Phobia is the persistent and irrational fear of or aversion to something. It’s common to hear about people having a fear of heights or darkness, but the fear of pickles or laughter is uncommon or unusual.
Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder and is classified as one when someone has a lasting and intense fear. The person having it would find it excessive and irrational. And it’s instinctive to have a phobia of something and can sometimes even be due to genetics, upbringing, or traumatic experience.
Some have a phobia of spiders, some are scared of darkness, and some are afraid of heights, but all these fears are quite common. These phobias are not usually life-threatening or dangerous, but people do feel nauseated or panicky.
Some people also tend to be affected by a phobia of unusual things like pickles, cotton balls, or belly buttons. So here are some more bizarre phobias that are extremely rare.
You might haven't heard about pickle phobia or a person who is scared of pickles. But yes, it does occur in some people. Though there’s no specific term for fear of pickles as per some sources (and ciaphobia is a general term for a phobia of food), tristadekaphobia is the word for fear of pickles according to some sources.
It may not sound real, but some people are scared of mashed potatoes. A form of extremely rare and bizarre food phobia, potnonomicaphobia is the fear of potato products, especially mashed potatoes. People having this phobia are also scared of having fries and hash browns.
While some people have yellow as their favorite color, some people are scared of anything yellow, such as sun, daffodils, and yellow paint. The most aggressive form of xanthophobia is having a symptom like being overwhelmingly afraid even by hearing the word yellow.
It is one of the strangest and weirdest phobias in the world. You might wonder- what is so scary about Cotton Balls? But this is true as some people do find cotton balls so scary that they can’t even touch them. They also do not like the taste of cotton balls being torn apart.
It usually occurs as a result of a traumatic event in childhood that involved cotton balls. Some people suggest that as cotton balls resemble eggs of lizards, cockroaches & snakes, people develop phobia at a tender age. It thus triggers fear, goosebumps, and sometimes even panic attacks in the child. It can be treated with hypnotic, exposure, and cognitive-behavioral therapies.
It is believed that American singer Michael Jackson had Sidonglobophobia. It is common among the people of the South Pacific islands. Sidonglobophobics also have a fear of plastic foams used to wrap delicate and fragile items.
Gametophobia is a persistent and abnormal fear of being married. These people always want to remain single due to the possible fear of living with another person and the responsibility of raising children or having a family.
The sufferer of geliophobia has a fear of laughter, laughing, and being laughed at by them. Also, people with the condition of incontinence (leaking) may have a fear of laughing. Such people feel anxious even at the thought of laughing and constantly avoid laughing.
A fear of banquets or dinner parties is Deipnophobia, and it can occur with a social anxiety disorder. It makes the deipnophobics feel awkward while talking or dining in public or before strangers.
Geniophobia is the exaggerated fear of chins, and genio is the Greek word for chin or jaw. The people with this phobia are obsessed with other people’s chins, especially those having imperfect chins like double chins.
The overwhelming fear of bathing, washing, and cleaning is known as ablutophobia. These people are also afraid of touching the water. It is more common in children and women than men.
With the right treatment, they can live productive lives, and if left untreated, the people can develop depression, get into isolation, or resort to heavy drug or alcohol abuse.
Omphalophobics have a pathological fear of touching belly buttons or having theirs touched. Also, a panic attack can set in after seeing a picture of the human navel. Such people avoid beaches, swimming pools, and changing rooms.
The above phobias fall under the category of specific phobias. And as the phobias are irrational, the cause is not known. Most of them can be treated through self-help, medications, and certain therapies.
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