The word phobia comes from the Greek word phobos meaning “fear”. Scientists have defined phobias as the abnormal and persistent fear of something. Many sufferers have panic attacks, experience shortness of breath, or take great measures to avoid triggering situations. Although we all have heard of basic phobias like hydrophobia (fear of water) and Acrophobia (fear of heights), we all have some unexplained and weird fears, too. Here are 10 of these spine-chilling phobias that are too crazy to be true.
1. Trypophobia is a phobia of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps.
The word is from the Greek word trýpa, meaning holes. Although Trypophobia is not a diagnosis in the diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association, thousands of people claim to have trypophobia on the internet. According to researchers, most people writing online are likely disgusted by these types of images without meeting criteria for a real phobia. However, these images do send shudders down my spine! (source)
2. Dysmorphophobia or Body dysmorphic disorder(BDD) is a phobia that makes one think that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.
This phobia is not only a great fear but a legitimate mental disorder that comes under the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. In BDD, the flaw is usually imagined. However, if the flaw is actual, its importance is severely exaggerated. Either way, one’s thoughts about it are pervasive and intrusive, occupying up to several hours a day. Moreover, this disorder is severely underdiagnosed due to the tendency of the patient to have a fear of vanity. Thus, many people end up suicidal due to this. (source)
3. Irrational fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
This word is derived from Ancient Greek roots hexakósioi, “six hundred”, hexékonta, “sixty”, and héx, “six”; literally meaning “fear of six hundred sixty-six”. The fear’s origin comes from superstition about 666 being the number of the beast. This is stated in several holy books including the bible. Moreover, there have been various instances with people refusing to have their house number as 666 or give birth to their child on 6/6/06.(source)
4. Neophobia, the fear of anything new, is especially a persistent and abnormal fear.
The word neophobia comes from the Greek neos, meaning “new, young”. This phobia manifests an unwillingness to try new things or stray from daily routine in a persistent manner. As mildly normal this may sound, people suffering from Neophobia tend to live their life in an abnormal fear. Moreover, the slightest of change in the routine leads to the abnormal fear. Neophobia is very common in children and animals. (source)
5. Pogonophobia is the fear of beards.
The term pogonophobia is derived from the Greek words pogon for the beard. This is the most commonly found in the young boys about to hit puberty. Furthermore, many political leaders believed that beards were suspicious, and there was discrimination against facial hair. Thus, this leads to a greater fear of beards. Another contributing factor is the religious influence. Several religions have different opinions about beards. Some require shaving whereas some forbid shaving. Hence, this strict treatment on beards has lead to greater fear of beards. (source)
6. Pupaphobia is the fear of puppets and marionettes.
The term pupaphobia derives from the Latin word pupa, meaning “doll”. Almost all cases of pupaphobia are found to originate from childhood because puppets are mainly directed at children. Sufferers would believe that puppets are real animated objects just like living things, even though they’re not real. In fact, one of the causes includes terrible nightmares about killer puppets. Furthermore, sufferers would panic and hide when seeing a puppet and would avoid watching shows where puppets are used. Sufferers may also feel the sense of “doom” or experience a sudden decrease in their body heat. Also, physically, sufferers may feel dizzy and/or faint. (source)
7. Radiophobia is an obsessive fear of ionizing radiation, in particular, fear of X-rays.
Radiophobia occurs due to lack of understanding or poor information about radiations. Although radiation-induced diseases are possible, radiophobia is a consequence of traumatic experience. Hence, this may cause unnecessary or even irrational fear. Many people were found to have an unreasoning terror of radiations after some nuclear fallout. (source)
8. Spectrophobia is a kind of specific phobia involving a morbid fear of mirrors.
The word comes from the Latin word spectrum meaning an appearance, form, or image of a thing. More often than not, people suffering from Spectrophobia have been traumatized in an event where they believe they saw a ghost. This could also be caused my horror movies including such spectacles. Moreover, this fear could be the result of a trauma involving mirrors. It could also be the result of the person’s superstitious fear of being watched through the mirror. Consequently, the fears involved are superstitious beliefs of bad luck coming from broken mirrors, something jumping out of the mirror, or being pulled into the mirror. Even so, aren’t we all scared of these things? (source)
9. Chromophobia is a persistent, irrational fear of, or aversion to, colors and is usually a conditioned response.
Although actual clinical phobias to color are rare, colors can elicit hormonal responses and psychological reactions. Many animals are found to have a great fear of colors. Additionally, names that mean fear of specific colors such as erythrophobia for the fear of red and leukophobia for the fear of white exist. Also, the fear of the color red may be associated with a fear of blood. (source)
10. Ablutophobia is the persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning.
Ablutophobia comes from the Latin word ablutere which means “to wash off”. Although this phobia is a situation-specific phobia, it is found to be common in women and children. Additionally, the symptoms of Ablutophobia include panic, shortness of breath, and taking extreme measures to avoid these situations. As many nations focus on hygiene, feelings of shame are not uncommon either. (source)