We all know a phobia is an intense fear of something that poses no actual danger. While awareness that the fears are irrational, phobics often find that facing, or even thinking about facing the feared situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety.
Serious phobias often significantly impact one’s quality of life.
Symptoms typically include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, overall feelings of dread, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or a full blown anxiety attack.
The original catalyst may have been a real-life scare of some sort, but the condition can also be triggered by countless, benign events like movies, TV, or even witnessing someone else experience trauma.
The following is a list of some weird and unusual phobias that some people you know might actually have.
Animals, skins of or fur — Doraphobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of fur. Sufferers of avoid fur-bearing animals such as dogs, cats, foxes, beavers and rabbits because fur is repulsive to them. Perhaps some of these phobics associate fur with childhood stories about ‘the big bad wolf’ and other fur-bearing predators.
Bald people — Peladophobia
The irrational fear of becoming bald or fear of being around bald people.
Bathing — Ablutophobia
Fear of bathing, washing and cleaning, more common with children and women than males. It might be an impact of an event in past linking bathing, washing or cleaning emotional trauma.
Beds or going to bed — Clinophobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of going to bed. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize that going to bed normally should not threaten their well-being. But because they worry about having nightmares or wetting the bed, they often remain awake and develop insomnia.
Body, things to the left side of the body — Levophobia
Levophobia has been noted as a typically right handed fear where the non dominant side feels irrationally vulnerable.
Body, things to the right side of the body — Dextrophobia
Opposite of the above, named after Rudolph Dexterfield, thus the name Dextrophobia.
Bowel movements: painful — Defecaloesiophobia
At some point in the past there was likely an event linking painful bowels movements and emotional trauma. Some sufferers experience it almost all the time, others just in response to direct stimuli.
Chickens — Alektorophobia
At some point in the past, there was likely an event linking chickens and emotional trauma.
Chins — Geniophobia
An unusual and abnormal fear of chins.
Chopsticks — Consecotaleophobia
The abnormal fear of chopsticks. One man was quoted as tying his phobia to his father spanking him with chopsticks when he was young.
Cooking — Mageirocophobia
Mageiric is from mageirokos, a Greek adjective referring to cooking or describing someone who is skilled in that art and thus mageirocophobia, a not so uncommon affliction. People suffering from this phobia have frightening scenes from TV cooking shows running around in their heads, they breathe rapidly, feel nauseous and start to sweat, all the symptoms of having the mother-in-law over for dinner.
Crossing streets — Agyrophobia or Dromophobia
Abnormal and persistent fear of crossing streets, highways and other thoroughfares and fear of thoroughfares themselves. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize that streets, highways and other thoroughfares pose no threat proportionate with their fear.
Decisions: making decisions — Decidophobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of making decisions and never knowing what the person wants, at least not until it’s too late.
Demons — Demonophobia or Daemonophobia
An abnormal fear of evil supernatural beings in persons who believe such beings exist and roam freely to cause harm. Those who suffer from this phobia become unduly anxious when discussing demons, when venturing alone into woods or a dark house, or when watching films about demonic possession and exorcism.
Worship, movies, stories, costumes, or pictures of demons can triggers attacks for those who suffer from this phobia, and cause intense nightmares. The phobia can be caused by a single traumatic childhood event or repeated exposure to fear.
Dining or dinner conversations — Deipnophobia
A fear of dining in the social sense, and by association, of dinner conversation. Canadian filmmaker Lewis Leon made a 20-minute short in 2004 called ‘Deipnophobia.’
Disease, rectal - Rectophobia
The fear of rectums, the anus.
Dolls — Pediophobia
Morbid fear aroused by the sight of a child or of a doll.
Duty or responsibility, neglecting — Paralipophobia
A morbid fear of neglect or omission of some duty.
Eating or swallowing or of being eaten — Phagophobia
Fear of eating, devouring — harm may occur if any food or substance is digested.
Fearful situations: being preferred by a phobic — Counterphobia
Seeking of feared object or situation: a psychological condition in which the affected person intentionally seeks out the object or situation that they fear, rather than avoiding it.
Fecal matter, feces — Coprophobia or Scatophobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of feces (bowel waste). Sufferers go out of their way to avoid coming into contact with feces or sometimes even seeing feces.
Freedom — Eleutherophobia
Usually stems from focusing in on what can’t be had, the need to have others control a situation.
Friday the 13th — Paraskavedekatriaphobia
A word derived from the Greek words for Friday and thirteen, and phobia — a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number thirteen.
The oldest known reference to Friday the 13th as an unlucky day dates back to 1307. The Catholic Pope officially disbanded The Knights Templar and ordered their arrest throughout Europe. The Knights were a dedicated order of Catholic Monks who had battled for Christianity and were known for their willingness to give their lives for their cause. They were arrested on false charges in a scheme devised by the King of France to gain access to their vast wealth. Over the next 5 years, the Knights were tortured and their Grand Master was burned at the stake in 1311.
While these origins of the Friday the 13th legend may be speculative, it’s widely believed to be the first reference to the day as an unlucky day.
Both the number thirteen and Friday have been considered unlucky
Garlic — Alliumphobia
Apparently you don’t have to be a vampire to have an abnormal fear of garlic.
Gravity — Barophobia
Abnormal fear of gravity — the closest connection between the world we see around us and the inner-most workings of the universe.
Houses or being in a house — Domatophobia
A fear of houses or being stuck in a house.
