Are you afraid of the dark, heights or small spaces? Do you get anxious in social situations? Perhaps you fear spiders, snakes, or other creepy creatures, or maybe even creepy clowns. Whatever your phobia, it's most likely a common one and many people probably share in your dread of a particular menace. There are a few phobias however that are uncommon, and some people might even go so far as to say they’re quite strange.
Ten Strange Phobias
Bathing – Ablutophobia: A fear of bathing
Although this person would probably do well on a reality show like 'Survivor,' the fear to bathe or wash wouldn't be helpful in many other situations. Ablutophobia is most prevalent in women and children and could be the result of a traumatic experience or event from the past, such as someone who almost drowned while bathing in a bathtub. Common symptoms include anxiety, dizziness, and breathlessness. This phobia is quite rare and there are a number of treatment options available.
Beautiful Women – Venustraphobia: A fear of beautiful women
A person suffering from Venustraphobia should not seek employment with the company "Victoria's Secret." This fear could be the result of psychological trauma associated with a beautiful woman or women during childhood and the symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat and/or trembling and gasping for breath when adjacent to a beautiful woman. Another factor thought to contribute or even cause Venustraphobia is a poor self image. People who believe they are unattractive, possibly ugly, may be terrified to be around beautiful women.
Children – Pedophobia: A fear of children
People suffering from Pedophobia should stay clear of amusement parks and parks in general.
This fear of children is related to another phobia, "Parthenophobia," the fear of virgins or young girls. As with most phobias, it can usually be traced back to a specific event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Symptoms may include extreme anxiety, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating or excessive sweating, rapid breathing, nausea, dry mouth, and possible inability to articulate words or sentences.
Church – Ecclesiophobia: A fear of church
I wonder if atheists suffer from this fear.
People suffering from ecclesiophobia have an intense fear of church or other things which pose little or no actual danger. The symptoms may include anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming angry or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or an anxiety attack.
Dancing – Chorophobia: A fear of dancing
A person with this fear probably dislikes movies like "Saturday Night Fever," or television programs such as "Dancing with the Stars."
Chorophobia can be defined as an irrational fear of, or an aversion to dancing which may be due to a person's tendency to become aroused or excited. People suffering from this phobia may also fear events, situations, or even persons that symbolize dancing in any type of form. It is often associated with other fears, such as the fear of embarrassment (social phobia), or the fear of crowds. Chorophobia is most generally caused by some type of negative influence regarding dancing, either through the media, a childhood or family experience(s), dreams, books, or other events. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sweating, irregular heartbeat, nausea, panic, and avoidance of places where dancing would take place.
Flowers – Anthrophobia: A fear of flowers
Do not be offended if your friend fails to attend your garden wedding, he or she may be suffering from Anthrophobia.
As is the case with phobias, the general consensus is that the phobia stems from a traumatic event or events, or a combination of external traumatic events and an internal predisposition, either genetic or hereditary to the specific phobia. Symptoms vary by person and may include extreme anxiety, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, the inability to articulate words or sentences, and shaking.
Knees – Genuphobia: A fear of knees
Saying "You’re the bee's knees!" to a person with genuphobia (although this complement has nothing to do with knees), may remind them of the part of the body they fear most.
Genuphobia is an overwhelming and irrational fear of knees. A person may fear their own knees and/or fear seeing other people's knees. Once again, as is the general rule of thumb with phobias, the person has had some type of traumatic event sometime in their lives that he or she associates with knees. Generally, a person with genuphobia finds the sight of their own and other people's knees repulsive. Symptoms of this phobia can vary, some people may feel slightly uncomfortable while others may experience an anxiety or a panic attack at the sight of knees. Other symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness, numbness, hyperventilation, muscle tension, dry mouth, a feeling of being trapped and unable to escape, and an intense feeling of impending disaster.
Reflections/Ghosts – Spectrophobia: A Fear of One’s Own Reflection/Ghosts
"Mirror, mirror on the wall . . ." oh wait, a person with spectrophobia would have a fear of seeing their reflection in a mirror!
The individual suffering from spectrophobia has a morbid fear of mirrors and seeing their own reflection. There is also another component to this phobia, the person subconsciously has associated an illogical idea of ghosts to all of their negative emotions.
A person experiencing this fear may believe that ghosts or powerful black magic phantoms are very much real and can steal their souls and even their lives.
The cause could be from a traumatic experience involving something extremely frightening such as a terrifying movie, book, or experience (perhaps on Halloween). The intense fright could also come from listening to others describe, in a emotional or negative way, frightening experiences which the person then begins to imitate.
Symptoms may include being uncomfortable, panting or gasping for breath, racing heart, dry mouth, an overwhelming fear and anticipating disaster.
Sun Exposure – Heliophobia: A fear of the sun or exposure to the sun
The person with heliophobia is probably a big fan of tanning beds and sprays!
This phobia consists of an overwhelming fear of the sun or exposure to the sun, and the individual may also be fearful of any bright light. The person suffering from Heliophobia has most likely suffered a trauma at some point in time and that experience is then automatically and consistently associated with the sun. This person may have an intense fear of skin cancer, they may have experienced a severe sunburn in the past, or perhaps the person watched the negative and fearful reactions of others when confronted with exposure to the sun. Symptoms may include feeling slightly uncomfortable, nauseated, dry mouth, heart palpitations, problems breathing, hyperventilation, numbness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, trembling, feeling trapped and unable to escape, or even crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks.
Teenagers or Young People – Ephebiphobia: A fear of teenagers or young people
If you have a fear of The Teen Choice Awards or a Justin Bieber concert, you may be suffering from Ephebiphobia.
The fear of young people or teenagers is very real to some people and it is considered to be a social phobia. Symptoms typically include anxiety, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea, excessive sweating and an inability to articulate words or sentences.
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