Phobias can be described simply as irrational fears towards certain objects or situations. Phobias usually seem like foolish fears to many people, but they are deeply disturbing to the people who suffer from them and could be considerably hard to treat. Some symptoms that pervade across all forms of phobia include palpitations, sweating, a smothering sensation, dizziness, nausea and light headedness when exposed to the concerned object or situation.
Some phobias are well known and understood but there exists some strange and unusual phobias. This list contains ten of the weirdest types of phobias.
This is an irrational fear of bathing. This strange phobia can manifest in varying degrees of severity, from a fear of bathing or showering to a complete avoidance of all washing activities. People suffering from this disorder are likely to face stigma from society as they are perceived as unhygienic. Like most phobias, this one is linked to traumatic events in the past involving cleaning activities. If you have watched the horror film “Psycho” you may understand why a person may be averse to the idea of visiting the shower for a whole week after that. This phobia is more common among women and children.
You can’t run out of superlatives to describe the current pope. Benedict XVI is just awesome, but if you suffer from papaphobia, you won’t want anything to do with this or any other pope. Papaphobia entails a pathological fear of the Roman Catholic papacy. Its causes are hard to pin down but psychologists describe it as resulting from a complex combination of genetics and past experiences. It is extremely rare.
This involves the fear of the color yellow. Xanthophobic people are plagued by an overwhelming fear of anything yellow including yellow paint, the sun and daffodils. In some cases sufferers may even display a severe fear of the word yellow. Traumatic experiences with yellow objects or settings especially in childhood could cause this phobia to manifest itself.
Turophobia- fear of cheese
The next time you see someone running away from slice of cheese, they may be mad but they could also be turophobic. This phenomenon is characterized by the fear of cheese. Turophobic people usually associate cheese with traumatic memories. This kind of phobia may be generalized or specific to one or more types of cheese.
Octophobia is characterized by an irrational fear of the number eight. If you have an aversion for sitting at table number 8 or won’t visit your friend’s apartment on the 8th floor, then you suffer from octophobia. Experts link this phobia to superstition. People also experience phobias for other numbers with 13 being a classic example.
This rare phobia is characterized by a strong fear of seeing one’s own or other people’s knees. This phobia could result from being discouraged from wearing clothing that doesn’t adequately cover the knees either by religiously conservative parents or authorities. It could also be caused by a traumatic injury to the knees. The fear of kneeling may result from an aversion for submission.
Heaven is considered a place of tranquility, peace and boundless happiness among most religions. But if a mention of heaven brings a cold sweat to your friend’s brow, he is probably a uranophobe. Uranophobia is the fear of heaven or the afterlife. This fear is believed to result from the religious belief of judgement and retribution after one dies.
If you are sinistrophobic, then you want nothing to do with anyone who is left handed or anything located on the left side. It is unclear how this phobia develops but past experiences have a role to play as is the case with other phobias. In the past, left handed people were considered evil, and exposure to such mythology may lead to Sinistrophobia. The mind may subconsciously develop an irrational association between the left side and negative emotions.
If you have a fetish for touching belly buttons, then you are out of luck if your boyfriend or girlfriend is omphalophobic. Omphalophobia is the fear of seeing or touching one’s own or other person’s belly button. Psychologists often link this fear with the association to the mother’s womb or the umbilical cord.
This is an exaggerated fear of looking at mirrors. There is a variety of causes for this phobia including the association of one’s own reflection with ghosts, low self-esteem stemming from a dislike of one’s appearance or previous trauma involving mirrors.
These are just ten of the stranger and more unusual phobias – there are thousands more like this. It can be difficult to understand but to anyone suffering from such a phobia the effects are real and can have a devastating effect on life, work and relationships. Whilst we may smile to many it is no joke.
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