Sunday, January 29, 2006

Fear this

Phobia: A persistent, abnormal and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

I’m completely certain that everyone in the world is afraid of something. Some of us are scared of getting married, having children, running out of money to buy new beautiful things, getting old and *gasp* having to wear the same pair of shoes/knickers for the rest of your life!

I have been oddly drawn to the topic of phobias for some years now. I constantly hear people using words like claustrophobia and homophobia (between others) to describe the way they (or others) feel about certain things. It seems to me these words are highly overused, and most often than not in an incorrect way. At times I have found myself wondering: when does something stops simply scaring you and becomes an obsession? And even more important, when is a phobia so ridiculous and ludicrous that it becomes a joke?

I have compiled a list of some absurd, real medical phobias, that I think you might find comical. Enjoy...
  • Anything new - neophobia. *shock* (What about clothes, shoes, undies, makeup, nice new cars, sealed food??? Who are these weirdoes? WHO doesn’t like new things?!?)
  • Books - bibliophobia. (My guess is none of them will be reading this blog.)
  • Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth – arachibutyrophobia. (I’ve no comment for this; what could I possibly say? This phobia writes its own joke LOL.)
  • Air - anemophobia. (This doesn’t even make sense. You can’t live without air!!! Or is it that they are scared they’ll run out of air to breathe?)
  • Bathing - ablutophobia. (Anyone that suffers from this, please keep your distance. UGHH.)
  • Body odors - osmophobia or osphresiophobia. (I’m in this list LOL.)
  • Water - hydrophobia. (I’m guessing the ones with ablutophobia also suffer from this. Oh, and BTW, what do they drink when they are thirsty? Vodka?)
Okay, I’m sorry, these phobias are just stupid! I mean, who the hell in their right mind would NOT fear these things?
  • Beaten by a rod or instrument of punishment - rhabdophobia.
  • Burglars, or being harmed by wicked persons - scelerophobia.
  • Buried alive, being or cemeteries - taphephobia or taphophobia.
  • Choking or being smothered - pnigophobia or pnigerophobia.
  • Rape - virginitiphobia.
Weirdos...
  • Erect penis - medorthophobia. (Bawdy Babe, is that you?)
  • Female genitalia - eurotophobia.
  • Girls, young or virgins - parthenophobia.
  • Love, sexual love - erotophobia.
  • Love play - malaxophobia or sarmassophobia. (Er, does this mean foreplay? Because if it does, I’m thinking most men are malaxophobics LOL.)
  • Love, falling or being in - philophobia.
  • Pleasure, feeling - hedonophobia. (Apparently, these people will enjoy the phobias from the last category.)
I would like to know what the childhood of people that fear puppets was like. Though not one to talk, have irrational fear of clowns, but at least I’ve the excuse of that Killer Clowns From Outer Space movie.
  • Puppets - pupaphobia.
  • Clowns - coulrophobia.
But, as always, the wonderful David Sedaris* said it best:


The New York Times puzzle is printed in the International Herald Tribune, a paper sold at just about any Paris newsstand. I was recently attempting to finish a Wednesday and, stumped over 21 down, “A friend of Job,” I turned to something called The Order of Things. It’s a reference book given to me by my sister Amy, and it’s full of useful information. While thumbing toward the Bible section, I came across a list of phobias arranged into various classifications. I found myself delighted by genuphobia (the fear of knees), pogonophobia (fear of beards), and keraunothnetophobia (the nineteen-letter word used to identify those who fear the fall of man-made satellites). Reading over the lists, I found myself trying to imagine the support groups for those struggling to overcome their fears of rust or teeth, heredity or string. There would definitely be daytime meetings for the achluophobics (who fear nightfall), and evening get-togethers for the daylight-fearing phengophobics. Those who fear crowds would have to meet one-on-one, and those who fear psychiatry would be forced to find comfort in untrained friends and family members.

The long list of situational phobias includes the fears of being bound, beaten, locked into an enclosed area, and smeared with human waste. Their inclusion mystifies me, as it suggests that these fears might be considered in any way unreasonable. I asked myself, Who wants to be handcuffed and covered in human feces? And then, without even opening my address book, I thought of three people right off the bat. This frightened me, but apparently it’s my own private phobia. I found no listing for those who fear they know too many masochists. Neither did I find an entry for those who fear the terrible truth that their self-worth is based entirely on the completion of a daily crossword puzzle. Because I can’t seem to find it anywhere, I’m guaranteed that such a word actually exists. It will undoubtedly pop up in some future puzzle, the clue being “You, honestly.”


*Excerpt of Me Talk Pretty One Day.

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2 comment(s):

Anonymous Ann said...

Very interesting! Who knew there were actually names for these phobias and who knew some actually existed? I certainly have my own fears.
As for the arachibutyrophobia, it sounds like something a dog would have.
Thanks for the article.

1/30/2006 11:45:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I don't really call it a phobia but I don't like to be touched. Well, by my man, that is fine ;) (and often).

Some people I don't mind giving hugs to, like my bestfriend, most family members and... well, that's about it. I don't hug my friends; that to me is not necessary. What's with the need to reach out and grab someone's arm or shoulder when you talk to them?

The worst of my "issue" is when I am in church, yes, church. I'm Catholic and if you are to, you know about offering a sign of peace. For the non-Catholics, at the end of Mass, you offer a sign of peace to the people around you by shaking their hands and saying "May peace be with you." I purposely sit by no one so I don't have to shake hands. I'll nod and smile to people but I don't want to touch them. (Same as saying the Our Father and holding hands, mine go right into my pockets.)

Sometimes touching gets me really worked up, for example, when I was going through the process of becoming Catholic, there were a lot of ceremonies I had to go through. One in particular involved my Godmother to make the sign of the cross on my feet, hands, eyes, mouth and forehead. I called my boyfriend, after the bitch Catholic teacher said "Oh, it's only a little touching", and I was freaking out and crying hysterically (I don’t cry for anything, not even death, it’s not my thing to cry) and wanted to drop out of the classes and not get baptized. What was the big deal? I don't know, I just got a huge anxiety and freaked but when it was all over, I was fine and mad at myself for getting so upset over nothing.

I was really pissed, though, when the bitch teacher said it was only a little touching and it was nothing to worry about. I explained to her I had a phobia, this isn’t something I like to get worked up about but apparently she thought it was stupid and not worth giving a second thought about. I was so irate that my feeling were blown off so lightly that I told her would she be ok with my hitting her with a plastic waffle ball bat because it was just a thin plastic bat, not like it was an aluminum or wood bat, no big deal, right? Strangely I dealt with just my priest after that…

12/11/2006 01:32:00 PM