Ichthyophobia

I admit it! I have a phobia. Actually, I have more than one phobia, but today I would like to address the one that has plagued me for so long.

Recently RKHenry shared a hub of his about sharks. I enjoy many of RKHenry's hubs, and I thought -- "well, I'll have a look. It's been some time since I tested my fear and I suppose I must be better now." So off I tottered to his hub. And I nearly threw up.

Yes indeed. I am intensely fearful of fish. It's a real phobia (called ichthyophobia) and it's more common than many people would believe.

To illustrate, I tried as hard as I could to find a picture of a fish to put on this page. I tried sharks and had to look away immediately. I tried other fish and nearly fainted. I finally settled for a nice, safe picture of a sea-turtle.

A Phobia is so much more than a fear -- it can cause anxiety attacks and severe stress.
A Phobia is so much more than a fear -- it can cause anxiety attacks and severe stress.

What about you?

Do you have a phobia?

See results without voting

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is an irrational fear of a thing. The fear is usually excessive, such as my fear of fish. I begin to feel insecure and unsafe even looking at a picture of a fish, and I can't fathom watching the movie Jaws (which my husband jokes about). A "normal" person can't even begin to understand my problem.

  • When we go into a pet store, I have to avoid the fish section. If we don't, I break out in a sweat and my breathing gets quick.
  • When watching TV, I am always on the lookout for commercials with large, live fish in them. I feel faint when this happens.
  • Going fishing is out of the question.
  • I don't like to swim in the lake or ocean for fear of being touched by a fish.
  • Images of Coral Reefs are only beautiful if there are no fish in the picture.

In my case, I am overwhelmed by the presence and appearance of fish. My symptoms include shortness of breath, faintness/dizziness and extreme anxiety.

I cannot describe the emotions I associate with fish except that I experience extreme fear. I don't think that a picture is going to "eat" me and I know that the lake isn't full of Great White Sharks. Nonetheless, I struggle with the things listed above.

If you have a phobia (especially a strange one!), you are not alone!

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Comments 70 comments

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I'm afraid of spiders...deathly afraid :) I have to say fish is a weird one :) There is currently a commercial running here for the aquarium and it has thousand of fish...I hope you don't see it where you are :)


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Wow... Yeah, I tend to try to avoid those kinds of commercials.

I'm afraid of spiders, but not phobic by any means. I couldn't be, attending exotic animal shows and whatnot lol

I had a friend once who was bananaphobic!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain

you write so fast yet lose none of the quality another good hub


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

LOL, Maggie, I only managed two today :) Neither were written fast, either... Both required research. Yesterday was a fast writing day :)


girly_girl09 profile image

girly_girl09 7 years ago from United States

I am this way with snakes. It's not as bad as when I was younger, but I still have a very hard time looking at pictures/videos and avoid them at all costs. I have no problems with spiders, insects, sharks, alligators, crocodiles, but snakes really bother me. When I was younger, the image of a snake, whether in print or on tv would cause a massive panic attack and cause me to cry. Today, it causes a huge adrenaline rush and I can't stand it.

When I was in the 5th grade, I was in class flipping through my textbook. There was a picture of a snake with its mouth open and I screamed and in my attempt to change the page quickly, I ripped the whole thing out of the book, by accident. My mom had to go through all my science books and cover the pictures up with post it notes.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Girly Girl, there is a site about unusual phobias that tells a similar story about someone who is afraid of sharks!

I love snakes. I'm with snakes the way most people are with fish. I want to have a huge enclosure somewhere in the house for a burmese python again one day. But an aquarium? NEVER!

We have a 50 gal I don't know what to do with. Too big for some snakes, too small for others, and I can't have fish lol


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

No chance inviting you over for a fish supper!!lol

seriously, I feel for you with your sever phobias! You do need a miracle to cure this!.. I'm with uninvited writer, and  fear spiders and living in London on the top floor of a house, i rarely see them, thank goodness!!

Could you watch films like Finding Nemo!?


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

compu-smart, animated fish I can handle. I can also do most small fish, but the lighting in aquariums at pet stores kills me. It makes the fish shimmer in a way I can't handle lol


Haunty profile image

Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

It's good to see that some quality hubbers do take the hubchallenge.

I think the tag, though, is written as one word, like hubchallenge. Some 1000 hubs have been produced with this tag so far and only some 180 with the words written separately. I don't know if it matters, though.

