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A phobia is an extreme or sometimes irrational fear of something. Some of them are easily understandable, or even common among people, such as a fear of heights or a fear of dying. There are also unique types of phobias that, while rare, are based on very legitimate and very human fears, anxieties, and experiences.
Philophobia is the fear of love. People with this type of phobia are generally afraid of falling in love, being in a relationship, or forming attachments with other people in general. This means that philophobia isn’t concerned with just romantic love.
Interestingly, women usually are the ones with this type of phobia. It could stem from a history of negative relationships or experiences of abandonment. If left untreated, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and being unable to form meaningful relationships with other people.
Pediophobia is the fear of dolls. It’s a more specific kind of phobia that ties in with a fear of human-shaped or human-like objects.
Pediophobia usually comes from a traumatic experience involving dolls during a person’s childhood. Since it takes root during childhood, kids are often the ones afflicted with this unique type of phobia. Fortunately, they can grow out of it (though some people still retain the fear even after growing up).
In adults, pediophobia can be problematic since it can trigger panic attacks, palpitations, aches and pains, difficulty concentrating, and even feelings of dizziness or nausea whenever the person sees dolls.
Sesquipedalophobia, ironically, is the fear of long words. Interestingly, this fear typically stems from a negative experience with long words. It is possible that a person with sesquipedalophobia was unable to pronounce certain words when they were young, thus leading to a fear of complicated words in adulthood.
One of the biggest problems with sesquipedalophobia is that children might get discouraged from or afraid of studying and learning in general. This makes it difficult for them to acquire new skills and learn information that could be helpful in adulthood.
How to Overcome Anxiety Triggers
Aquaphobia, as the name implies, is the fear of water. A person with aquaphobia is usually scared of large bodies of water. Sometimes, even looking at a photo of the sea or a bathtub can cause intense panic in a person with aquaphobia. This can stem from traumatic incidents (such as near-drowning) or negative experiences involving water during childhood.
It is also important to note that aquaphobia is different from hydrophobia, which is an aversion to water that occurs in the latter stages of rabies.
One of the more unique types of phobias is atychiphobia or the fear of failure.
Everyone probably has a fear of failing at something, but it usually does not deter people from taking chances and learning from their mistakes. The problem with atychiphobia is that a person with this condition might be paralyzingly terrified of any form of failure. This means that they could be actively avoiding trying new activities or learning new skills. This can cause people who suffer from atychiphobia to miss out on career, relationship, and life opportunities and experiences.
Another entry in the list of unique phobias is trypophobia. It refers to a fear of holes or, more specifically, clusters of holes in irregular patterns. This means that things like honeycomb, lotus seed pods, or even soil with a bunch of holes dug into it can cause extreme anxiety and disgust in people with trypophobia.
Another interesting thing about trypophobia is that researchers cannot agree if it can be classified as an official phobia. However, a lot of people share the same aversion to holes. This may come down to a person’s survival instincts. One theory is that trypophobia stems from an instinctual, biological fear of things that can hurt us and that people who suffer from trypophobia make unconscious associations between the patterns of harmless things, like honeycomb and lotus seed pods, with dangerous animals, such as venomous spiders.
Autophobia is defined as the fear of being alone or the fear of loneliness.
While not necessarily a unique phobia, it can manifest in some surprising ways. Many times, people with autophobia are afraid of strangers or intruders being inside their home, even if they know that they are physically safe. Another way that it can manifest is through the fear of being unloved or unwanted.
Dealing with autophobia can be difficult because some patients become embarrassed of their condition and don’t seek help. Autophobia can sometimes lead to substance abuse.
Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces. More specifically, it is a fear of being in a place or position where escaping or running away could be difficult. It could also be a fear of not being able to seek help when something goes wrong. It’s typically results from a panic disorder, and people with agoraphobia are usually afraid of being a victim of crime, terrorism, or accidents.
People with agoraphobia can be unwilling to leave the house or go to new places. This can make it difficult for them to attain basic necessities such as food and medicine. It is a serious condition, and professional help is almost always necessary in overcoming it.
When it comes to unique types of phobias, coulrophobia is probably the most talked about in the media in recent years.
Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns and it is a serious problem for some people. It’s possible for people with this type of phobia to have had a traumatic experience with clowns in their childhood.
Many movies and pieces of pop culture have made coulrophobia seem very common. However, it is actually very rare. Coulrophobia can trigger intense anxiety, nausea, feelings of dread, or even anger when a person sees clowns.
Nomophobia is a relatively new phobia. It’s known as the fear of being without one’s gadgets or smartphone.
This fear stems from the fact that smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. While most people feel uncomfortable without their smartphones, they can usually adjust if they lose or misplace it. But for people with nomophobia, being without their phone can be debilitating. It comes from a fear of being unable to communicate, disconnecting from others, and not having easy access to information.
One of the biggest concerns with nomophobia is that it can lead to gadget addiction. This can make it difficult for a person to set aside their devices even for just a few hours, since it triggers an intense fear in them.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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Fear of long words. Sesquipedalophobia – FearOf.org, https://fearof.org/sesquipedalophobia/, Accessed October 20, 2020
Fear of Water Phobia – Aquaphobia, https://www.fearof.net/fear-of-water-phobia-aquaphobia/, Accessed October 20, 2020
Fear of failure (atychiphobia): causes, symptoms and treatment tips, https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/mental-health/a26821636/fear-of-failure/, Accessed October 20, 2020
What Is Trypophobia? | Live Science, https://www.livescience.com/65851-trypophobia.html, Accessed October 20, 2020
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Autophobia | Dual Diagnosis, https://dualdiagnosis.org/substance-abuse-among-suffering-phobias/autophobia/, Accessed October 20, 2020
Enough clowning around: why are people afraid of clowns?, https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2017/10/18/20/11/enough-clowning-around-why-are-people-afraid-of-clowns, Accessed October 20, 2020
Agoraphobia – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/agoraphobia/#:~:text=Agoraphobia%20is%20a%20fear%20of,travelling%20on%20public%20transport, Accessed October 20, 2020
Nomophobia: An Individual’s Growing Fear of Being without a Smartphone—A Systematic Literature Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013598/, Accessed October 20, 2020