Fear and Phobia are twin brothers separated at birth. While fear is an uncontrollable and unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger, phobia is a type of anxiety disorder usually defined as persistent fear of an object or situation. Someone who has phobia for something will do everything to avoid any phobia trigger, this is often seen as being irrational. Where the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.
There are over a thousand Phobias and every individual has at least one. It could be conscious or unconscious, scary or funny, severe or casual, whatever the case, it is usually good to identify your fear and consciously work towards managing or overcoming it. Truth is, there is really nothing to be afraid of in life. Here is a list of 25 Phobias you might not know you have, its implication on your life if not handled and how to overcome It.
01. Ablutophobia – Fear of Washing or Bathing.
Funny but true, Ablutophobia is a relatively common but serious phobia. It is more prevalent in women and children. It is important to note that many children dislike baths, so ablutophobia is generally not diagnosed in children unless it persists for more than six months. Implications: Smell, uncleanness, low hygiene and skin diseases. Handling it: Start with taking baby steps such as turning on the shower and sitting in the bathtub with it running.
02. Achluophobia – Fear of Darkness
Achluophobia is an irrational fear of darkness. People suffering from it usually think that monsters or other evil things will harm them if they stay in a dark place. Sufferers may not sleep until lights are turned on. Implications: Lack of sleep, heart attack, apprehension. Handling it: Talk yourself out of the fear, start by staying in dark places with people, eventually you will get used to darkness.
3. Ergophobia – Fear of Work
Ergophobia is probably one of the most convenient phobias on this list. It is the fear of work or workplace environment. Psychologists believe it is a combination of various fears such as failing at assigned tasks, social anxiety, and public speaking that builds up to create ergophobia Implications: Unproductivity, joblessness, poverty, fatigue. Handling it: Seek job counseling to find something of your interest. Start your own business or look for work-from-home options. Work part-time and gradually increase the hours until full-time is achieved.
04. Chronophobia – Fear of Not Maximizing Time
Chronophobia, is the fear of time passing or not maximizing time. Not surprisingly, it is often found mostly in prison inmates or the elderly but it can also occur in people who experience a lot of stress and anxiety.
Implications: Anxiety, no accomplishments, anger.
Handling it: Live each day as it comes. Stay positive and hopeful. Put into good use the little time you have.
05. Acousticophobia- Fear of Noise.
People who have this phobia either have a fear of hearing noises in general or they might fear a specific noise, such as yelling, whistling, guns, etc.
Implications: Extreme anxiety, panic such as shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, nausea and dry mouth.
Handling it: Counseling, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic programming, and increasing noise tolerance.
06. Philophobia – Fear of Falling in Love
Although butterflies in the stomach are often associated with love, for someone with philophobia, those butterflies are more like deadly scorpions, as falling in love terrifies them.
Implications: Stomach pain/upset, life of solitude, Bachelor/Spinster for life.
Handling it: Counseling, build boldness to express love to friends, family members, objects and professions of interest.
07. Caligynephobia – Fear of Beautiful Women
Being intimidated by beautiful women is pretty common, but there are some people who actually have a fear of beautiful women. This diagnosed phobia is called Caligynephobia and is usually connected to a social phobia or social anxiety disorder. The fear of beautiful women affects both men and women. There is also a fear of men called Androphobia.
Implication: Low self-esteem, incompetence.
Handling it: Counseling, positive self talk, appreciate your own beauty and that of your intimidators.
08. Nomophobia – Fear Of Loosing Your Phone
Nomophobia, is an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia.” This is the constant fear of loosing your phone or not having network. According to researchers in the UK, 50% of people have this phobia. That feeling when you suddenly pat your pants and can’t feel your phone, you start to panic as you look for it.
Implication: Anxiety, unproductivity, shock, mild insanity.
Handling it: Be calm at all times. Always keep your phone safe in your pocket, waste pouch or handbag.
09. Agliophobia – Fear of Pain
Agliophobia is the fear of pain. People with this condition usually find it difficult to engage in any act that will bring them pain. They also can not stand the sight of someone else in pain.
Implications: Dry mouth, shivering, and lack of tolerance.
Handling it: Increase pain tolerance level.
10. Agyrophobia – Fear of Streets or Crossing Streets
Agyrophobia, also called Dromophobia is the fear that crossing streets will cause bodily harm to oneself, even if no actual threat is posed. The fear is suffered due to great difficulty in moving through crowded pedestrian paths alongside busy streets. These sufferers would drive cars, but will avoid walking on streets.
Implication: Screaming, embarrassment, shivering.
Handling it: Hold hands with people while crossing streets/roads or better still use overhead bridges.
11. Haphephobia – Fear of Being Touched
Haphephobia is a rare specific phobia that involves the fear of touching or of being touched. It is an acute exaggeration of the normal tendencies to protect one’s personal space, expressed as fear of contamination or invasion, and extending even to people whom its sufferers know well.
Implications: Always uncomfortable, skin reaction, unfriendliness and depression.
