Saturday, April 23, 2005

Fun with Phobias

The other day I was talking to a rather hysterical friend (who will remained unnamed) about her fear of lizards. She lives in the country and had seen what she thought was a worm, but after some thought, decided it could have been a lizard. She called me for reassurance, and I, being ignorant of her fear, told her it probably was a lizard. I realized too late what I should have said. I was trying to calm her down, but the more we talked, the more worked up she became. It seems her fear is really more of a phobia and by talking about it, she became more agitated. Even while we were talking, she was having a hard time believing that the lizards of earth were not after her. She thought her hair was a lizard and that all the dark shadows in her house hid the slithering reptiles. The whole conversation was quite amusing, and now it is really hard for me not to randomly call her and yell, “LIZARD,” or send her an email of a lizard, mainly because I think this phobia is silly and I happen to love lizards. I spent most of my childhood catching them and playing with them. I had a sandbox full of them. I used to try to get them to latch onto my ears. Every summer I would try to catch a really big one that lived in the tree right by my bedroom window. It was huge! My nickname for it was Godzilla (I wasn’t very creative as a child).

Back to my point though, aren’t phobias weird? I have always wondered why people develop them. I definitely have my quirks, and lots of them. For example, I am scared of snakes, terrified of Bob off of Twin Peaks, and am really, really uncomfortable of heights. I remember one time when I was cleaning under my bed and I got stuck and thought I would hyperventilate, but I don’t think I have an actual phobia. I wonder what causes otherwise rational human beings to be so mortally afraid of some things? At what point in one’s life does some normal occurrence become so frightful as to cause a phobia? (Can you tell I have a degree in Psychology?) Phobias are so prevalent in our society that I can’t even begin to name them all. Here are some, though, so you can learn something today.

Air swallowing- Aerophobia.
Alcohol- Methyphobia or Potophobia.
Animals- Zoophobia.
Ants- Myrmecophobia.
Bald people- Peladophobia.
Bathing- Ablutophobia.
Beards- Pogonophobia.
Beautiful women- Caligynephobia.
Bees- Apiphobia or Melissophobia.
Birds- Ornithophobia.
Blood- Hemophobia, Hemaphobia or Hematophobia.
Bridges or of crossing them- Gephyrophobia.
Changes, making; moving- Tropophobia or Metathesiophobia.
Chickens- Alektorophobia.
Childbirth- Maleusiophobia, Tocophobia, Parturiphobia, or Lockiophobia.
Children- Pedophobia.
Church- Ecclesiophobia.
Clowns- Coulrophobia.
Confined spaces- Claustrophobia.
Corpses- Necrophobia.
Creepy, crawly things- Herpetophobia.
Crowded public places like markets- Agoraphobia.
Death or dying- Thanatophobia.
Disorder or untidiness- Ataxophobia.
Failure- Atychiphobia or Kakorrhaphiophobia.
Filth or dirt- Rhypophobia.
Fish- Ichthyophobia.
Flowers- Anthrophobia or Anthophobia.
Flying- Aviophobia or Aviatophobia or Pteromerhanophobia.
Foreigners or strangers- Xenophobia.
Friday the 13th- Paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Frogs- Batrachophobia.
Halloween- Samhainophobia.
Hands- Chirophobia.
Heights- Acrophobia, Altophobia, Batophobia, Hypsiphobia or Hyposophobia.
Holy things- Hagiophobia.
Hurricanes and tornadoes- Lilapsophobia.
Imperfection- Atelophobia.
Injections- Trypanophobia.
Insects- Acarophobia or Entomophobia or Insectophobia.
Kissing- Philemaphobia or Philematophobia.
Love, falling or being in- Philophobia.
Men- Androphobia or Arrhenphobia or Hominophobia.
Mice- Musophobia, Murophobia or Suriphobia.
Mobs or crowds- Demophobia, Enochlophobia or Ochlophobia.
Mother-in-law- Pentheraphobia.
Moving or making changes- Tropophobia.
Needles- Aichmophobia or Belonephobia.
Nudity- Gymnophobia or Nudophobia.
Number 8- Octophobia.
Number 13- Triskadekaphobia.
Old, growing- Gerascophobia or Gerontophobia.
Open spaces- Agoraphobia.
Pain- Algiophobia, Ponophobia, Odynophobia or Odynephobia.
People- Anthropophobia.
Plants- Botanophobia.
Poetry- Metrophobia.
Rat, great mole- Zemmiphobia.
Relatives- Syngenesophobia.
Reptiles- Herpetophobia.
School- Scolionophobia.
Sea or ocean- Thalassophobia.
Sharks- Selachophobia.
Single: staying single- Anuptaphobia.
Snakes- Ophidiophobia or Snakephobia.
Snow- Chionophobia.
Society or people in general- Anthropophobia or Sociophobia.
Solitude- Monophobia.
Spaces, open- Agoraphobia.
Speaking in public- Glossophobia.
Spiders- Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia.
Staying single- Anuptaphobia.
Teenagers- Ephebiphobia.
Toads- Bufonophobia.
Tornadoes and hurricanes- Lilapsophobia.
Touched, being touched- Aphenphosmphobia, Haphephobia or Haptephobia or Chiraptophobia.
Wasps- Spheksophobia.
Water- Hydrophobia.
Weight, gaining- Obesophobia or Pocrescophobia.
Wild animals- Agrizoophobia.
Witches and Witchcraft- Wiccaphobia.
Women- Gynephobia or Gynophobia.
Work- Ergophobia or Ponophobia.
Worms- Scoleciphobia.


Vanessa said...

There is actually a phobia about poetry? I love the one about mothers-in-law. It was named after my former MIL.

Angela in Europe said...

Was she a dragon lady. And yes, they are correct. I have spent the last 4 hours checking them.

Vanessa said...

She is a crazy, mean, drunken witch who would give Dragon Ladies a bad name. Satan doesn't even want her. The only people who like her are the owners of the first liquor store in Harrisburg.

Angela in Europe said...

Vanessa, you are very funny!