4 Types of Specific Phobias That Will Amaze You
“When you explore your fears, then you set yourself free.”― Stephen Richards
While most of you might have heard of common phobias, such as fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of darkness (nyctophobia), and fear of needles (trypanophobia), there are many more interesting and shocking specific phobias you may have never heard of.
What is a phobia?
It’s an excessive and unreasonably fearful reaction, usually out of proportion to an actual threat. When confronted with an object concerning your phobia, you feel frightened or panicked. In contrast to other forms of anxiety, a phobia is associated with a particular fear. It can be a specific place, action, circumstance, or thing.
Around 9.1 percent of the US adult population, which accounts for 19 million people, face at least one specific phobia in a year, and most of the people deal with more than one phobia in their lifetime. According to the stats, women have approximately double the cases of specific phobias than men.
Here is a list of 4 strange and less talked about phobias that you may not have heard of:
1. Nomophobia (Fear of Losing Phone)
The fretfulness of losing your cell phone is known as Nomophobia. If you’ve got Nomophobia, it means that you worry excessively about not being able to get hold of your phone due to low battery or other connectivity interruptions. Regardless of the conditions, people with Nomophobia get scared and experience significant anxiety symptoms when they are unable to use their phones.
One of the leading causes for Nomophobia is obsessive phone addiction – compulsively checking your phones throughout the day, fearing that you might miss out on important calls from loved ones, a notification, or a YouTube video update. Some of the symptoms of Nomophobia include trembling, anxiety, agitation, and perspiration. While Nomophobia is considered an uncommon phobia, phone addiction is way more common.
2. Chaetophobia (Fear of Hair)
An extreme, irrational fear of hair is called Chaetophobia. Approximately one percent of the population encounters this fear in their lifetime, and it mostly happens to those obsessed with cleanliness. Chaetophobic people are afraid of their own hair, other hairy people, and even animal hair. They tend to avoid people with curly, afro style, thick hair, get scared of a hairball on the ground, and have a hard time combing their hair.
As with other phobias, this could result from genetics or a negative past experience with hair or hairy person, including painful hair pull, baldness, or losing a lot of hair. At the tiniest hint of hair, some phobics suffer a full-blown panic attack and believe that they will be hurt by it. Many people understand their phobias are unrealistic, but they cannot handle them. Trichophobia and trichopathophobia are two similar phobias; those who have Trichophobia fear hair strands on their clothing or possessions, whereas trichopathophobia is the fear of hair diseases, such as baldness or a shift in hair color.
3. Ergophobia (Fear of Work)
Ergophobia is a fear of working, workplace environment, or work-related situations, such as maintaining social relationships, achieving tasks, or presenting in meetings. Work phobia can lead to anxiety episodes, hindering a person’s professional abilities.
Ergophobia may be a result of occupational exhaustion, in which you feel that you can no longer perform your work or achieve the desired outcome. If you’ve had an unpleasant boss or a lack of work-life balance, you may be more likely to suffer from burnout.
The symptoms can include sweating, racing heart, dry mouth, difficulty staying at the job, disengagement from the workplace, inability to meet deadlines, panic attacks, and feeling suffocated in the workplace environment.
4. Deipnophobia (Fear of Dinning in Public)
Deipnophobia is the fear of dining in a group setting or having those long dinner discussions. Many people with this phobia tend to avoid professional and casual dinner parties because they don’t want to engage in any conversations while eating. If you fear socialization, have trouble opening up, making friends, or are an introvert, you’re vulnerable to Deipnophobia. Symptoms of this fear can be a fast heartbeat, migraine, full-blown panic attacks, avoiding dinners, extreme anxiety on getting exposed to a dinner conversation.
Why does this develop?
Bullying experienced at the eating table or past negative associations with food can trigger these symptoms. Phobics fear that if they dine in public, people may judge them. Therefore, they prefer to eat alone or in quiet dining with others. To overcome Deipnophobia, it’s essential to be aware of its consequences and avoid doing things because of discomfort. Learn to fight your anxiety, improve your self-esteem and try therapy. If you don’t want something in-person, you can always try helpful online resources and tools.
The Bottom Line
Phobias are common; however, the extent of a phobia and the coping strategy for every individual may be different. Some live with their phobias, some try therapies, some struggle not knowing what to do, and others turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their condition.
At Houston OCD Counseling, we’ve experts who provide comprehensive treatment plans and therapies that can help you gain control of your actions and thoughts. We can help you learn how to find relief in stressful situations, manage your anxiety, depression, and build the confidence you want. Get in touch with us today!