Nice topic you've got here, anyway.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

It does, Haunty. I know that I saw several with the space. I will fix them. Thanks!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Hang in there!! :)


Philipo 7 years ago

I fell same way with snakes. Though i don't feel terrified when i watch sname in the TV/video but the sight of a physical snake is "killing". When i was a little boy, i had a bad encounter with snake, since then we have been enemies.


no body profile image

no body 7 years ago from Rochester, New York

My only phobia is the feeling I get when I float in water. I'm okay to get in the pool but if I leave the bottom too long and feel the flying feeling where the water does hold me up (I bobble like a cork) then I begin to freak!


Ash 7 years ago

I have had Fish phobia my whole life. I always get made fun of for it. People say stuff like “it can’t hurt you”, or “they are more afraid of you then they are of them,” I really don't think that’s true since I panic when I see a picture of a fish. I also have a fear of; whales, eels, and other sea creatures. I found out I was not alone last year and actually found out my fear had a name. I secretly thought my fear was to stupid to have a name.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Absolutely, Ash! It's always good to know we aren't alone!


Mandy 7 years ago

Hi,

My name is Mandy

I have a fish phobia as well. So It is so nice to hear that I am not alone. No one in my family or my friends understand. They make fun of me all the time. Just this last week I wrote a letter telling them all it was enough with a link to a phobia sight and still they don't understand what im going through. I guess they never will.

My fear is all fish large or small. alive or dead, on Tv or pics of them. But not sharks or any other animal in the sea or lake. Just Fish. It was so funny reading your site because you sound just like me.


Sophia Cornelia  7 years ago

Hello, I am Sophia from Greece.I am afraid of the fish too. Mostly I'm afraid of them when I swim. I used to swim just in pools, but this year I managed to swim in the sea too. I was on an air sea slayer and floated actually, cause the fish don't swim on the surface. And I cannot look at the bottom of the sea cause I'll just start screaming and then I'll freeze and even forget how to swim.

My fear used to be just that, but lately I cannot stand seeing fish in general. I make my mom cover it when she's eating it, and I cannot stand the smell. Of course I won't eat any...Fish shouldn't be aloud to exist. I've even seen fish in my nightmares. Fish around my neck all wet and sticky (yaaaaaaak). I woke up and turned out it was just my hair around my neck. I almost pissed myself in my dream, seriously.

Nobody really gets my phobia cause they just don't get it and they think I'm being stupid. I cannot understand how an arachnophobia or a phobia of cockcrows or mouses be acceptable, while icthyophobia can't.


StevenCavendish profile image

StevenCavendish 7 years ago

Great hub. Keep up the great work.


dan 7 years ago

so intresting to read your stories.i have Ichthyophobia

for 20 years, since i was about 7 years old..anybody knows if it can be solve?

my biggest nightmare is that if there is hell then i'll stuck forever in a tight aquarium.and if there is a god that capable to do everything i suggest even the unphobic of you to be good people or you might find your self in these bizarre phobia in a small fishbole with a gold fish

for eternity..kidding.....help.


Kirk 7 years ago

I'm ichthyophobic as well. Although I don't feel much of a sense of fear of pictures or fish on TV.

I'm also usually ok with fish at a distance.

But presenting a fish to me close up (dead or alive) will cause me to freak out.

The odd thing is that I'm not afraid of dolphins which look like fish.

I have no idea why I'm afraid, I just am.


Lizzie 6 years ago

Hey, I'm ichthyophobic too! I thought I was the only one. Fish completely freak me out, but weirdly, I can eat sushi because I can't tell that it used to be fish, but if I can tell that a fish was a fish--scales, head, eyes, etc, I can't eat it.

Oceans freak me out too and I really can't go fishing.

So glad I'm not alone haha.


sasha 6 years ago

I have this phobia too. I thought I was the only one! My sister who studies phsycology always gets really frustrated with me. This last family vacation we went on to cancun we went snorkeling. We got to a patch were people were feeding little blue and yellow fish and I had a panic attack. There were so many of them I felt like it was going to kick then if I tried to swim at all. I went back to the boat. It was the scariest moment of my life.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Phobias are so bad sometimes that panic attacks ensue. Yes, I had a phobia to bananas (yes, bananas). I could not go into a grocery store unless I knew where the fruit section was and I could avoid it. I had to leave the room if a banana was in it. I finally had to go to a phobia treatment center! Good news! Phobias are very easy to treat and cure! I am now over my fear of bananas and can actually enjoy eating them.

