July 9, 2009
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, upwards of 18 percent of Americans suffer from phobias. A phobia (from the Greek “phobos,” meaning “to fear”) is an intense and irrational fear of a situation or thing. There are hundreds of identified phobias out there, but these few are sure to send shivers down your spine:
Astraphobia: fear of thunder and lightning
(from the Greek “astrap,” meaning “lightning”)
My dog, Riley, has debilitating astraphobia. Poor girl, she pants, shakes, and hides in the closet when a storm rolls in.
Xenophobia: fear of foreigners or strangers
(from the Greek “xenos,” meaning “foreigner”)
Paraskavedekatriaphobia: fear of Friday the 13th
I covered this one in a previous post on Friday the 13th.
Ichthyophobia: fear of fish
(from the Greek “ichthys,” meaning “fish”)
I have a mild case of this phobia, thanks to my older sister, who dumped me in a school of fish in a pond while camping when we were young.
Somniphobia: fear of sleep
(from the Latin “somnus,” meaning “sleep”)
Nomophobia: fear of being out of mobile phone contact
(an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone”)
A British study found that nearly 53 percent of mobile phone users become anxious when they are out of contact. Seriously?!?
Phasmophobia: fear of ghosts
(from the Greek “phasma,” meaning “apparition”)
Ornithophobia: fear of birds
(from the Greek “ornis,” meaning “bird”)
Just ask Tippi Hedren about this one …
Ephebiphobia: fear of youth
(from the Greek “ephebos,” meaning “adolescent”)
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia: fear of the number 666 (Satan’s number)
(from the Greek “hex,” meaning “six”)
Personally, I have a fear of pronouncing this word!
So, what are you afraid of?