*Quick Disclaimer! We will be talking about different phobias etc. in today’s post so if this type of topic is uncomfortable for you, please rather skip today’s post. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it!
It’s the 9th of October, and whether it is Spring or Autumn, there is definitely a chill in the air. Why is that? Well everywhere you look, it seems that people are gearing up for the spookiest night of the year. No, not exam results day. No not New Year’s Day (because that’s still a bit far to be getting scared about). I am talking about Halloween. Now I’ve never really been into Halloween. My parents weren’t thrilled about my siblings and I being part of those festivities, so it wasn’t one of those big calendar days that I spent weeks looking forward to. However, as much as I may not be a big Halloween person, seeing all of the stores getting decked out for the last day of the month, with all of the creepy decor and the themed sweets everywhere has gotten me into a Halloween mood. So, I may not celebrate Halloween, but I will be chatting about it lots on the blog because there is too much surrounding Halloween that I could talk about for me to ignore it.
On that note, seeing all of the Halloween gear out has got me thinking …with Halloween being such a spooky time, what better opportunity to talk about fears and phobias? I mean just looking at all of the spider decor has given me more shivers and anxiety than I care to admit. We’re all scaredy cats about something, and there is something for everyone that just makes their knees weak, and every single hair stands on end. Whether it is spiders, the dark, clowns, spoons etc. there is something for everyone that raises the hairs on your neck and sends a chill down your spine. Today, I’d like to dive into this topic of fears and phobias, to match up with the setup and count-down to Halloween. So, without further ado, let’s talk about things that scare us shall we? (Cue lightning and an evil cackle).
What is the difference? Really?
Before we get started, I’d just like to point out that there is a difference between a fear and a phobia. Fear is an emotional response to either a real threat or a threat that is perceived. When you have a fear of something, there is usually a reasonable and logical reason to be, and fear doesn’t necessarily prevent you from behaving ‘normally’, should you encounter the thing that you fear. For example, if you are out in the middle of the ocean, fearing large sharks is not illogical because there is actually a threat of you encountering one and there being possible problems. You aren’t behaving irrationally for not wanting to dive off your boat for a long swim.
A phobia is quite different. Now if you want the proper definitions and differences for these two, please go and google it because I am no expert, but a phobia is one step up from a fear. A phobia has more psychological connotations. When someone has a phobia of something, almost anything related to that can cause extreme anxiety or any other forms of psychological distress. Phobias are also widely considered to be irrational (I kind of agree, but I too have phobias, and sometimes I can’t understand why it is deemed to be absurd. Some things are genuinely scary and we should be absolutely terrified of them). So that is the difference, in my words and summarised opinion, between a fear and a phobia.
Now that we’ve cleared up the difference between phobias and fears, I am mostly going to be talking about phobias because fears are considered normal but also are not as much fun to chat about. I thought it would be interesting to find out what the most common phobias were to share with you all, and so here they are, according to World Atlas …
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Aerophobia (fear of flying)
- Cynophobia (fear of dogs)
- Astraphobia (fear of lightning and thunder)
- Trypanophobia (fear of any medical procedure involving injections or needles)
- Social Phobia (please note there are many types of social phobias/social anxiety disorders so this one is quite broad)
- Agoraphobia (fear of open or crowded spaces)
- Mysophobia (fear of dirt from contamination by bacteria or germs)
(Misachi, 2018, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-most-common-phobias.html )
Now some of these may seem quite strange, and others so reasonable that you are not sure why they are phobias and not just normal, rational fears. I may not have all of these phobias (I do have one or two), but I can completely understand why each and every one of them would be terrifying to different people. These things could all be terrifying and dangerous in some way, so it is understandable why they are common phobias.
What am I scared of?
As some of you may have noticed, I did say that I had one or two of the common phobias that I have listed above. So that we can get all nice and personal, I’m going to share with you all the things that I’m scared of (I really hope you guys don’t use this new information to your advantage and try to freak me out because that would just be not cool). Some of you might remember these from a previous blog post, 10 Fun and Funky Facts About Me (https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/157752554/posts/1105 ) but let me just recap and share a few new ones. From the list above, I have Arachnophobia and Acrophobia. Now the fear of spiders may seem more acceptable because spiders are just creepy and scary and Ewww … but the fear of heights has given me a lot of grief over the years. Why you might ask? Because I happen to be over six feet tall yet am afraid of heights … I know, it sounds ridiculous, but in my defence, the ground does look a lot further away when your head is higher up. I also have Nyctophobia, which is a fear of the dark because of a movie I watched when I was younger with my older brother. And last but not least, the one I am oh so famous and laughed at for … Alektorophobia. The fear of chickens. I don’t know what it is, but those beasts can smell my fear and always chase after me, and there is nothing more terrifying than being chased down and jumped on by a squawking chicken. They are just terrifying. Please don’t laugh, though … I know it seems ridiculous, but they are scary to me.
