Fear can be a powerful emotion, but when it comes to phobias, some people’s fears take an unusual turn. In this fascinating article, we’ll explore 10 of the most bizarre phobias known to humankind. From the fear of work (Ergophobia) to the fear of something as innocuous as the color yellow, these strange phobias are bound to pique your curiosity. So, grab your favorite comfort item, take a deep breath, and join us as we venture into the peculiar world of these outlandishly bizarre phobias!
10 – Ephebiphobia – fear of youth
Although it might be hard to believe sometimes, each and every one of us has been youthful at some point of our lives! That’s what makes a fear of youth all the more unusual. It is thought to be caused by the media’s negative portrayal of teenagers and young people, leading to older generations feeling fearful around them. If you’re suffering from this, don’t worry. Not all youths are bad eggs!
09 – Optophobia – fear of opening your eyes
Blinking – which is effectively opening and closing your eyes – is a reflex which the body does involuntarily. For people who suffer from optophobia, it must be torturous. It can be triggered by witnessing a traumatic event, seeing something upsetting, or just anything which isn’t pleasant to look at. It’s very humbling how something that most of us take for granted can cause other people so much distress.
08 – Ergophobia – fear of work
Although this is a real phobia, your boss isn’t likely to believe you’re a sufferer if you try to use it to skip work. Ergophobia isn’t always just related to work itself or finding a job – it can cover a whole range of things such as the fear of failure and social anxiety, as well.
07 – Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – fear of long words
It’s ironic that the term for the fear of long words contains so many letters itself – you would have thought that this would exascerbate the fear! Quite frankly, looking at the name for this phobia is quite intimidating, so it’s no surprise that some people can build up a fear of long words. Your guess is as good as mine on how to pronounce it!
06 – Heliphobia – fear of the sun
It’s well known that the sun has so many beneficial properties for our skin, health and overall happiness. Sadly, some people experience problems after not having enough exposure to the sun; sometimes this is caused by a fear of the sun itself. When so much importance is placed on summertime and enjoying nice weather outdoors, it must be terribly frustrating not being able to join in.
05 – Geniophobia – fear of chins
This is a rather unfortunate phobia, as we all have a chin. There’s just no escaping it, which means there’s little relief. That said, it’s not uncommon to have a fear of a body part – knees, elbows, belly buttons and hands are all common causes of phobias. The good news is that there is treatment, as a fear of chins can make interacting with people very difficult.
04 – Xanthophobia – fear of the colour yellow
The colour yellow is all around us, from ‘discount’ labels at supermarkets to flowers to the sun itself. All these things can cause extreme anxiety for sufferers of xanthophobia, as can anything which is yellow. Fears of other colours are also possible (in fact, chromatophobia is the fear of colours generally), but for some reason yellow seems to cause more fear than others.
03 – Uranophobia – fear of heaven
For many people, heaven is something to look forward to, like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. However, for others, it’s the complete opposite. Uranophobia can also be linked to other fears related to dying and life after death – more specifically, being judged after death.
02 – Deipnophobia – fear of conversation during meals
Do you know anyone who isn’t very talkative when they eat? You might not have considered that they’re not just engrossed in their food: they could be suffering from an intense fear of speaking during mealtimes. Rather than feel awkward if you find yourself at a meal with someone with this phobia, make the most of it! It gives you an opportunity to tuck into your meal and enjoy it uninterrupted.
01 – Pentheraphobia – fear of your mother-in-law
I’m sure everyone has suffered from a fear of their mother-in-law at some point. Sufferers will do anything they can to avoid their spouses’ mothers! Joking aside, this is a serious phobia; there are several others relating to step-parents or other in-laws, as well. It’s usually linked to having experienced a trauma, which possible makes it one of the saddest phobias of all.
We’ve delved into the peculiar world of bizarre phobias, shedding light on 10 of the strangest fears that people experience. It’s amazing to see how the human mind can manifest such unique and unexpected anxieties. While some of these phobias may seem laughable, it’s essential to remember that they are very real to those who suffer from them. So, the next time you come across someone with an unusual fear, show empathy and understanding, because everyone’s battle with anxiety is different.
Q: What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?
A: A fear is a normal, rational response to a perceived threat, while a phobia is an irrational, intense, and persistent fear of a specific object or situation.
Q: What are the common symptoms of phobias?
A: Symptoms of phobias can include intense fear or anxiety, sweating, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling. Also avoidance of the feared object or situation.
Q: Can phobias be treated?
A: Yes, phobias can be treated through various methods, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and medication.
Q: What is Ergophobia?
A: Ergophobia is the irrational and persistent fear of work or the workplace. It is often accompanied by the fear of failure or criticism.