There are some really weird phobias out there. Fear of peanut butter, fear of certain smells, yes, even fear of fish. I urge anyone with a debilitating phobia to seek the relaxation type of therapy and conquer your phobia! It really works and will improve your life.

Good luck all!


Katherine 6 years ago

I have the same fear of fish. I have had it since I was a little girl! People think I am crazy. I will go swimming but if something in a lake or ocean brushes up against me I will scream and go running out as fast as I can. I one time went to a wedding and they had goldfish as the centerpeices for the reception and I had to leave! So I feel you!


jaekyu 6 years ago

I'm terrified of dead fish, fish out of water and goldfish.

Unfortunately, the Biology workbook that my school uses has a picture of a goldfish on the cover and we study about fish in detail.

I wrapped the book up with colored paper and I feel like crying whenever anyone mentions fish.


Marcos 6 years ago

I have been afraid of fish as far back as I can remember. I kept it secret when I was young, I felt embarassed about it because it seemed so stupid at the time.

In my late teens I let the cat out of the bag to people I trusted. I was then the subject of various "harmless practical jokes" involving fish. Never mind how it affected me, it's just a bit of a laugh to the rest of them, eh?...

Anyway, I'm shocked (in a good way)! I had no idea this was common. This is the first time I searched the net about it and I'm glad there's more of us than I thought. I was actually searching for help - anyone find something that works let the rest of us know alright? :)


Liana 6 years ago

My family is one that fishes every summer. Last year my uncle decided to dangle a fish in front of me which led to my breaking out in tears.(I should state I'm a grown woman.)My greatest fear is a fish touching (Yes, that's all it takes) and I'm bawling, hyperventilating, and on a few extreme cases, passing out.

It's very comforting knowing other people are going through this and it has a name. Thanks for posting this!


Carlos 6 years ago

This is very interesting to read...I thought I had a fish phobia as well but maybe not, for I will voluntarily visit aquariums and occasionally eat fish and other seafood. I can handle aquariums because I know that I am "safe", but if I'm in the ocean or a lake I feel "insecure" thinking that there are fish swimming around me. I don't however, experience loss of breath or anything like that, a little anxiety perhaps, and like others of you have postes, I get made fun of and told constantly: "they won't hurt you" or "they're more afraid of you than you are of them..." I guess they gross me out, I don't know, but I would like to get over this fear since I love the ocean and I would like to snorkel without freaking out. Is there any solution to this that doesn't involve expensive therapy??? Any comments would be appreciated!


Betty 6 years ago

I have the phobia of fish too, especially dead. But I can't even go into a lake or any non-pool body of water. I married a man whom owned a home on Lake Erie, and we had to sell it. I couldn't handle knowing that if there was a flood, I'd have no choice but to deal with touching "fish water" and possibly dead fish in my home.

It's hard, because no one understands.. and they incessantly tease you, or point out that my delicious sushi is NOT a vegetable as I make myself believe.

Quick Story:

I was visiting my new neighbour, after moving to a new borough. I was talking to this gentleman, and I went to step up on his porch, when I noticed a small dead fish on his steps to his home. I screamed and ran and I STILL have the image burned in my head. I was wearing sandals! What if I had touched it!?! He tried to comfort me by telling me he had just gone fishing, and it's dead, it'll be alright. NO IT MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT. I saw it's dead eye, and it was... buh. I hate fish. You're most certainly not alone.


Nikki 6 years ago

Goodness! I have the same fear! I am afraid of fish! I can eat some of it, though I am hesitent, and if there is a speck of skin I can't eat it at all. I swim in the lake but freak out when the sunny fish come and start screaming. I can not look at a dead fish, especially if it is floating, then I'll get this quezzy feeling in my stomach and hold my sides and my breathing shortens. I have to avoid the fish tank when we are at the pet shop or walmart. I freak out if I see fish commercials (especially that one where the giant fish is swimming through the house...bleh) Surprisingly I force myself to go fishing at least once a year, though everyone hates it when I come because I can't take the fish off the hook and no one can walk by me on the boat holding a fish and the fish have to stay at least 10 feet away from me which is hard when you are on a boat. Not to mention random squeeks or screaming that occurs if someone's fish gets loose on the boat and I jump onto the nearest chair, almost falling into the weeds, which I also despise because that is where fish hide. I also get into this mood where if anyone does anything I am not comfortable with, I become extremly irritable. Don't know why I even go, but I like fishing, as long as there are no dead fish and the fish stay away from me and no fish touches me. It's good to know other people have this fear, because I haven't met anyone who has it and people think I am strange.