Some fun phobias
Now that you know about common phobias and what I am scared of, I’m going to segway from my unusual phobia of chickens to some other fun phobias. Let me just say though, just because a phobia is under this subheading does not mean I am making fun of it or think that it is a stupid phobia. I am merely putting it here because it sounded interesting and I wanted to share some of the more unusual phobias with all of you. Now, let’s check out those strange phobias.
The fear of being without a phone. Basically, the fear or anxiety of being out of your cellphone’s service range, not having your phone charged or not having your phone with you. This one is perfect for the Millenials, and I’m surprised that it isn’t considered more common. Heck, I might even have this phobia because I go into a panic if I can’t find my phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the global population had this fear because of the amount we do on our phones and because of how integral they have become to almost everything we do daily.
The fear of string. I didn’t know that this fear existed until I was doing research for this blog, but as soon as I came across it, I thought of how interesting it was. String seems pretty harmless, an arbitrary crafting item but not to anyone who has this fear. Unfortunately, this fear is usually caused by some traumatic experience but can be caused by other things. As unusual as this fear sounds, I can relate in some way. Just thinking of untangling Christmas lights right now has given me the shivers.
Fear of cleaning, washing or bathing. When you’re a child, I don’t think this really counts as a phobia because what kid wants to stop having fun and go inside to get clean? No one I grew up with, that’s for sure. It can continue into adulthood, though, where it becomes a bit of a problem. I know a few people who don’t wash at all, preferring their more natural musk, but I don’t think that’s because of this fear.
Fear of books. I am an absolute bookworm as I’m sure many regular readers know, but people with Bibliophobia would probably want to stay as far away from me and my room full of books as possible. Personally, I can’t imagine having a fear of books. All I can say is my sincerest condolences to anyone who does have this fear because I don’t think I could live with it.
Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. A genuine concern, I do believe. Have you ever had peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth? If you haven’t then thank the powers that be because it is the worst and if you have, my heart goes out to you. It is absolutely dreadful and so people who have this hard-to-pronounce fear, I am with you.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia OR Sesquipedalophobia (I’ve seen it as both)
Wow, now that was a mouthful. Ironically enough, this humongous phobia name is for the phobia of long words. How rude for people who have this phobia right? Why is it that the names of things always seem to be an insult to those with the condition? Lisp has an S in it, which is bad enough. Now, this? This is just mean whoever decided to name this phobia. How are people expected to share what terrifies them if the name of the thing itself terrifies them?
Fear of having a phobia. We fear having labels or being judged, and here there is a phobia of having a phobia. Sounds like something someone like me might develop, with my tendency to overthink things and become anxious for no reason. All I can say is that this doesn’t sound like a fun one to have.
Fear that somewhere in the world, a duck or goose is watching them. Now I don’t think this is a real phobia, more that it was coined by someone and has become quite well-known but isn’t considered, by professionals in the field at least, to be a real phobia. I heard of this first when I was in grade 9 – one of my classmates mentioned it in a speech, and I have remembered it ever since. There is just something about it that seems so strange and yet, when I think about it, so haunting. It would be terrifying if, somehow, a duck was watching you from somewhere in the world. Maybe one is watching me right now? GO AWAY, DUCK!
And so there you have it! I hope that you all enjoyed today’s blog post and the discussion around fears and phobias. I had a lot of fun reading up and asking questions for this blog post, so I hope that you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. I know that the blog posts are not always advice-orientated, but I am wanting to try to branch out and try discussing new things, as well as sharing more personal stories with you, so I hope it is a nice change (don’t worry I will still be doing advice stuff). For my questions of the day:
- Are you afraid of anything? Do you have any phobias?
- Do you know any interesting phobias that I haven’t mentioned?
I really look forward to reading and responding to your answers in the comments section so please don’t feel shy to share. As always, thank you all so much for reading my blog post. Please don’t forget to hit that little like button if you haven’t already and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future blog posts (and so we can get to that 200 followers goal by the end of the month). You guys are all amazing, and I hope this post tickled your taste buds for Halloween and a good rest of Spooktober.
Lots of Love
IBlondey on a Mission xxx