Abnormal phobias

graphic by Ella Hudson

graphic by Ella Hudson

Fear is a weird thing. It can take something that usually would be totally fine, and it warps it into an unbearable madness. It gets your heart pounding, palms sweaty, and makes your entire body tremble at even the thought of it. Some of these fears seem obvious and are ones that nearly everyone has: spiders, sharks, the dark, falling, public speaking, and heights. However, sometimes fear is irrational even when it is supposed to be protecting you from something. Here are some of the most uncommon and severely weird fears that people have in America. 


Fear of long words (hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia) – This fear is weird in the sense that it can’t be controlled. It is believed that this fear happens in kids who had learning disabilities growing up which instilled in them a fear of having to read long words. 


Fear of one’s mother-in-law (pentheraphobia) – Pretty sure this one is self explanatory as to why people would be afraid. 


Fear of beautiful women (venustaphobia) – Now this one takes getting nervous when talking to a girl to the extreme. For some people even just looking at pretty ladies gives them enough anxiety to be afraid, but in these cases they can have full blown panic attacks just thinking about embarrassing themselves. 


Fear of butterflies and moths (lepidopterophobia) – This fear is believed to be caused by the traumatic experience of having a butterfly or moth behave unpredictably and fly close to a person’s face. This unpredictability leads to those same people becoming scared of all butterflies and winged things in general. 


Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (arachibutyrophobia) – Now if you’ve ever had this happen to you, you may have a better understanding of where these people are coming from. It would be crazy if that peanut butter never came off the roof of your mouth and you had to talk like that forever. 


Fear of being without your phone (nomophobia) – With student’s social anxiety today, it is easy to see why some kids would be scared to be without their phone. In the world we live in today, almost everything happens online and to have the accessibility no longer with you may be scary for some people. However, this one is still an irrational fear.  


Fear of balloons (globophobia) – The fear of balloons is mostly seen in children as it stems from the fear of having the balloon pop and they are sometimes associated with clowns. 


Fear of beards (pogonophobia) – This fear is either due to a traumatic past experience with beards or the fact that you can’t see the man’s entire face. Either way, it is found that these people will go out of their way to not be friends with someone who has a beard and will be extremely nervous talking to someone who does. 


Fear of work (ergophobia) – Fears of this nature usually stem from anxieties tied to the workplace such as stress, being social, public speaking, criticism, and small spaces. 


Fear of phobias (phobophobia) – This fear is also described as the ultimate fear and it encases everything and is often described as “free-floating anxiety.” Due to this fear of fear itself, it is very hard for these people to live “normal” lives. They will often avoid social situations where most of these fears commonly occur. 


Overall, over 19 million (9.1%) Americans today have at least one major phobia that they claim interferes with their daily lives. Whether this be one of the common phobias or just an irrational fear, it changes the way that they live their everyday lives. Most fears never go away, but with some counseling or even sometimes just talking to someone else about it, they can get better over time. Now I will silence my atychiphobia and conclude this article knowing that I did my best.