Some Common and Some Not-So-Common Phobias
26th June, 2020
Netflix unsplash.com
Phobias are not regular fears or short bouts of anxiety one feels in a stressful situation. They are a type of anxiety disorder that cause acute distress. There are 5 broad categories of phobias - Natural Environment, Animals, Medical, Situations, and Other. While the first four are fairly common, like a fear of thunderstorms, spiders, blood and crowds, the last category is the fear of something as mundane as dirt or even technology! There is even a phobia of phobias! Phobias can be the result of a negative experience or even genetics and learned behavior, and it can even affect one's ability to function. Here are a few common and some not-so-common phobias.
Claustrophobia www.shutterstock.com
01
Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia happens to be one of the most common fears. One might feel extremely uncomfortable in small, confined rooms and crowded public places. Being in a confined space and the fear of being trapped in cramped spaces could very well lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Actress Uma Thurman revealed that she discovered she suffered from claustrophobia when filming a scene for Kill Bill.
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02
Coulrophobia
The 10th most common phobia, coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. This does raise an important question: how does someone who tries to make people happy trigger such fright? Actor Johnny Depp confessed that his fear of clowns has a deeply rooted trigger. According to him, behind all that makeup and big smile hides a darkness that many cannot see.
Nyctophobia www.shutterstock.com
03
Nyctophobia
Many people are afraid of the dark. But those who suffer from nyctophobia have a deep-seated fear of darkness. The phobia develops over time and people attribute the phobia not just to darkness but also to the unknown dangers that come with it. Katy Perry revealed in an interview that she would sleep with the lights on, owing to severe nyctophobia.
Ophidiophobia www.shutterstock.com
04
Ophidiophobia
Everyone knows that snakes are not a common household pet, and a large number of the population is afraid of these spine-chilling crawlers rightfully so. But being afraid of one and having a phobia of these legless amphibians are completely different things. Actor Matt Damon realized he had ophidiophobia on the sets of his film, We Bought a Zoo.
Ornithophobia unsplash.com
05
Ornithophobia
It is not uncommon to fear large birds of prey and meat-eating vultures. After all, they can pluck someone’s eyes out with those talons. Ornithophobia, on the other hand, is a phobia that causes one to fear even the most adorable household pet birds, like parakeets, finches, and even canaries. Actress Scarlet Johansson fears birds, especially when they flap their wings or get too pecky.
Phobophobia www.freepik.com
06
Phobophobia
Fearing a thing or two in itself is a problem. However, having a phobia where one might end up fearing something new is an unusual and unfortunate situation caused by phobophobia. In this, one lives in fear that they might develop a phobia, which, in turn, affects the most basic and routine things and they end up living super cautiously.
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07
Coimetrophobia
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who used to play Buffy, often fought and killed vampires and other ghoulish creatures fearlessly in “reel” life. In real life, however, the actress is absolutely terrified of cemeteries and graveyards. This unusual fear is known as coimetrophobia. She is, undoubtedly, a talented actress, as she managed to keep her calm while slaying terrifying demons with ease!
Swinophobia unsplash.com
08
Swinophobia
Unless it’s a teacup pig, many find the creature to be quite repulsive. Some fear pigs to such an extent that the very mention of them can trigger a phobic reaction, also commonly known as swinophobia. Actor Orlando Bloom discovered his fear for the snorky sniffers when a pig went berserk on the sets of Kingdom of Heaven, forcing him to stay in his vanity van till they caught it.
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09
Technophobia
Our lives pretty much revolve around technology. Today, almost everything is controlled by one smart gadget or another. No doubt, it can be intimidating, but developing a fear for it to such an extent can be alarming. Although the younger generation may not relate to this, some baby boomers and generation X, living in today’s world of tech, experience this phobia.
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10
Eisoptrophobia
It may come as an absolute shock but Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson has the fear of looking at her reflection in the mirror. This unusual fear is referred to as eisoptrophobia and should not be mistaken with the fear of looking at mirrors. When one sees themselves in the mirror, their reflection may be frightening. Experts claim that this could be because people don’t like what they see.
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11
Botanophobia
For many people, gardening is a hobby and then there are some whose life’s purpose is to take care and nurture plants. Sadly, some have a deep-rooted fear of plants to such an extent that even common household plants can affect their psyche. Actress Christina Ricci once admitted to this fear of hers and claimed that she is repulsed by just the thought of having plants indoors.
Lepidopterophobia unsplash.com
12
Lepidopterophobia
The fear of insects and reptiles is not uncommon. In fact, the fear of roaches is one of the most common ones among other creepy crawlers. But, being afraid of butterflies, such delicate and amiable creatures, is quite unusual. Veteran actress Nicole Kidman does have this fear as she considers their behavior quite spooky. Some also claim that butterflies look unusual, causing anxiety.
