Fear allows us to be cautious, think before acting, and avoid situations that can compromise our health and well-being.
Fear is a common and essential human emotion. Without fear, we would act recklessly and end up putting ourselves in danger and even risking our lives.
However, experienced in excess, fear can become limiting and restrictive, hampering our quality of life by preventing us from new experiences or unnecessarily distrusting things.
When fear is experienced in excess, the objects of that fear are known as phobias. Properly defined, phobias are irrational and extreme fears.
For example, many of us do not particularly enjoy the circus or find humor in clowns, but those of us who can classify as coulrophobia have an extreme fear of clowns that can lead to strong adverse reactions when seeing a clown or hearing the word.
This can lead to panic attacks .
Types of phobias
While many of us may be familiar with certain popular phobias, such as claustrophobia or fear of closed spaces or arachnophobia, there are actually a large number of existing phobias that many people suffer from around the world.
Bibliophobia is the irrational fear of books.
More than just a dislike for the tangible object, those with bibliophobia tend to fear what books represent or the effects they may have on people.
Bibliophobia can arise if an individual has an existing reading disability, in which case they are predisposed to becoming nervous when faced with reading.
This phobia is one of the rarest phobias out there. Leukophobia is fear of the color white.
Those who are leukophobic are probably not only afraid of the color white, but they are afraid of the connotations of that color and what it might represent to them.
Arithmeticphobia is better known as fear of mathematical calculations or fear of numbers, people who suffer from this phobia have an irrational fear of any stimulus that involves a total addition or multiplication.
This generally tends to affect the academic scope, to the daily life and going to the supermarket and calculating what they spend on the purchase is quite traumatic for these people.
Anuptaphobia is the fear of people to remain single, these people when they break up with their partners quickly seek to find a new one and tend to accept certain conditions of infidelity so as not to end up alone.
It is a great social disorder that is linked to a feeling of dependency.
Arachibutyrophobia is better known as fear of peanuts, it is quite rare to hear someone be afraid of peanuts and this does not end here, they are also afraid of their shell and even the rich peanut butter.
Arachibutyrophobic people fear choking on peanuts or peanut butter as it is somewhat sticky and they believe this can suffocate them by killing it.
Other rare phobias are:
- Peladophobia: it is the uncontrollable fear of seeing bald people.
- Genuphobia : fear of your own knees.
- Heliophobia: fear of the sun, or any bright light.
- Caetaphobia: is the fear of hair, that of your own body, detached hair or attached hair.
- Hafephobia: it is the fear of touch. Most people with haphephobia fear being touched by anyone.
- Oikophobia: it is an abnormal fear of the home environment.
- Ablutophobia: it is the persistent, abnormal and unjustified fear of bathing, washing or cleaning.
- Ergophobia: it is an abnormal and persistent fear of work.
- Nomophobia: it is the fear of going out without a mobile phone and losing contact. However, it is debatable that the word “phobia” is misused and that in most cases it is just normal anxiety.
- Philphobia: it is the abnormal, persistent and unjustified fear of falling in love or having an emotional attachment.
- Somniphobia: it is the often irrational and excessive fear of sleeping and not waking up.
- Globophobia : it is the fear of balloons and also the sound that balloons make when they burst.
- Ombrophobia: it is an irrational fear of rain.
- Geniophobia : it is an extreme and unjustified fear and a physical aversion to the chin.
- Sanguivoriphobia: it is the fear of vampires.
- Myrmecophobia: it is the inexplicable fear of ants.
- Neophobia: it is the fear of clouds.
- Chorophobia: it is the fear of dancing.
- Cyclophobia: it is the fear of bicycles.
- Phobophobia: it is the fear of developing a phobia or fear of fear.
- Espargarophobia: it is the fear of asparagus.
- Tachophobia: it is the fear of speed.
- Triscaidecaphobia: It is the fear of the number 13 (this number is considered unfortunate in certain cultures).
- Xirophobia: it is the fear of razors.
While these phobias may seem ridiculous to the average person, they are very real and scary to someone with a true phobia.
Diagnose and treat rare phobias
These rare phobias are categorized as “specific phobias.” Criteria for diagnosing a patient with a specific phobia include:
- Experiencing strong feelings of fear associated with a specific object or situation.
- Show signs of avoidance behavior with respect to that object or situation.
- The awareness that fears are irrational, in the case that the patient is an adult.
Treatment can help phobic patients control their symptoms. Therapy is generally the treatment of choice for specific phobias.
Often therapy involves gradual and repeated exposure to what is feared so that you can learn to overcome anxiety.
Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, or sedatives, to help manage symptoms characterized by tremors, increased heart rate, sweating, and shortness of breath, to name a few more obvious symptoms.