A phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of something. To the sufferer, the thing in question can be downright frightening and life altering. But, to an observer the irrationality, and sometimes absurdity, of the fear can be quite hilarious. I say, sometimes, because there are many phobias that we dare not make a jest of.
Arachnophobia, for example, is no laughing matter. Surely we can all empathize with someone having an irrational fear of those web weaving, hairy legged creepy crawlies. But, who can resist a snigger when hearing about a fear of bald people, or the dread of erections?
If you find yourself laughing at some of the following strange phobias, know that you are not alone. Do spare a thought for the poor people who suffer from these fears, though.
Phobophobia – (a fear of phobias)
With all this talk of phobias, there is no wonder that some people developed a fear of phobias. Phobophobia is often linked to the fear of getting sick (Nosophobia), and sufferers live in a constant state of anxiety over the possibility of developing symptoms associated with a phobia.
Suffice to say, if you do suffer from this phobia, it is probably best not to read any further.
Nomophobia – (Fear of being without your mobile phone)
Around five years ago, researchers discovered a new phenomenon; lots of people suffering from anxiety and irrational fears of being without their mobile phones. They named this phobia Nomophobia, and it is a huge problem. Suffers worry about forgetting their phones at home, running out of battery, and not having any network coverage, amongst a host of other worries.
It is a hugely common fear. More than half the UK and USA population are said to suffer from nomophobia. Chances are you are, reading this will cause you to experience a few pangs of anxiety.
Ephebiphobia – (fear of youths)
Like an army of zombie youths, the millennial are taking over with their baggy jeans and unconventional haircut is something you might say if you suffer from Ephebiphobia, the fear of youths.
This is, of course, nothing new. Every generation has looked upon the youth as inferior lay bouts who will ultimately destroy society. Even Plato, way back in the fourth BC had reservations about the youth of the time.
So, spare a thought for your poor grandfather who complains incessantly about young people and their lack of discipline. He is probably suffering from a severe case of ephebiphobia.
Deipnophobia – (fear of dinner parties)
Dinner parties can be awkward affairs for most of us. But, for people suffering from deipnophobia the thought of sitting around for a few hours eating and chatting can be absolutely terrifying. It’s not so much the eating and drinking part of this social event that strikes fear in deipnophobes; it is the thought of having conversations with people at the party.
A previous dinner party embarrassment or being scolded as a child for talking while eating could be the trigger that ruined the potential for enjoying dinner parties.
Genuphobia – (fear of knees)
To many people, knees are pretty insignificant. Sure they help keep your shins attached to your thighs, but so long as the knees are doing their job we have no reason to pay much attention to them. Not so if you are suffering from genuphobia, a fear of knees.
To some, knees are extraordinarily unattractive, and the mere sight of a pair will bring about feelings of severe disgust. Others may have suffered some form of trauma and seeing those knobbly offenders triggers a mental reaction. Whatever the reason, summertime must be an absolute nightmare for genuphobes.
Francophobia – (fear of France)
We might all be a little guilty of “French-bashing” from time to time. The stereotypes are rife, and if they are to be believed, French people are rude, garlic smelling, snail eaters. No wonder some people end up having a phobia of France!
Francophobes fear or dislike everything about this country; their culture, their politics, and even their fries. People suffering from francophobia are unlikely ever to visit the country or speak to a French person to find out the reality of France.
Euphobia – (fear of good news)
There is a popular saying that goes “no news is good news”. Well, this is bad news if you suffer from euphobia because you hate good news. While most of us would rather hear good news all the time, a euphobia sufferer would get heart palpitations and high blood pressure at the mere whiff of some positive news.
It might have arisen from being previously let down after hearing some good news, or the suffer might be predisposed to thrive on the negative aspects of life. Regardless, euphobes tend to hang out with other euphobes to avoid any good news coming their way. One can only imagine the conversations that happen in those groups.
Ithyphallophobia – (a fear of erections)
And finally, the hardest of all phobias. If you are male, and your date tells you that she suffers from ithyphallophobia, just know that getting intimate will be a BIG problem. It means that the person has a fear of erect penises. Ithyphallophobes can’t bear thinking about, seeing, or even having an erect member this can be particularly problematic if you are a male sufferer.
This is a surprisingly common phobia and, as with most of the phobias listed here, causes numerous people needless distress. If you know someone that suffers from any of these phobias laugh in private, but keep in mind that these are really serious issues for the person having to live with them.