TopTen Days: Phobias
We all have a fear or two; maybe even more, but how do these fears affect your life? Do they control the way you function on a day to day basis or how you perform in certain events? A phobia isn’t just being afraid of something. It’s an overwhelming fear of an event or instance that consumes a person, affecting the way they do certain things, think, or live. About an eighth of Americans suffer from phobias.
The list of such phobias is rather extensive as well as intriguing.Thus, I have developed a list of the Top Ten most interesting yet presumably tough to deal with phobias.
(More After the Jump)
10. Verbophobia/Graphophobia: Fear of Words/Fear of Writing or Handwriting.
Well, this could be agitating. Being illiterate is one thing, but not being able to make it through school because your genius cannot be orchestrated into any form of literary sense is frustrating. Not only would this fear affect the ability to work and get through in school, it would be painful to walk through NYC or any advertisement abundant place.
9. Chromophobia/Chromatophobia: Fear of Colors.
No. This isn’t the Penelope Cruz movie from 2005 which apparently has nothing to do with the actual disorder in a literal sense; only the beautiful metaphors of hol(l)ywood. Fearing colors seems like a twisted lsd trip through Hitchcock’s version of Alice in Wonderland. This is merely the beginning of the worst phobias yet it still shows how little we appreciate our naivity at times. This makes me wonder if a Chromophobic even desires to not be afraid of colors or are they so consumed by their fear that the idea of being chill with colors is obscene. I’m not gonna lie, when I first saw this phobia I thought these people saw black and white; then I sobered up.
8. Somniphobia: Fear of Sleep.
No way. Sleep is awesome and although I have at times feared going to sleep because of the twisted things only a mind of my sporadic tendency could conceive, I love it and always want more. I can definitely relate to this the most. I used to consider sleeping a waste of time. I always feel there was so much I wanted to do, but the delerium would always kick in and distract me from my ambitions temporarily. Sleep is the cousin of death, or so they say. If you’ve seen the Curious Case of Benjamin Button you’ll remember the story about the guy who was so afraid of dying in his sleep (if you haven’t seen this movie, please don’t hesitate to watch something better, like…The Wicker Man or Darkness; hah!). He would take short naps and ended up dying in his chair listening to music. Although I wouldn’t be afraid to die in my sleep for I feel it would be painless (that was ironic), I believe the dream that I was floating in during that death would be intense; possibly even really hellish.
7. Phagophobia: Fear of Swallowing, Eating, or Being Eaten.
Life alterring? How about life-threatening. I think that sums up this phobia. Would one live on an IV? I love food, but even still I know I need to eat. At times I’ll question the composition of my food, but all’s fair and I still need to eat. All this talk about food has my stomach grumbling…
6. Barophobia: Fear of Gravity.
Just don’t jump! This must be awkward. I could only imagine trying to explain to somebody that I’m deathly afraid of gravity. “No really, it’s fine. I try not to take my feet off the ground and I spend most of my time under water.” Where does this come from? Oh……maybe the whole being dropped on the head as a child thing. Seriously though, how does someone grow a life alterring fear of gravity? Something affiliated with asstronauts maybe?
5. Chronophobia: Fear of Time.
On a smaller scale we’re all afraid of time. Old age, too little time, and some even have too much. Always fearing something so undeniable must be wretched. I read that prisoners, serving life sentences or the death penalty, often become flooded with Chronophobia. It’s ironic that so many people spend their time wishing they had more yet they waste the time already given.
4. Mnemophobia: Fear of Memories.
Amongst the list of phobias there was this as well as the fear of amnesia. I find them both interesting because if somebody with Mnemophobia got amnesia they would be fine; theoretically. But if somebody who fears amnesia actually gets amnesia how are they supposed to still be afraid of it, better yet remember their fear? Fearing memories seems harsh to me. Memories seem to be intangible things that are irrefutably always there, in our heads. To be afraid of these seems devastating and would most definitely take a highly organized lifestyle to accomodate this phobia.
3. Kinetophobia/Kinesophobia: Fear of Movement or Motion.
We’ve all heard of motion sickness, but just plain old being afraid of motion? That initself seems scary. This list has actually made me develop a new phobia; it’s called fearophobia. Imagining how some of these people may live makes me very fearful of the conditions they live in. Does a person constantly enter a state of panic while walking or in a car? Ever worse, do they freak out when they’re going to sleep but have that common ‘sleep fall’ and start shivering with horror? This is definitely a list of inescapable fears. There is no way one can live without motion so to be in constant fear seems rather terrible.