Rosie 6 years ago

I have fish phobia too!

Sometimes to the extent that I can't even swim in a swimming pool - just in case! None of my family or friends really understand and think it's just funny. Pictures make me feel ill too but worse are dead fish. I think it was a dead fish that started my phobia.


VivekSri 6 years ago

what a scare! this hub is well shaped up and intuitive. good to know about it.


Suzanne 6 years ago

Hi, I’m a casting producer working on a new show about people who suffer from animal phobias. The information is below. If anyone is interested or knows someone who might be, please get in touch and we will give you more information about the show.

Thanks,

Suzanne Wrubel

Casting Producer

323-860-8688

Do you suffer from an animal phobia that is disrupting your life? Are you tired of living with this fear and anxiety? Do you dream of a cure but don’t know where to turn for help?

If this description fits you or someone you know, help could be around the corner!

A cable network is currently casting for a new show that focuses on helping people who are affected by specific animal phobias and are looking to overcome their fears.

If selected for the show, you will receive one week of intensive therapy at an exclusive California facility at no cost to you. There, you will be treated by a team of expert doctors, including a world-renowned psychologist who specializes in treatment of anxiety and animal phobias.

Those interested in participating in the show should email:

phobiarelief@rrstaff.com

In addition to your name, phone number and age, please describe your animal phobia, how it has affected your life and why you would like to receive treatment. Pictures are also appreciated.


lala 6 years ago

OHHHH MY GOSH !

i thought i was the only one in the world with fish phobia

jeeze everyone laughs at me but seriously, its not funny :( they're GAH just writign about them makes me feel giddy :\

glad to know theres someone out there like thiss ahha


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Apparently there are quite a lot of ichthyophobics out there! I'm thinking of writing a hub about belonophobia (fear of needles). That's my other huge one!


Kelly 6 years ago

I am oddly both fascinated by and terrified of fish. When I was younger, I wanted to be a marine biologist more than anything in the world. I loved the diversity of the animals in the ocean and wanted to scuba dive and study the animals so badly. Somewhere around eighth or ninth grade, though, my fascination morphed into terror. If I see a fish on TV when I'm not expecting it, I scream bloody murder. Occasionally I test myself by intentionally watching documentaries about the ocean, but it's like a horror movie to me. I'm fascinated by the reaction it causes in me, but I feel so incredibly on edge, almost like my body's preparing for a fight, and any sudden movements on screen cause me to jump or scream. It really is just like a horror movie to me, except that I can turn the TV off and know the fish aren't coming after me. I have recurring nightmares of being locked in an aquarium at night, with floor to ceiling tanks everywhere I turn, all lit up eerily as I'm forced to look at all of the creatures swimming and staring at me. This doesn't cause me to be afraid enough to jolt awake, it just makes me feel very uneasy. The dread is terrible. What I can't handle is the thought of being submerged in the water with them. I have dreamt of falling off a boat into the ocean before, and this I can't handle at all. I jolt awake in terror, and then have trouble falling back asleep. I'm scared of anything that swims, and also the ocean itself, for its bottomlessness. Sometimes I wonder if my phobia is based on the water or the fish themselves, as they both make me uneasy in their own ways... I'd really like to get treatment, but I don't know if it's justifiable. It doesn't impact my life so much that I can't function. I'd just really like to understand why I'm afraid, and move past it.


Shannon 6 years ago

My fish phobia (well more or less a fear) of eating fish started when I was 12, I think. I got severe food poisoning and will NOT EAT FISH UNLESS I KNOW!!! That is not undercooked, overcooked, or that it is perfectly done. I am scared to eat fish because I don't want food poisoning and don't want to come that close to dying again.


Brooke 6 years ago

I am totally and completely afraid of fish. I think it is insane and stupid, and yes, no one understands it at all. At my church they give away goldfish sometimes and I cannot stand it. My friends throw fish at me and think its funny, while I get intense headaches and vomit. It is not funny it is serious, and no one understands. I'm glad to know there are others like me, and that you at least understand. I am afraid of dead or living, big or small, out of or in water, animated or real, everything. But I do not have a huge fear of sharks (if one was next to me in the ocean, then duh I'd be afraid), I am not afraid of whales or dolphins, or other sea creatures. This is a weird fear! One year my school went to the aquarium of the pacific for a field trip, and I was so scared. Glad to know there are others like me, though I wish there was no such thing as fish at all.


