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Unusual Phobias - Strange but True!
Phobia - noun An extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something
Source Oxford English Dictionary
It is estimated that 1 in 10 people suffer with some kind of phobia at some point in their lives. It is impossible to get accurate figures as many people who suffer with a phobia are too embarrassed to seek help so they suffer with their irrational fear in secret, also probably afraid that treatment would involve facing the thing that they are most scared of!
Whilst we all know of people (or suffer ourselves) with phobias of spiders, hights and small places, there are hundreds, if not thousands of bizarre things that will bring someone out in a cold sweat, send shivers down their spine and maybe even induce a panic attack! Here is my list of the top 10 strangest and most unusual phobias that people have reported to suffer from. If you suffer with any of these, or any other phobias, then feel free to let us know in the comments, maybe talking about it could help!
1. Pogonophobia - The Fear Of Beards
It must be dreadful if you are a man who suffers with this, having to shave every day and look in the mirror to see that dreaded stubble starting to grow! Pogonophobia is classed as a social phobia as it envolves being afraid of people or social situations. In this case, if you suffer with pogonophobia, you could feel nausea, panic, anxiety, and dread when in the presence of a person with a beard.
2. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - The Fear Of Long Words
Whoever thought up the name for this phobia either had an evil sense of humour, or knew someone suffering from it and didn't like them very much! Ironically it is the second longest word in the English language.
If you suffer with this you have already run screaming from this page...
3. Pteronophobia - The Fear Of Being Tickled By Feathers
I suppose none of us really notice how often we come into contact with feathers in our lives... unless we have nightmares and cold sweats about them that is!
Apparently this can be brought on by tickling a baby, if they feel trapped they could grow up to have this phobia!
4. Arachibutyrophobia - The Fear Of Peanut Butter Sticking To The Roof Of Your Mouth
I had no idea there was a name for this, but I actually suffer from this phobia! Just the mere thought of it... that thick, gooey paste... sticking to the roof of my mouth... gagging on it... unable to swallow... I think I may need to go and have a lie down now!
1. Do you suffer from a phobia?
5. Epistemophobia - The Fear Of Knowledge
If you suffer from this phobia then you probably won't be reading this... or anything! it must be very hard to avoid knowledge as it is everywhere, books, TV, films, people and conversation, the internet! I can only imagine that Epistemophobics must have to get some treatment for their condition... but that would mean learning knowledge from the doctor! Oh my... what a tricky situation!
6. Dextrophobia - The fear Of Objects To The Right Side Of The Body
Not to be confused with levophobia, the fear of object to the left side of the body. This is a specific phobia (as opposed to a social one mentioned earlier), maybe caused by some traumatic event in childhood. Putting an object to the right side of a person suffering with this could make them feel dread, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and dry mouth to name but a few symptoms. Of course, presumably, all they would need to do is turn around....
2. Have you ever sought professional treatment for your phobia?
7. Porphyrophobia - The Fear Of The Colour Purple
This is surprisingly rather common, and can cause sufferers panic attacks, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and a feeling of dread. It can be quite tricky trying to avoid the colour purple so porphyrophobics find themselves shutting themselves away, avoiding friends, loved ones and colleagues, all of whom may wear purple at times, and becoming a recluse in their purple-free homes!
8. Domatophobia - The Fear Of Houses Or Being Inside Houses
People who suffer with this phobia must live in tents, caravans or in a "bender" in the woods! Most probably linked to claustrophobia, the fear of small places and of being trapped, it usually stems from some trauma suffered in childhood.
9. Optophobia - The Fear Of Opening Ones Eyes
This phobia must be extremely difficult to live with, and can induce a fear of dying, going mad or losing control and an inability to speak or think clearly, as well as the nausea, dread and panic attacks associated with other phobias.
As avoiding opening ones eyes is practically impossible, I highly recommend getting treatment, which would normally involve councelling, hypnotherapy or even medication!
3. Are you afraid of...?
10. Deipnophobia - The Fear Of Dinner Conversations
This could be linked with a fear of dinner parties, and the social rules and etiquette that apply to them.
People that suffer with this fear will avoid dinner party situations and most often eat alone to avoid having to speak to anyone during their meal.
Just For Fun!
Anatidaephobia - The Fear That Somewhere, Somehow, A Duck Is Watching You!
This is actually a fictional phobia created by Gary Larson, author of The Far Side. He also created:
Luposlipophobia - The Fear Of Being Pursued By Timber Wolves Around A Kitchen Table Whilst Wearing Socks On A Newly Waxed Floor!