2. Gnosiophobia or Epistemophobia/Ideophobia/Phronemophobia:Fear of Knowledge/Fear of Ideas/Fear of Thinking.
Wow. That’s all I can say. This is easily one of the worst things I’ve found, as a phobia. Thinking is one of the few things I believe (ignorantly) defines us as a species, as creative beings unique from other species. Fearing the very codecs flowing through our membranes must be a massive burden upon one’s life. These are actually three different phobias, but I lumped them together because they are very similar. Fear of knowledge is the best of the three, but that’s putting that very very featherly. I’m full of curiosity as to how individuals with these phobias deal with their everyday life, sleep, and anything in between. I also wonder how far this stretches. Do these people fear pretty much everything?
1. Panophobia/Pantophobia: Fear of Everything.
This is the most horrible of all the phobias at it’s worst. Fear of everything. How can somebody live being afraid of everything. The idea behind this is that there is some evil force always at hand. I would imagine this would be extremely horrifying and debilitating. I can’t even conceive how one could get by with such an extreme perception of reality, but I wish them luck. What this venture into the phobic world has taught me is that we all have a portion of these in our system, just on a smaller scale. Everyone fears something, maybe not to the extent that it makes us develop our life around it, but fear has caused us to make decisions that have inevitably alterred our lives forever. Realizing that there are people who fear the simplest yet most unavoidable normalties brings about a greater appreciation within me, that I can cherish the fundamentals of life without a breathing demon on my shoulder telling me that next jump could gravitate me toward a word-filled, cataclismic death. Or maybe these people fear these forces for a really really good reason!
“Phobias are more often than not linked to the amygdala, an area of the brain located behind the pituitary gland in the limbic system. The amygdala secretes hormones that control fear and aggression. When the fear or aggression response is initiated, the amygdala releases hormones into the body to put the human body into an “alert” state, in which they are ready to move, run, fight, etc. This defensive “alert” state and response is generally referred to in psychology as the fight-or-flight response.” -(Wikipedia)
…and here are the runners-up:
11. Vestiphobia: Fear of Clothing.
Although I could easily realize how difficult this phobia would make a person’s life, I also realize that the right attractive person would make this phobia a delight for others (mwuahahaha).
12. Urophobia: Fear of urine or urinating.
Definitely gonna be a problem. Peeing is in no way cool, but I feel like most people just accept that it’s something we have to do. For some it may be enjoyable in the sense that it is relieving, but being afraid of bodily excretion; damn.
13. Cathisophobia: Fear of sitting.
I would assume people with this condition have really strong legs. Either that or they sleep a lot. Come to think of it, I don’t really sit much. My sitting is more of the most relaxed possible position which somehow looks extraordinarily uncomfortable to others; me laying diagonally in the world’s most square chair with only my torso occupying the furniture.
14. Optophobia: Fear of opening one’s eyes.
I truly wonder how similar this is to being blind. I remember as a kid being so scared of the tree shadows and random blinking red lights in my room that I didn’t want to open my eyes.
15. Laliophobia/Lalophobia: Fear of speaking.
Interesting…I guess this would be similar to a mute. Each of these bring about the mystique behind how this fear developed. I can understand a fear of public speaking, which IS different, but even talking aloud to oneself? I can’t imagine.
16. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia: Fear of the Number 666.
This is only up here because of the ridiculous name that has been assigned to this phobia. What?!?
17. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobias/Sesquipedalophobia: Fear of Long Words.
Hmmm…..This is messed up. Someone has a morbid fear of long words and this is the name assigned to that condition? That’s like telling a blind man he has a condition with no name; it’s only written in hieroglyphics. Is this some clever psychological tactic to help cure the long word phobia? Or is it some evil trick to keep them in fear of such linguistics?
18. Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th.
19. Walloonphobia: Fear of the Walloons.
Okay. Kudos to anyone who even knows what a Walloon is. I had to look this one up. I included this in the top 20 because it’s so odd and specific. There are several phobias that are geared towards certain ethnicities or religions, but for people to be afraid of a rather miniscule population of almost unclassified people that are scarcely heard of seems really bizarre to me. It almost makes me scared of the Walloons, wherever they are.
20. Zemmiphobia: Fear of the great mole rat.
Not just any rat; the great mole rat. What the hell. Is this a joke? Come on, really. There are phobias for spiders, cats, dogs, birds, snakes, and other common threats amongst the animal kingdom. A phobia for a specific animal though; and why only that? I’m surprised there isn’t a fear of short-haired chihuahuas or fear of the Vancouver Island Marmot. Sheesh.
There it is. I encourage you to check out the phobia list and see the vast amount of phobias people deal with; things that many of us take for granted.