Loni 6 years ago

I stumbled upon this site because I too am completely afraid of fish! I could never, ever swim in water with fish. I also can not be around any fish products and cannot smell fish without gagging to the point of almost vomitting. I have had to explain my embarrassing situation when going over to others houses for dinner to make sure that they don't cook fish. I can watch fish on TV, but the really gross ones make me gag and if there is a sudden movement I scream. I am relived that I am not the only one! There is a youtube video of a guy who has the same fear as us (Mike Leonard) who tests his fear and goes into a lake with flying fish to face his fears! Brave man!


Bre 5 years ago

With all my friends joking that I was crazy, I decided to google and find out if I was alone in being scared of fish. So glad I'm not! I'm a little different though. I'm not scared of sharks, whales, and dolphins are absolutely adorable! Even normal smaller fish are ok. Goldfish is all that gets me. Like you I avoid that area of the pet store, and recently when babysitting and watching Elmo's World, her pet goldfish made me look away. When I see a fish I get bad anxiety, and the idea of finding a fish dead freaks me out so bad I want to cry! Thankfully I'm not alone, I feel more normal now, thanks!


MC 5 years ago

I have the same phobia and I empathize. I recently tried to cure it by "radical exposure therapy" but it failed miserably. I hyperventilated and ended up almost drowning.

I have the same experiences as you - I cannot go into the fish section of a pet shop. And chinese restaurants with live fish in fish tanks freak me out too! It's such a pathetic phobia that I really want to overcome one day. =(


meg 5 years ago

im okay with fish it's just things like spiders and sharks and fear of flying that gets me like with the shark one im okay with seeing them on t.v or in books but in order to get me in the water you will either have to bring me in by force or persuade me or bribe me i also wont look down when im floating in the water and i cant float on my back with out worrying that a shark will come up from below and grab me.Now with spiders i will freak out if someone comes near me with one and if i see one i will cover my eyes.with flying i have been afraid of flying since 9/11 everytime i fly when the lady comes on and says something i dnt understand i would go mom does that mean the planes gonna crash. she got annoyed with me after that one trip 2 california


rebdomine 5 years ago

Finally! Theres someone in the same boat as me!

Is there any particular reason behind your phobia? Mine is mostly the fact that they can't blink. Also my mother had a fish tank when I was little and witnessed one fish eating the rest. *shudders*

Idk it got to the point where I have passed out in the middle of a local pet store and nearly drown in a river because I was too afraid to swim.


T. 5 years ago

I have ichthyophobia as well and experience the exact symptoms you listed, and also employ the same avoidance techniques (shaky and have to look away when fish are on TV; don't swim in lakes or oceans; don't even go on boats in lakes or oceans; etc).

What I believe caused mine was visiting a theme park about twenty times in one summer when I was 12, and there was a bridge across a small creek through the park... they had these gumball machines but with fish food in them and because people were feeding them constantly, there were these massive, fat goldfish or carp or something, that would just pile up in this writhing mass underneath the bridge, and it just grossed and freaked me out so badly that I developed this phobia... now I can't look at or think of any fish, big or small.

Oddly, sharks are okay for me, and I like whales and dolphins, but anything, even the tiniest minnow, is totally out.


taylor 5 years ago

i can't even go to aquariums! fish are the scariest thing on this earth!!!!!!! especially the deep ocean ones aah this is freaking me out just talking about it! eew


Claire 5 years ago

I cant stand fish, it has been so disruptive, whilst travelling asia and australia. I cant go in aquariums, i cant snorkel or even get in the sea, even when its 35degrees outside and all i want to do is get in the sea to cool off. i cant look at fish on TV, and i cant look at them in the supermarket, pet shop or even a picutre. my worst nightmare is a fish jumping out of a tank at me and flapping on dry land, i literally feel sick writing this because im thinking about it. its so extreme it makes me cry when i cant join in, its so fustraiting. If anyone was to come anywhere near me with a fish i think i would have a panic attack. I cant even stand the little tadpoles. However, i can eat fish (as long as it doesn't look like one) and i don't mind sharks, whales, sea turtles. I think they are alien creatures!


Stephanie 5 years ago

I too am afraid of fish, and so many of the comments here describe my symptoms. I can't remember a defining point - no bad experiences - of when I started being afraid. I remember being afraid of the deep sea fish first. It just grew from there. Recurring nightmares of aquariums, not being able to pass fisheries (though I said once to my husband "I need to suck it up and get over this, watch me!" and walked up to the window of a fishery, stood there for a second then burst into tears. He had to cover my eyes and walk me away), pictures, tv ads, those mounted fish plaques on the wall, dead fish, live fish, etc. Not any other sea creature - just fish. I wish I wasn't - I'd love to take my son to the Aquarium, but I can't.


