Phobias come in all ‘shapes and sizes’, quite literally, as the definition for a phobia is ‘an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.’ So with this in mind, an extreme, or irrational fear can be attributed to a number of fears and phobias, that seem relatively normal, or normalised according to traditional psychological perceptions phobias. But there are many more phobias that aren’t necessarily deemed ‘normal’, and so these are termed as unusual phobias, that are therefore not always named due to their rarity and the low numbers of people suffering from them.
So here are 10 of the most unusual phobias:
Turophobia – Who doesn’t love cheese? Well, apparently quite a lot of people, as there is an official name for the phobia of anything cheesy. Sufferers usually associate this phobia with a traumatic memory, and even have to run away from the sight of a mozzarella stick or baked Camembert. Those afraid of cheese may dislike one particular type, whilst others hate it entirely.
Coulrophobia – this phobia is to do with a fear of clowns. It is actually one of the most common phobias and is among younger children more predominantly. The person of a clown as being ‘scary’, is used in popular culture, such as the Joker in the Batman movies, played by Heath Ledger. Coulrophobia can be a really difficuly phobia for sufferers due to its existence in modern day life, and even the likes of Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp are afraid of clowns.
Nomophobia – this is to do with having a fear of not being able to use their mobile phones. This has really transformed the 21st century, with everyone possessing a phone, and with the introduction of 4G, a faster and guaranteed service, this has been dubbed a ‘new’ phobia. This phobia was coined five years ago when researchers found it to be a real issue among sufferers. More than half of people in the UK suffer with this particular phobia, with a particular emphasis on losing signal, or running out of battery. It even goes as far as not knowing where their phone is.
Omphalaphobia – fear of belly buttons. This entails being afraid of anything to do with their belly button, whether it be touched, or to touch someone else’s. Other sufferers also fear the sight of a belly button, and psychologists have claimed this may be in part to do with the umbilical cord and of the mother’s womb when pregnant.
Somniphobia – This irrational phobia is quite common among adults in the UK, and it is a fear of falling asleep. This comprises of an irrational fear of excessively sleeping – they fear going to sleep, with the idea of dying. It also relates to not having full control of your movements during the night, and suffering from nightmares that may be ongoing. This phobia also strikes a fear with losing time, when sleeping and can affect anyone.
Triskaidekaphobia – It is incredibly long to pronounce, but the fear of the number 13 is a real thing. The number 13 is closely related to the fear of Friday 13 and so superstitious sufferers with this phobia will take care to ensure they avoid anything to do with the number. This can be anything from avoiding leaving the house on Friday 13 to a packet of sweets that amounts to 13.
Xanthophobia – Unfortunately, a fear of the colour yellow does exist, and it comes from anything to do with the colour – whether it be daffodils in the spring time, or a yellow painted house. Some sufferers will take this even further, and not even sounds the word, or use it in a phrase.
Trypophobia – This is not considered an ‘official phobia’, as of yet, however this fear is to do with fearing anything with small holes in it. Honeycomb, wash sponges, plants, hairbrushes etc all have small holes and this can be associated with something ‘dangerous’. The symptoms of this phobia can cause sufferers to have nausea and itchy skin, as well as panic attacks.
Pogonophobia – beards are on the rise, but the name of this phobia, is to do with someone fearing a beard. It has been used since the 1850’s to describe this strong fear.
Ombrophobia – fear of rain. Ombrophobes have an abnormal and irrational fear of rain and is known to cause panic attacks and anxiety among those who suffer from this phobia. Research has identified a number of triggers, such as preventing children they can’t go outside in the rain as it will make them ill, or they can’t play. It also has an emotional association, due to its dreary nature, causing depression.
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