Don’ t be Afraid to Read This…

fear image 2

If you have “phobophobia”, a fear of fears, don’t read this blog.

Do not pass “Go”.

Do not collect $200.

“Phobia” is an irrational fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm.

It comes from the Greek word “phobos” or “fear of horror”.

With a phobia, you may experience intense fear of a certain object or situation. This mat cause significant distress and potentially interfere with your life at home, work or school.

If you have a phobia, you either avoid the phobic object or situation or endure it with intense fear or anxiety.

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder and more than 30% of us have or will have one or more in our lives.

Women are more likely to have phobias that men and about one in 8 of us have specific phobias.

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatrict Association) list 5 general categories of phobias;

  1. Fears related to animals
  2. Fears related to the natural environment
  3. Fears related to blood, injury or medical issues
  4. Fears related to specific situations
  5. Others

Despite what me might say, I think we like a little fear in our lives.

Otherwise, how would you explain roller coasters, parachute-jumping, Halloween haunted houses or bungee jumping?

We like those fear-based movies, too.

“Cape Fear”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “Primal Fear” and the “Sum of All Fears”.

But just for laughs, I need to include “The Naked Gun 2 1/2; The Smell of Fear” with Leslie Nielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin, the bumbling detective from “Police Story”.

The most common fears are “acrophobia’, the fear of heights.

(Not good for pilots or astronauts.)

“Aerophobia”, the fear of flying.

(See the previous fear.)

“Arachnophobia”, the fear of spiders (and a really ‘creepy’ movie!)

“Astrophobia”, the fear of thunder and lightning.

Our boxer, Bailey” had that and she dealt with it by going into our bedroom when storms came and hiding her head under our bed. Never mind that the rest of her was exposed to the fury of the weather. Out of sight, out of mind, I suspect.

“Autophobia”, the fear of being alone.

(Whew! I thought that might have been for cars! But that’s either “motorphobia” or “ochophobia”.)

“Claustrophobia” or the fear of confined or crowded spaces.

( I used to think that had something to do with jolly Old St. Nikolaus.)

“Hemophobia” is the fear of blood.

“Hydrophobia”, the fear of water.

“Ophidiophopbia”, the fear of snakes.

(Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.)

“Zoophobia” or the fear of animals.

(Is the new “Doolittle” movie really that bad?)

Have you been following the impeachment process?

I wonder if it’s caused a rise in “politicophobia” or the fear of politics?

Perhaps it’s more a fear of boredom, or “thaasophobia”.

Listening to these politicos ramble on and on, might I develop “hippopotomonstroequipedaliophobia” which is the fear of long words?

That might be close on the heals of “coulrophobia” or the fear of clowns and this circus in our nation’s capitol might cause a real epidemic.

Now, as a kid, I may have had a little “arachibutyrophobia” or the fear of peanutbutter stuck to the roof of my mouth.

You see, I used to walk over to our old Burns Street neighbor Harry Wilkinson’s house and ask for some peanut butter crackers. His nickname was “Wilkie” but I called him “Zoosey” and I would say, “Zoosey, ah pea-boh”. He knew that meant little Johnny Foster wanted some soda crackers with peanut butter. He’d give me two or three, I’d wolf them down and then I’d walk back home and tug on my Mom’s apron, expecting her to scrape the cracker-and-Skippy mass off the roof of my  mouth.

My mother would be proud to know that I’ve figured out how to keep the roof of my mouth “Jif-free”.

There are some other strange phobias.

How about “omphalophobia”, the fear of seeing or touching a belly button?

(Does is matter or is it worse if it’s an “innie” or an “outie”?)

Since I look in the mirror at my mug every day, I obviously don’t have “cacophoboa”, the fear of ugliness. Either that, or my eyesight is really bad!

Did your Mon ever tell you not to handle toads because you’d get a wart from them?

That probably lead to a spate of “bufonophobia” or the fear of toads.

They will “pee” on you when you pick them up but they also excrete some toxins through their skin so a good hand-washing is in order after herding toads.

There’s also “ablutophobia” which is the fear of bathing, cleaning or washing.

I found that one interesting because “Bluto”, Popeye’s arch nemesis,  was a cruel, bearded, muscular bully who frankly, didn’t look very well-scrubbed.

He and Popeye were always fighting each other to win the affections of Olive Oyl which was interesting because she was far from a beauty.

I think she might have had “obesophobia” or the fear of  gaining weight. She was a thin one.

Perhaps Popeye had a fear of beards, or “pogonphobia” which caused him to lash out at Bluto.

BTW, “Bluto” became “Brutus” in 1957 over concerns about who had the  right to the “Bluto” name.

So, those are my thoughts and idea on fears.

And, if my opinions scare you, you have “alldoxaphobia”.

So, see a doctor.

Unless you have “iatrophobia” which is the fear of doctors.

Don’t forget, FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

But I’m carrying a four-leafed clover…just in case.

 

 

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