Jason 5 years ago

I'm wondering if I'm the first male on this thread to admit to this pathetic phobia? I can't stand fish; they look like floating heads to me. I avoid lakes,ponds, the ocean. I have told very few of my phobia for fear of ridicule (especially as a male) I have no idea where this stupid phobia came from but my parents have mentioned to me that I freaked out at an aquarium when I was very young. The good news is that fish can't walk on land (except for that weird snakehead variety...I hope I never come across one of those)


susana 5 years ago

Hey you all, here´s another ichthyophobic. I´ve been one since I was seven years old. (I´m 32 now and I haven´t been able to overcome it)I can remember so well the damn day when it all started... We had gone with my parents and my brothers to a pond near our holiday home. It was big and deep enough for people to swim, and it was full of these silvery little fish. (revolting, right?) We had taken some jars to put the fish there and take them home, and to catch them we had taken these round fishing nets that have a stick attached to it. (sorry. nonnative speaker; don´t know what to call those) So, we put the fish net in the water and got like hundred of them yucky little creatures (ugh, just the though of it makes me sick) and put them in the jars, but the jars were long and narrow and the damn things accumulated in the jar mouth and actually started to jump out. The thing is, though, I don´t remember what happened between the time we headed back home and the time we were home already and I started to feel afraid. I just know that at one point I was watching how the revolting creatures started to jump out and twist and flap on the floor and that´s the only moment I can remember being terrified.

So, since then I´m not able to even see them on tv.

However my situation is a bit strange, since I can eat fish without any problems, obviously as long as doesn´t remotely look like it, and also any kind of sea food. (Of course, same criteria here, no eyes, no skin, no legs or antennae)And I can even deal with a tv image as long as there are only one or two of them, if they´re bigger it´s better 'cos actually for me it´s like the smaller the fish the worst the phobia. But anyway I can manage with only one or two AS LONG AS THEY´RE IN THE WATER. If I ever see a fish flapping out of the water I nearly faint and scream like mad.

And they´re also inmy nightmares. In the last one I had I dreamt that I was floating in the sea near the surface but still in the water and suddenly hundreds of orange "butterfly" fish started flying up towards me. (in the water, strange huh?


Kirk 5 years ago

I'm a male who's afraid of fish, although I am not to the extent that this person is. I can usually see pictures of fish or see them on TV and be fairly fine. And seeing a goldfish or some sort of small fish in an aquarium I'm fine with.

But if its a larger fish in the aquarium or if any fish is out of the water I get very afraid. Also I'm afraid of dead fish too. I can't eat any seafood although when I worked at McDonald's as a teenager I didn't have a problem handling the Fish Filet.

The weird thing I found out is, I'm not afraid of dolphins. I know they are mammels but they sort of look like a fish and I would have thought that I would naturally fear them as well. However I once went to a place that had dolphins and had windows underwater. And one of the dolphins came over to investigate me and I like it.


crcrcr 5 years ago

I'm a huge ichthyophobe and have been for as long as I can remember. Especially dead ones, and out of water...

If I even see a picture of a fish I can start crying. Oddly enough, my childhood dream was to become a marine biologist because I love dolphins like crazy, and still do. But we all know what dolphins eat...fate hates me. Cruel trick, making a dolphin lover an ichthyophobe.

And I would rather be in the water with a great white than with those silvery creepy eyed ones. I like sharks.

Fish....I don't even like the word...yuck.


EB 5 years ago

I am a huge ichthoyobe when it comes to them touching me seeing one dead or alive it skeeves me out or me touching them and i also have a fear of birds touching me and dead birds


JackieB7 5 years ago

I can't believe I'm not the only person with this seemingly irrational fear! I was bored out of my mind at work, and decided to look this up. I thought about it as I was reminiscing about a recent vacation I went on in which I took a tour of waterfalls-climbing and then jumping off them. The first pool of water after a half an hour hike through the Dominican required me to swim through hundreds of those silvery, transparent looking fish to climb up the first waterfall. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. In fact, I had the worst panic attack of my entire life. As if this wasn't enough, I eventually had to jump 20 feet back into this same pool of water after climbing and jumping down the rest. My freak out was not pretty. My friends knew I was scared of them, and would tease me. But they didn't know the extent of my phobia until this. Let me tell you, exposure does not help overcome this fear.

