Top 10 Most Uncommon Strange Phobias That You Probably Not Know Exists
Fear is a natural emotion that we all have. We often use the terms fear and Phobia interchangeably, but there is a lot of difference between these two concepts. When the fear becomes intense or irritational, we use the term Phobia (derived from the Greek word “Phobos,” meaning fear or aversion), and some are very strange Phobias. To be more precise, Phobia is an irritational fear of something unlikely to cause any harm.
For some people, it may be in the form of intense fear, but it gives you an irritational or awkward feeling for many others. So it varies from one person to another. However, people with a Phobia are likely to avoid phobic objects or situations.
Phobia is a common anxiety disorder, and not all phobias need treatment. Still, there are cases where these Phobias can affect your day-to-day life, like the ability to function at work, school, or maybe in social settings.
There are some common reactions that every phobic person has: An immediate feeling of fear or anxiety when exposed to that particular subject or situation or even while thinking about it. When the object or situation comes closer to you, the anxiety worsens. The person may show symptoms like sweating, rapid heartbeat, or in extreme cases, difficulty in breathing. Each Phobia is referred to by its own term, formed by taking a Greek prefix representing the fear object and adding the phobia suffix.
Anyone develops a Phobia for a particular object or situation very early due to genetic or environmental factors. It varies from one person to another; it may be a combination of genetic and psychological issues for some. For others, it may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
If you have some Phobia, you can treat it in different ways. Either you can treat yourself by dealing with your fears, or else, if the situation is worse, you can get psychological help. Almost all Phobias can be successfully treated and cured.
Some people choose to live with a Phobia. Can a person have more than one phobia? The answer is yes. Some people experience multiple phobias. Now let us discuss an interesting part about Phobia. We all have heard of common phobias, like fear of heights (Acrophobia) or fear of darkness (Nyctophobia), but I am going to talk about the top 10 strange phobias that many of you have never heard of:
10. Sidonglobophobia (Fear Of Cotton Balls)
Sidonglobophobia is the fear of cotton balls, or it can even be any product made of cotton. To the outside world, it may seem to be weird, but the truth is that it is a fact that there are people who exist who fear cotton balls. For a person hearing about this Phobia for the first time, it may seem to be a little bit weird.
How can a person fear such a soft and fluffy thing that is part of our day-to-day life? It hardly causes any harm. Yet, these may be the question running through your mind. Yes, such people do exist in this world.
There is another name for this, “Bambakophobia,” where “Bambaki” stands for cotton in Greek and “Phobos” means deep dread or fear. If you have this Phobia and try to discuss it with your friends or relatives, they might even laugh at you. “Oh my god, are you joking? “There is nothing funny about it. Just like one fear height, darkness, or water, this too belongs to the same category.
The person with Sidonglobophobia will often go to extremes to avoid touching cotton because of the weird feeling you get when you touch the cotton. In worst cases, even the sound of cotton when it is pulled apart can also give an awkward feeling. Similarly, when you have to get blood drawn, you don’t worry about the needle; you worry about the cotton ball you must touch after the injection.
Those who have Sidonglobophobia have developed this Phobia at an early age. It may be due to genetic, psychological, or environmental factors. Hypnotism is the one way to treat the fear of cotton balls. Gradual exposure to cotton is also proven to help Sidonglobophobic individuals.
9. Alektorophobia (Fear Of Chickens)
This is a rare condition where one develops an intense fear for chickens. The word comes from the Greek words “alektor” which means rooster, and “Phobos,” which means fear. People with Alektorophobia show intense fear, anxiety, or even panic attacks when exposed to chickens or even thinking about them.
A case was reported where an 18-year old engineering student in the rural area of central India had a terrifying encounter with a live hen at a very early age and thereby developed a fear of hens. Their thought process of seeing hens was that of the fear of henpecking or attacking her.
Many such similar cases have been reported. Like any other Phobia, this can also be treated either by exposure therapy or cognitive behavior therapy.
8. Nomophobia (Fear Of Being Without a Phone)
Does this sound strange to you? We all are aware that technology has changed dramatically every aspect of our daily life and the “mobile phone” can be considered one of the essential objects of our daily use.
During this pandemic, the use of mobile phones has increased to a great extent. Not only among teenagers but for all age groups, right from kids to adults. To be more precise, we can say that our life is dependent on mobile phones. So to have such a kind of Phobia is quite natural.
Nomophobia is the shortened form of “no mobile phone phobia.” People with Nomophobia experience excessive anxiety about not having their phone with them, when it is out of service, or even when their battery goes low.
This Phobia often stems from people having cell phone addiction where they check the phone throughout the day or maybe cannot even spend a minute without their phone. In recent surveys of varying populations, the prevalence of fear or anxiety related to not having or being able to use a cell phone ranges from 9-77%.
7. Pentheraphobia (Fear of Your Mother in Law)
It is quite common that it is difficult for most people to get along with their mother-in-law. The conflict between a woman and her mother-in-law is a common talk in our society. Jokes apart Pentheraphobia, which is a strong dislike or fear of one’s mother-in-law, do exist.