Handling it: Wear covered cloths in public. Learn to hug more.
12. Heliophobia – Fear of the Sun
Heliophobia is the fear of the sun or sunlight. Some people may have developed this phobia because they are scared that the sun will give them burns or skin cancer. Although it sounds harmless, it can actually be quite serious.
Implications: Vitamin D deficiency as a result of staying indoors.
Handling it: Step out early before the sun gets harsh, use an umbrella while outside.
13. Gerontophobia – Fear of Getting Old
Gerontophobia is the fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly. Whether the fear is rooted in the idea of growing older or the simple image of an elderly person, if left untreated gerontophobia is unhealthy.
Implications: Depression, anxiety, withdrawal from social lives especially birthday celebrations.
Handling it: Take care of your body and health, visit old people’s home, spend a weekend with your grand parents.
14. Thanatophobia – Fear of Death
Thanatophobia may also have roots in fears of getting old and of the unknown. It is part of the human condition to want to know and understand the world after here. People who are highly intelligent and inquisitive are often at greater risk of having thanatophobia. They are afraid of death and so place their lives next to none.
Implications: Limited risk taking, restricted trips and greed.
Handling it: Visit cemeteries. Attend funerals. Live life to the fullest.
15. Neophobia – Fear of New Things
Neophobia is the fear of anything new; innovation, new situations, places, or things. Neophobia generally is common with the elderly, they are usually afraid of leaving their present habits or belongings for something new.
Implications: Neophobic people are bound to be rusty, old-fashioned and less adventurous.
Handling it: Accept gifts from loved ones. Take a leisure trip to an unknown island. Discover another side of you; new passion and interests.
16. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Fear of Long words
People suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia might want to stay clear of long words while reading or writing. On a lighter note, this is a joke phobia that often gets thrown around on the internet. There are no recorded cases yet of any one suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, although a lot of people mumble across long words that they are unfamiliar with.
Implications: Pronunciation disorder
Handling it: Increase the number of alphabets in your name. Attempt to pronounce every long word.
17. Gephyrophobia – Fear of Water/Rivers
This is the fear of water or river. People with this phobia are not likely to live close to water bodies: river, lakes or beaches because they would probably be too scared to look at it. You wont find swimming pools in the houses of such people also.
Implications: Panic, agitation.
Handling it: Spend longer time in the bath tub, go for picnic at beach sides, sit by the beach and watch the water flap. Watch the movies Titanic and Splash Mermaid.
18. Anuptaphobia – Fear of Staying Single
Anuptaphobia is the fear of staying single or being unmarried at a particular age range.
Implication: Getting married at the wrong time, to the wrong person and for the wrong reasons.
Handling It: Enjoy every bit of your single life until you are ready for marriage.
19. Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders
Arachnophobia is defined as the abnormal and persistent fear of arachnids or spiders. This fear may have resulted from the thought that spiders are venomous and its bite can kill.
Implications: Palpitations, trembling and extreme anxiety when they find spiders in their surroundings.
Handling it: Wearing protective outdoor clothe. Desensitization therapy about spiders. Anti-anxiety medications if this fear renders a person dysfunctional.
20. Catoptrophobia – Fear of Mirrors
Catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors. This fear could have developed in the early history, when people used to use ponds and still waters as mirrors. People believed the images they saw in the water were their souls looking back at them and it frightens them.
Implications: Trembling, and extreme anxiety when in sight of mirror.
Handling it: Counselling. Learn to take glances at yourself once in a while on reflective objects.
21. Didaskaleinophobia – Fear of School
Didaskaleinophobia is the fear of school or going to school and 5% of children are known to have this phobia at the initial stage of their school life.
Implications: Skipping Classes, crying, fever. Handling it: Indulge in extra curricular activities to make school fun.
22. Chrometophobia – Fear of Money
This is an abnormal and persistent fear of money. Sufferers worry that they might mismanage money or that money might live up to its reputation as “the root of all evil.”
Implications: Undue anxiety. Mismanagement of money. Greed.
Handling it: Make money, save money, invest money..
23. Gamophobia – Fear of Commitment
Gamophobia is the fear of commitment and getting married. However, many experts agree that there is a subtle difference between the fear of marriage and the fear of commitment phobia. A person might be afraid of getting married but he/she might still remain committed to a single partner for life.
Implications: Bachelors/spinsters for life.
Handling it: Fall in love, get married and stay committed to your partner.
Omniphobia is generalized fear for everything. This is often described as constantly dreading some “vague and persistent unknown evil”.
Implications: General limitation in life and livelihood.
Handling It: Be specific with what scares you the most and face it.
25. Phobophobia – Fear of Phobias
Phobophobia is actually a weird phobia to have, it is the fear of phobias, or the fear of fear. A person with Phobophobia is mortified of developing a phobia. If you managed to get through the top 24 phobias on this list then you probably have this one good fear. And in case you are a victim of any of the above mentioned phobias, do well to get rid of it or better still, learn to manage it properly. Note, Life is too short to allow phobias ruin your happiness.