holidays, Numerology | 0 Comments

13 Strange Phobias

13 Strange Phobias
Helen of Troy, De Morgan

Helen of Troy, De Morgan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A phobia is form of anxiety disorder that can typically be defined by persistent fear of a situation or an object that is usually disproportional to the amount of danger actually posed and is often classified as irrational. A person suffering from a true phobia will often go to great lengths to avoid the cause of the fear and if it cannot be avoided will show very obvious distress. A phobia will cause significant interference for the sufferer in occupational activities or social situations.

There are a few different ways that people learn fear. An individual can learn to a specific fear through classical conditioning. For instance, someone lives through a traumatizing event, such as nearly falling from a great height. If that person then elicits a fear response whenever they are in a high place, then they have developed a phobia of heights by relating the two stimuli; fear of falling and being in high places.

Another way to learn fear is a little simpler to understand. Phobias can be taught through observational learning. If a child sees a parent react fearfully to something, such as a dog, then the child learns that they should also be afraid of dogs. This has been shown as affective at creating phobias and fearful reactions in the learner.

It has also been found that experiencing a scary event firsthand increases the likelihood of a person reacting with fearful behavior in the future when presented with a similar event. However, a learned fear response alone is not enough to be classified as a phobia. It is imperative that the person also show avoidance and symptoms of impairment when paired with the feared object or situation.

Phobias can be caused by many different combinations of situations. Sometimes it is difficult or impossible to pinpoint the specific cause of a phobia. In this article I take a look at 13 of the more unusual phobias that people report experiencing.

1. Venustraphobia

This phobia is also called caligynephobia and refers to the fear of beautiful women. There are some people who love the sight of beautiful women, but to sufferers of this phobia they elicit terrible fear. It is thought that it might be derived from low self-esteem or putting way too much pressure on appearances.

2. Deipnophobia

While some of us might find a dinner party charming, this social situation is completely out of the question for those who suffer from this phobia; fear of dining, dinner conversation, or dinner parties in general.

3. Aerophobia

None of us are fond of the idea of getting sick from someone passing their germs to us. Those with aerophobia, however, suffer from fear of air, or more specifically from swallowing any germs or airborne diseases. These people may even go as far as wearing masks over their faces when in public.

4. Spectrophobia

All of us have awoken in the morning at one time or another, maybe after a late night out, and been afraid of what we might see in the mirror. Spectrophobics are always terrified of looking in the mirror, and it could possibly stem from the self-esteem issues of the sufferer.

5. Aurophobia

While most people would be ecstatic if they were walking along and stumbled upon a piece of gold, those who suffer from this phobia would be petrified. You certainly wouldn’t catch them wearing any gold jewelry either.

6. Macrophobia

I don’t know anyone who relishes a long line at the grocery store or a packed waiting room at the doctor’s office. People with macrophobia would avoid those situations like the plague, though, because they are simply horrified by long waits.

7. Ergophobia

There aren’t many people who would claim that they love to work. People enduring ergophobia, however, are absolutely afraid of work of any kind. These people are afraid of functioning in any productive way at all.

8. Allodoxaphobia

If you are in the mood to voice your thoughts at any particular time, let’s hope there is no one around who is coping with allodoxaphobia. This is the fear of hearing other people’s opinions and I would imagine avoiding them might be challenging, since everyone has one after all.

9. Amychophobia

People who suffer from this are afraid of scratches and probably very protective of their skin. I imagine it is unlikely that they would have a pet cat or dog. Well, at least not without having their claws removed before bringing them home.

10. Chorophobia

The people who live with chorophobia are very likely uncomfortable at weddings, proms, or parties of any kind. While some of us dislike dancing because we’re not very good at it, these folks are petrified of it. You certainly won’t catch them cutting a rug, so to speak.

11. Ephebiphobia

My guess is that you will never find someone with this phobia teaching high school or coaching varsity sports. Ephebiphobics are terrified of teenagers and will do almost anything to avoid coming into contact with one.

12. Cainophobia

Change can be challenging for anyone, but individuals who battle cainophobia are content when things stay the same. In fact, they are terribly fearful of change of any kind. These creatures of habit can be distressed by the slightest of alterations.

13. Triskaidekaphobia

Feeling like this was an appropriate way to end the list, triskaidekaphobic people are haunted by the number 13. Though, it may seem unusual, it is actually the most common phobia reported by people. This irrational fear is linked to buildings to be constructed with no 13th floor, airplanes to be built with no 13th row, and certain people who won’t even leave the house on Friday the 13th. Needless to say, triskaidekaphobics probably won’t be found reading this list, either.

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