We all are afraid of something in our lives. Maybe height, water, or dolls that cause goosebumps, anxiety, and fear in our bodies.
Fear is a primitive human emotion, and it is natural to experience it when confronted with a troubling object or even the thought of its immediate threat.
But when fear becomes exaggerated and irrational, it transforms into a phobia. According to the American Psychiatric Association, phobias are extreme fears caused by conventionally harmless objects or situations.
Their roots lie in genetics, suffered traumas, or the environment around you. The variety of phobias range from the most common, like the fear of snakes, to the most surprising fears like the fear of hair.
Hoping that you would be familiar with the usual ones, we have curated a list of strange phobias that you would not believe are real.
1. Anthophobia : Fear of Flowers
Imagine gifting flowers to your partner, and instead of getting excited, they get anxious, feel dizzy and experience sweat in their palms. Well, though rare, Anthophobia is a real possibility.
While most of us celebrate their bright colors and beauty, there are people to whom flowers cause fear and panic. For such people, even the smell or thought of flowers can cause severe consequences.
2. Spectrophobia: Fear of Mirrors
Mirrors are mysterious. They are often captured in literature and movies, either as a source of viewing the ‘wonderlands’ or an abode of evil spirits. This obscurity, which for us ends at the culmination of a book or a movie, for some people triggers their fear of mirrors.
People with Spectrophobia experience a sense of impending doom and are afraid of what the mirror might reflect. Imagine the plight of the Spectrophobia victims while dressing up every morning!
3. Haphephobia: Fear of Touch
The human touch in the form of a hug, handshake, or kiss is a warm gesture of love and friendship which expresses the emotions that words fail to convey. On the other hand, it can be a source of panic attacks, nausea, and shivers for people with Haphephobia.
It often causes a paralyzing fear which can have a damaging effect on one’s relationships and life. Sometimes restricted to a particular gender, this fear can affect any human.
4. Ablutophobia: Fear of Cleaning
While the world grappling with the Coronavirus focuses on the importance of maintaining hygiene, there are people with Ablutophobia, fearing even the thought of bathing and cleaning.
The people suffering from this fear prefer carrying an unpleasant odor around them rather than undergoing the traumatic experience of taking a bath. They are likely to feel socially isolated, depressed, and detached from their bodies. This irrational fear of cleaning is more common in women and children than in men.
5. Somniphobia: Fear of Sleeping
In this era of technology and its ever-increasing workload, sleep is a luxury that we all crave. It is a crucial part of our life, which if disturbed, affects everyday activities, mood, and health.
But to the patients of Somniphobia, even the thought of sleep or nearing bedtime gives panic attacks and anxiety. This fear of sleep, also known as hypnophobia or clinophobia, originates more from the fears of what might happen while one is asleep than from sleep itself.
6. Anemophobia: Fear of Wind
Anemophobia, also known as Ancraophobia, encompasses wind-related phobias triggered by storms or gusty winds. People with this phobia, Madonna for one, undergo anxiety and panic with the changing weather or approaching storms.
They believe that the arriving wind will wipe off their identity by destroying everything valuable to them. These people feel impotent in the face of the wild magnificence of nature.
7. Pediophobia: Fear of Dolls
While most of us cherish our childhood memories by remembering the dolls we used to play with, there are people for whom dolls are a nightmare. Channing Matthew Tatum, the American actor, is among the patients of Pediophobia, an intense and irrational fear of dolls.
People with Pediophobia experience chest pain, distress, and sweating at sight or even the thought of dolls. This fear triggers by watching horror movies, popular culture, or a traumatic event related to dolls.
8. Pogonphobia: Fear of Facial Hair
Pogonophobia, an intense fear of beard or facial hair, might appear absurd and unreal to a person not experiencing it, but this does not change the fact that it is very much real and existing.
This phobia might stem from several causes, including a past traumatic event with a bearded person, associating beard with diseases, or cultural stereotypes. The victims of Pogonophobia experience anxiety, panic attacks, and nausea near bearded people.
9. Philophobia: Fear of Love
Love is the most beautiful of all human emotions, which makes us experience the pleasures of life like never before, but for some people love is terrifying. It is a cause of panic and anxiety.
Philophobia stands for fear of love. This phobia is common in people who are afraid of commitments or of being emotionally invested with someone. Philophobia often triggers social anxiety disorder in its victims, bracing their unreasonable fear of falling in love.
10. Phobophobia: Fear of Phobias
If you think how difficult life must be if you were to live with a phobia, imagine living with many. Phobophobia is the fear of phobias that entangles its victims in a vicious cycle where the fear of a Phobia leads to a Phobia.
While some people with Phobophobia are already fighting one or more phobias, others are afraid to acquire one. These people tend to avoid anxiety-inducing situations which affect their social life leading to depression and isolation.
Liked this piece? Also read, Warning: Don’t Take Your Thoughts Too Seriously!