I have been afraid of fish since I became aware of them in the water when I was swimming at my families camp on Lake Winnepesaukee..age 7 or 8. I don't know why I have this fear, maybe I have some repressed memories? I don't know. All I know is I will not eat them, touch them, and if I see one (any size) in the water when I am swimming, I will be out of there screaming and wont be able to go in again at all. However, seeing images or videos of fish, or even being in an aquarium doesn't make me as fearful as being in the water with them.


Shelly 5 years ago

Hi I'm Shelly and I have ichthyaphobia. In addition to this I am also histrionic and live through three alter egos. I think ichthyaphobia is the worst. All my life I have been made fun of for this. And now I am in highschool and people think I'm weird. They do things to taunt me such as send me pictures of fishn or even buy me fish from the pet store which they leave in my locker. I have known ichthyaphobia was a reall phobia and even had a name but despite my efforts to tell people this they just laughed. Finally, fed up I talked to my counselor. Two monthes ago a school wide assembly was hel. An actual doctor cae in and told people about ichthyaphobia, atricles about this were passed around and anyone found taunting me was warned with suspension.; I used tro think I was alone. That I was a freak. The bullying got so bad I wanted to seek treratment for ichthyaphobia. Now I realize I'm not a freak. I'm special and I shouldn't change. And even through all of this I mananged to find a guy who's ichthyaphobic too! We have been dating for three weeks. Looks like I got my happy ending after all. ;)


Alice27 5 years ago

I completely understand JackieB7; while I do ok in environments like the aquarium and pet shops, I dread the thought of having a fish come in contact with me. I recently went to the beach and decided to go on the banana boat ride with a couple of friends thinking we would never fall off, and what do you know, we did. As soon as I fell in the water I had a major panic attack and started to scream and cry. To make it worse the water was dark green and I couldn't see anything yet I felt the fish hit my leg as they swam past me. That only made the panic attack worse. I could barely breathe and had to be rescued because I couldn't get back in the boat on my own. My fear wouldn't let me grab hold of the rope to pull me in and I would loose my grip and fall deeper into the water. I thought I was going to die. Serves me right for even thinking I could go on such a ride and stay calm.


Sarah 5 years ago

I have a huge fear of fish too! I can't really explain why but all my nightmares involve fish and I would never swim in lakes, ponds, or the ocean. Sometimes I even feel uncomfortable swimming in a pool just in case a fish somehow got in there! Last Easter I went on vacation and ventured going into the ocean. It went pretty okay until a school of fish swam towards me and surrounded my legs. I actually ran away screaming and then burst into tears. They were even the "pretty" tropical fish, not the normal disgusting gray monsters that live near my house.

One thing that I find to be interesting though is that I LOVE watching fish documentaries and tv shows! Shark week is coming soon on discovery channel and I'm extremely excited! Every time I see a fish or shark on tv, I flinch and cover my eyes, but I still really like to watch it! I think it's my own kind of horror movie :P

I also wouldn't mind having a small pet fish as long as it stayed in it's tank!


healinghands1668 profile image

healinghands1668 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

I love fish...because I love water.

But I have generalized social phobia. I am terrified of social situations


Liz 5 years ago

I am so glad to hear im not alone i have been scared of fish for ever. but I think I really figured it out when I went to the aquarium and had to walk through a glass tunnel full of eels an started screeming and sobbing. All the other girls where really nice but 5 years latter my family still teases me . I kinda wonder If they or any of my friends for that matter will understand?


Liz 5 years ago

I am so glad to hear im not alone i have been scared of fish for ever. but I think I really figured it out when I went to the aquarium and had to walk through a glass tunnel full of eels an started screeming and sobbing. All the other girls where really nice but 5 years latter my family still teases me . I kinda wonder If they or any of my friends for that matter will understand?


Ellie 5 years ago

I am scared of fish, actually scared does not do it, so much as revolted. Even thinking of them turns my stomach over. When I was a kid I used to dream of them swimming in my mouth and ears and nose and wake up screaming but even now just to think about fish makes one would make me want to be sick. I had to look after my kids goldfish. I would lay in bed and think about it swimming in the room below me. I felt glad when it died but that made me even worse cos it was not the poor fish's fault and I didn't want it dead really, just not near me.