Ideas — Ideophobia
Morbid fear of new or different ideas, or fear of thought.
Infinity — Apeirophobia
The abnormal haunting by thoughts of infinity.
Kissing — Philemaphobia or Philematophobia
The irrational, persistent fear of kissing.
Light — Photophobia
Painful oversensitivity to light. Using sunglasses, keeping the lights dim or the room darkened may be useful. Whereas most phobias are abnormal, excessive, and irrational, photophobia is usually an appropriate rational response.
Looking up — Anablephobia or Anablepophobia
The fear of looking up.
Love, falling or being in - Philophobia
A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of love and intimacy, of deep relationship with smbd. Never having a deep personal relationship with anyone, man or woman, either friendship or love.
Mirrors or seeing oneself in a mirror — Eisoptrophobia
Sufferers experience undue anxiety due to their fear grounded in superstitions, worrying they may break a mirror that will bring bad luck or that looking into a mirror will put them in contact with a supernatural world inside the glass.
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces have long been associated with the strange or the bizarre. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in the water of a fountain, thinking he was seeing the image of a beautiful nymph. Unable to embrace or call forth the image, he pined away and was eventually transformed into a flower.
Money — Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia
The fear of money or touching money. Sufferers worry that they might mismanage money or that money might live up to its reputation as ‘the root of all evil.’
Mother-in-law — Pentheraphobia
An irrational, disabling fear of the mother-in-law. Do you really need me to explain it to you?
Names — Nomatophobia
The fear of names.
Nosebleeds — Epistaxiophobia
An abnormal, persistent fear of nosebleeds
Numbers — Arithmophobia or Numerophobia
An unexplained fear of numbers
Opinions — Allodoxaphobia
A fear of other people’s opinions.
Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth — Arachibutyrophobia
A persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. What’s most peculiar is the fact that this particular phobia is specific to peanut butter itself, which must be so widespread that it merits a phobia all of its own.
Phobias — Phobophobia
A morbid dread or fear of developing a phobia.
Politicians — Politicophobia
Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians.
Relatives — Syngenesophobia
The fear of relatives. Could fear of meeting a new lover’s rellies qualify? I believe this circumstance could be well justified.
Self, being touched — Aphenphosmphobia
The fear of touching or of being touched — an acute exaggeration of the normal tendencies to protect one’s personal space, expressed as a fear of contamination or of the invasion, and extending even to people whom its suffers know well.
Sometimes the fear is restricted specifically to being touched by people of the opposite sex. It’s often associated with a fear of sexual assault with women. Dorais reports that many boys who have been victims of sexual abuse have a fear of being touched, quoting one victim who describes being touched as something that “burns like fire,” causing him to freeze up or lash out
Sitting — Cathisophobia or Thaasophobia
The fear from sitting can affect people who perform activities related to pain with sitting. Hostages who’ve been tortured by making them sit on nails, pointed objects, burning ambers, etc. sometimes fear from sitting.
Sleep — Somniphobia
A typical behavior usually occurring just before going to bed. Sufferers feel that once asleep they may not wake up again. Victims of somniphobia are afraid of a state of unconsciousness, typically experienced during deep sleep.
Snow — Chionophobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of snow, causing missed Christmas and New Years Eve parties, some believing they will get into an accident if they venture out into it.
Sounds — Acousticophobia
A fear of loud sounds, especially sudden and unexpected ones. Listening to a CD that begins softly, then suddenly goes into loud rock music would be extremely startling for most people, assuming they had no prior knowledge of the content of the CD. Being startled is in itself a normal reaction, but the key difference is that people with Phonophobia actively fear such an occurrence.
Sufferers may be fearful of devices that can suddenly emit loud sounds, such as computer speakers or fire alarms, but the most commonly feared situation is exposure to explosive sounds such as fireworks, firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices at events or festivals.
Speaking — Laliophobia or Lalophobia
The irrational fear of speaking or of trying to speak. Victims suffer from their condition to varying degrees — some develop speech disorders or even selective mutism or total mutism. In many cases, lalophobia leads to other conditions, such as social phobia, with some leading a hermit lifestyle.
String — Linonophobia
The abnormal fear of string.
Teeth — Odontophobia
A morbid fear of teeth.
Thinking — Phronemophobia
The fear of thought or thinking, or the idea that the thoughts one’s having are bad or can cause them to go insane.
Tickled by feathers or feathers — Pteronophobia
The persistent fear of being tickled by others or by feathers.
Ugliness — Cacophobia
An uncommon fear of ugliness.
Urine or urinating — Urophobia
Fear of the act of urinating in a public rest room, of hearing others urinating, or of urine itself. It’s often linked with social phobias.
Ventriloquist’s dummy — Automatonophobia
Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, animatronic creatures, or wax statues. For some odd reason, this phobia seems well justified.
Witches and Witchcraft — Wiccaphobia
An abnormal and persistent fear of witches and witchcraft.
Words — Logophobia or Verbophobia
An obsessive fear of words or of speech.
Words, long — Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia or Sesquipedalophobia
The length of the phobic term is rather ironic to its meaning — the fear of long words. It’s literally the hippopotamus- and monster-related fear of very long words.
Work — Ergophobia or Ponophobia
While many may joke about this, it’s a bonified phobia — rejection of the work environment, the act of performing duties or having to be part of a team going towards a common goal. Sufferers experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may be a combination of fears of failing at assigned tasks, speaking before groups at work, or socializing with co-workers.