TRIVIA: 10 unique and uncommon phobias

By The Signal reporter Stephanie White
A phobia is an irrational or excessive fear. Unlike general anxiety disorders, phobias are specific and cause a sense of dread or panic when the fear is encountered. Phobias are classified into three categories: social, agoraphobia and specific phobias. Here are 10 of the more unique phobias.

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On Nov 4, 2019
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Amaxophobia: Fear of riding in a car 

Amaxophobia is a fear of being a passenger in a car, plane, train or plane. Symptoms of amaxophobia are mild to severe and some people can only travel with a driver they fully trust, while others take familiar routes if they are on a bus. In some of the most severe cases, amaxophobics are unable to travel except by walking.

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter 

Arachibutyrophobia is not the fear of the object, but rather the act of having the peanut butter stuck to the roof of one’s mouth. Like most phobias, this varies on severity based on the individual.

Hippopotmonstrosequipedaliophobia: Fear of Long Words 

Hippopotmonstrosequipedaliophobia comes from the root word “sesquipedalian” which means “long word,” but adding “hippopotamus” and “monsters” makes it seem more intimidating. To add irony nature of the phobia, the word is 35 letters long.

Octophobia: Fear of the figure 8 

 Octophoiba is fear of the number eight, not to be confused with arithmophobia, which is the fear of more than one number. In the U.S., octophobia is not that common being that eight is not usually associated with bad luck or other superstitions.

Tachophobia: Fear of speed 

Tachophobia is the fear of speed or going too fast. This can include driving or walking. In more extreme cases, this could be eating or talking too fast even. Tachophobia originates from the Greek word “tachos” meaning speed and “phobos,” which means fear, deep dread or aversion. Tachophobia usually stems from a negative experience from a past experience where someone was hurt from some kind of speed.

Nomophobia: Fear of being without mobile phone coverage

Entering the more modern era, nomophobia is the fear of being without a mobile phone or the phone running out of battery. Nomophobia is a portmanteau made up of the terms “no”+”mobile”+”phone”+”phobia” and was created by YouGov, a research organization based in the UK. Researchers at YouGov reported that 53% of mobile users felt anxious when they were unable to use their phones. 

Omphalophobia: Fear of the navel

Omphalophobia is a rare and often undocumented phobia. Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. “Omphalo” meaning navel in Greek and “phobos” meaning fear or dread. Someone with omphalophobia is afraid of their belly button, someone else’s or someone touching theirs.

Didaskaleinophobia: Fear of going to school

Didaskaleinophobia or “school phobia” is a fear of going to school because of separation anxiety or bullying. This is common in younger students aged 7-12.

Selenophobia: Fear of the moon

Selenophobia is fear of the moon or moonlight. This can be traced to superstitions of full moons, including the lores of werewolves and other supernatural elements.

Optophobia: Fear of opening one’s eyes 

 Optophobia is the fear of opening one’s eyes. Those with optophobia struggle to perform everyday activities without opening their eyes and prefer to stay indoors or in dimly lit areas. Optophobia is associated with general anxiety disorder and stems from a traumatic incident.

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