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13
Chronophobia
The universal eternal fact that time will never wait for anyone and is here to remain unaltered is a little scary. However, the fear of losing time is a reality, and people do suffer from extreme anxiety due to chronophobia. It is the fear of losing whatever limited time one has, and they are not comfortable accepting the hand that has been dealt by fate.
Kinemortophobia unsplash.com
14
Kinemortophobia
The word came into existence after combining two words: Kine and Morto. Kine (Greek) and Morto (Latin) form Kinemorto, meaning the walking dead, the infamous creatures also known as zombies. Many people may have heard of zombie phobia, which is the lesser technical term. People suffering from this fear find even the mere concept of zombies or their existence terrifying. And it’s not just the zombies, vampires scare them equally.
Equinophobia unsplash.com
15
Equinophobia
Horses are majestic creatures that for thousands of years have been bred and trained for human interaction. However, those who suffer from equinophobia may become anxious and experience palpitations with stress even around the most gentle of trained studs. The fear is often linked to a childhood experience that may have been traumatic. Celebrity actress Kristen Stewart discovered her fear at the age of nine when she fell while riding and broke her elbow.
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16
Triskaidekaphobia
Many people are superstitious about the number 13 and not just Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobia is the absolute fear of this digit and has racked up a terrible reputation with time. Late President Franklin D. Roosevelt was so superstitious about the number that he would never travel on dates that coincide with the number 13 and would never allow 13 people to sit at a table.
Pediophobia unsplash.com
17
Pediophobia
Porcelain dolls or China dolls may look pretty and cute but some have an absolute fear of these figurines. Especially ones with those big beady eyes can seriously scare someone. The fear at the sight of some of these dolls and figurines may be a root cause related to a previous traumatic experience. Magic Mike actor Channing Tatum suffers from pediophobia.
Dentophobia www.shutterstock.com
18
Dentophobia
Be it a regular dental checkup or an appointment for some cavity cleaning or filling, a visit to the dentist can be nerve-racking. However, there are some people who have a persistent fear of getting any dental work done to their pearly whites. It is one of the reasons why many take such good care of their teeth. Veteran actor Robert De Niro has this fear.
Herpetophobia unsplash.com
19
Herpetophobia
Fearing reptiles is not uncommon. Many of these creatures can make a person shudder with fright even at the thought of them crawling into homes. However, herpetophobia is a more specific fear of some reptiles, including larger lizards like the Komodo dragon or iguanas. Popstar Britney Spears once admitted she doesn’t fear snakes (also a reptile) but is terrified of large lizards.
Aquaphobia unsplash.com
20
Aquaphobia
Those who don’t know how to swim may fear getting into deep water, and it is only logical. But those who have aquaphobia shudder at the thought of even getting into shallow water. Many celebrities including Will Smith, Carmen Electra, Snoop Dog, and Eva Mendes have revealed they have aquaphobia. Eva Mendes once revealed that she has never used the swimming pool at her house.
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21
Arithmophobia
People always associate the numbers 13 and 8 with bad luck. The fact that movies have been made featuring the unlucky number simply goes to show people do fear any association to the digits. However, those who have a collective and rather unusual fear of all numbers suffer from arithmophobia. It is commonly linked to triskaidekaphobia (number 13) and octophobia (number 8).
Agoraphobia unsplash.com
22
Agoraphobia
The fear of being in public can get very stressful for someone who suffers from agoraphobia. It is not just limited to spaces but situations that may result in a feeling of helplessness. The mere act of meeting someone new and embarrassing themselves can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Actress Kim Basinger opened up about her fear of public and overcrowded spaces in 2001.
Hemophobia www.shutterstock.com
23
Hemophobia
It is a difficult sight to watch someone bleed. The very thought of it can be scary, especially for people who suffer from hemophobia. The sight of just a drop of blood from a small needle prick can raise their blood pressure and increase their heart rates. It is an unusual but common fear that affects men and women of all ages.
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24
Glossophobia
Even some of the greatest orators to walk the planet had to have the courage to address large crowds. Those who absolutely cannot, suffer from glossophobia. It is the one thing common between actor Harrison Ford and a select group of people who have this nerve-racking fear. Julia Roberts, as a child, used to stutter and get nervous in front of a large crowd.
Acrophobia www.shutterstock.com
25
Acrophobia
Peering down from the top floor of the Burj Khalifa or the Empire State Building can churn up the contents of your stomach and is not that uncommon. However, for people who suffer from acrophobia, an acute fear of heights, can have panic attacks. Hangover star Zac Galifianakis could not make it to a press event for the third film of the series on account of the phobia.