Anxiety, in past years, contributed to my unhappiness and depression. The more anxious I was, the more unhappy I was. And getting rid of anxiety is difficult for many people, not just me. As I studied various techniques on how to become happier and less anxiety-ridden, I came across Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies by Dr. Charles Elliott and Dr. Laura Smith.
One of many subjects written about in this book is phobias. I suffered from many phobias in the past, including fear of insects, flying and drowning. And being afraid of those things, made me afraid. And being afraid made me even more afraid. Which, I have now learned, is called phobophobia (to be afraid of fear). As someone interested in phobias and able to tame many of my fears, I wanted to know how one acquires fears and how one can rid themselves of them (if at all possible).
Phobias, according to Elliott and Smith: are excessive, disproportionate fears of a relatively harmless situation or thing. Sometimes, the phobia poses some risk, but the person’s reaction clearly exceeds the danger.
The top ten phobias named by Elliot and Smith are:
9. being alone at night
8. thunder and lightning
7. spiders and insects
6. being trapped in small spaces
4. rodents (animals: Zoophobia)
3. heights (Acrophobia)
2. giving a speech
1. SNAKES!! (Ophidiophobia)
You’re most likely familiar with most or all of those above. But how ‘bout these?
• Eisoptrophia (fear of mirrors)
• Lachanophobia (fear of vegetables)
• Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13)
• Psychophobia (fear of the mind)
• Tapinophobia (fear of small things)
• Gerascophobia (fear of growing old)
• Atelophobia (fear of imperfection)
Okay, maybe I still have a small case of Atelophobia! But who doesn’t, right? It was my intention to end this blog by including an actual number of existing phobias one could suffer from. You know… something like “178,348 known phobias exist today”. And I did, in fact, find a list on the internet, but it would’ve taken forever to count all of them. The list of phobia’s starting with the letter A alone was several pages long. It was then, that I realized, the number of possible phobias is infinitesimal, infinite and never-ending. One could be afraid of paper or computers, or sticky notes and white out, or roses or fragrant smells. The list goes on, there’s no way to count.
This blog, has no hidden meaning or messages. No profound thought at the end. It is merely something which might interest you. Or maybe not…if you have centophobia! (fear of learning new things)