By hearing the above definition, many people might say that “yes, I have Pentheraphobia,” but no. There is a lot of difference between general fear and Phobia. The severity of the fear, how long it lasts, the irritational behavior, along mental and physical symptoms surrounding the object of fear make Pentheraphobia a Phobia.
6. Spectrophobia (Fear of Mirror)
Most of us do spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, trying out different outfits, obsessing over our eyebrows, and even nitpicking over the minute details. But, have you ever thought about the situation where we fear one of the essential objects in our daily life?
Yes! Spectrophobia is the fear of the mirror or what may be reflected in them. This condition is very rare, and the name Spectrophobia is derived from the Latin word “spectrum,” which means image. People with Spectrophobia fear their reflection in the mirror or of the ghost appearing in the mirror.
Even though this situation is rarely seen among people, it can be quite serious because it disrupts normal life. The symptoms of Spectrophobia are similar to other Phobias where the person experiences intense fear, anxiety, and panic attacks when they face such situations.
5. Ablutophobia (Fear Of Bathing, Washing, Or Showering)
Personal hygiene is a vital part of our life. It is a daily routine that everyone has to follow to maintain cleanliness and being healthy and fit. Have you ever thought about how would people having Ablutophobia maintain a healthy lifestyle? They are afraid of washing and bathing. They do face a lot of trouble at work or school because their self-esteem is deflated.
The common symptoms of Ablutophobia are racing pulse, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, nausea, etc. Unlike other Phobias, this is not based on any realistic dangers associated with bathing. This fear is also persistent, but with therapy and medication, you can find a solution.
4. Arachibutyrophobia (Fear Of Peanut Butter)
Arachibutyrophobia has been derived from the Greek word “arachi,” which means Ground Nut, “butyr” for butter, and “phobia” for fear. So Arachibutyrophobia is nothing but the fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of your mouth.
Like all Phobias, the severity of this particular Phobia varies from person to person. For example, some people can consume small quantities of peanut butter, but on the other hand, some cannot even think about eating it. Fear of peanut butter might seem unusual for others, but some instances prove that such Phobia exists. The prevalence of peanut allergies can be one of the reasons, or else you can trace it back to some traumatic event in the past.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the methods to treat it. Whether to take the treatment or not depends upon how severe it is. If it does not cause any trouble in your day-to-day life, you can avoid such situations by eliminating it from your diet. It is that simple.
3. Chiclephobia (Fear of Chewing Gum)
Chiclephobia is an anxiety disorder where the person with this Phobia fears chewing gum themselves, coming close to a person chewing the gum, or even seeing previously chewed gum. This is also a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
A traumatic incident during your childhood is one of the reasons why you would develop Chiclephobia. For example, you may have seen someone choke on a piece of gum or may have experienced it yourself, or it can be the fear of the bubble pop all over your face and so on.
Again, this hardly causes any trouble in your day-to-day life, so either you can treat it by yourself or can avoid such situations, and if the case is severe, you seek the help of a therapist.
2. Pedophobia (Fear Of Babies or Children)
Pedophobia is derived from the Greek word “παιδ- paid ” meaning children and “φόβος -phóbos” meaning fear. It is the excessive fear of children, infants, toddlers, or babies. This can be hereditary or due to some childhood circumstances, and the list goes on.
Those with Pedophobia show symptoms like racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, dizziness, or muscle tension when dealing with kids. They avoid such circumstances, mainly because they believe that kids are messy, noisy, and in general nuisance.
Normally we love to play and spent time with kids, but those people who have Pedophobia try to escape at the sight of kids. Since this can ruin your day-to-day life, it would be better to seek help if you can’t get over your fear.
Pedophobia is commonly confused with Pediophobia (fear of dolls) or Podophobia( fear of feet). The British English spelling is Paedophobia, and another alternate spelling is Pedophobia.
1. Globophobia (Fear Of Balloons)
There will hardly be anyone who has not played with balloons, especially at a young age. Whether kids or adults, we all love to inflate the balloons, play with them, decorate with them and finally pop them and scare others. The sad part is that those who are Globophobic would never have experienced such beautiful moments in life.
Those people who have Globophobia (the root being from Latin “globus,” meaning sphere) will refuse to touch, feel or go near a balloon since they fear that it will break. Most individuals are only afraid of the sound made by the popping of balloons, but some people experience an intense fear even at the smell of balloons. These people do have a tough time at the parties because there are no parties without balloons.
The causes and symptoms are the same as any other Phobia. Depending on the severity of the Phobia, one can seek medical help. In reality, there is no single cause for Phobia. We have to accept the fact that Phobia is common across gender, age, and culture.
The advancement in the treatment of anxiety disorders brings hope to the people affected by this anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for Phobias, but there are treatments that will help the Phobics to get over their fear, and I believe that to a great extent, we can treat our fear.