Ellie 5 years ago

I am terrifed of being touched with a dead fish! it makes me feel sick and i go into a panic and still feel it on me! i don't mind having live fish, that i can handle! as well as removing the dead fish from my aquarium! but when someone else throws a fish in my face I feel sick, even if it hasn't touched me the thought of it turns my stomach over! x


Emma 4 years ago

im terrified of fish i have nightmares about them and everything!


Bethan 4 years ago

Yep. I understand all of this. I think I first noticed mine when I was about 7 on holiday in France - we were in one of those fixed caravans, and my Dad had decided to go all continental and by loads of fish, some of which he had to gut in the sink. This was my first contact with a whole dead fish, and I reacted badly. Really badly, and have done ever since, like when I had to dissect one in Biology. I spent the whole lesson in the girls' bathroom being sick, and then couldn't return to the classroom for then next day because I associated the lingering smell with the experience. And all that about swimming with fish too... If a fish touches my leg or foot I have to get out of the water immediately, usually trying to disguise my panic. It's a nightmare, and makes eating in restaurants where they serve fish quite traumatic, plus it's rare to find someone who is even the least bit sympathetic! Most people just call me a townie and tell me to get over it - "It won't hurt you."


Heidi 4 years ago

Phobias suck! People can be so cold about them too, telling you to just get over it, or even laughing if it's a particularly 'strange' thing to be afraid of...I'm Chronophobic, so some people tend to think I'm just being neurotic, bu It's really horribly alarming to me, so I feel you on the fish, even if I'm not scared of 'em...Too bad there isn't a quick and easy cure for phobias.


Jess 4 years ago

I am also scared of fish. I have not been in a lake, river, or ocean in many years- 10 or more. However; it does not bother me to see them on tv or in a small fish tank. I do become anxious with big tanks or big fish, though! Or if they are near me.


Broseff 4 years ago

I've been extremely terrified of dead, maimed, deformed, or freshwater fish. When I was a little kid I used to be able to fish with my dad, but then we went fishing one day after trout breeding season, and the shore was COVERED in dead fish. I screamed and ran, and ever since I was 4 years old I've done everything in my power to keep away from fish. I don't have a problem eating, or watching fish, and I can even scuba dive in reefs and be okay, but if I go lake, or river fishing, I just can't do it. It's hard with a dad who loves to fish. I feel like I miss out on spending time with him due to my phobia.


Grace 3 years ago

I'm so glad im not the only one! heads up if your have a fear of fish DO NOT WATCH LIFE OF PI. i got halfway through the movie until i started to freak out. Its gotten worse over the years but luvkily my family doesn't go on a lot of vacations. when i see a fish up close on Tv what freaks me out is their eyes. i don't know why but i get really anxious and jittery like crazy and nauseas. ive never fainted before but i really hope I don't. im not sure i could stand trying to get over it.

I've tried to face my phobia twice now in the course of nine years and bth times were the scariest of my life. my friends took me to the Georgia aquarium and got me to the entrance of the tunnel till i started freaking out and almost cried. i really hate this phobia! i get made fun of so many times! i really want to go in the ocean or lake and not be scared.


Michelle 2 years ago

Oh yay! more people that know what I'm going through! I tried (semi-successfully) to face my fears by taking my kids to an aquarium. Since then, however, it's gotten much, much worse. I have recurring dreams where I see and touch fish and wake up in the middle of a panic attack.

Much love and sympathy to everyone who suffers from this!


bdixson 2 years ago

I have a fear of fish as well, and I thought it was odd and I thought I was the only one. But turns out I'm not. I'm not afraid of fish in open areas like when I comes to being in a lake or a fish tank, I'm terrified when there are aquariums on both sides of me, whether being in a pet store or aquariums. I cand t stand being surrounded by them. I fish in ponds, like the kind people have at their homes, freak me out


Jason 2 years ago

I personally absolutely terrified of any fish: big/small/alive/dead. I c-can't touch them, look at them, eat them or even watch them on TV! This fear really affects me considering my younger brother who lives with me fishes all the time. I don't allow him to bring them back to the house and he's has to wash his hands outside before I let him in the house! Even then I feel uneasy touching anything he has been touching. I can't eat from most fast food restaurants because they sell fish and chips (the smell of which makes me gag!) and when I go to the supermarket I check the ingredients list of every single item to ensure it doesn't contain fish! I know fish can't hurt me but I have this uncontrollable feeling which comes over me when I'm anywhere near them. My legs go like Jelly, I feel sick and feel like I have to run away. No one understands my fear at all, not even me! Although it is reassuring to see there are others who share this irrational fear!

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