A-Z Challenge: F is for Fear

Posted April 7, 2011 in A-Z Challenge / 6 Comments

Today is the sixth day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Just to remind you, I’m doing an A-Z of human emotions, feelings and mental states.Today is the letter F and so I’m going to write about Fear.

Fear comes in many shapes and sizes. There are instinctual fears that seem to have evolved to protect us such as the fear of falling from a height, the fear of burning your hand in a fire. There are fears related to future consequences-the worry that we may lose our job or that our partner may lose interest in us. Those fears can be based on reason or they can come from our naturally insecure nature. Then there is the kind of fear that thrills us, as when we watch a scary horror movie or ride a rollercoaster. That kind of fear is enjoyable for most people, because the danger is not real. Then there are the powerful, crippling fears that seem to have no basis in rationality.

I’m talking about phobias. It’s quite easy to understand why someone might have a phobia of spiders or snakes, as it could be an instinct developed by evolution to protect us from animals that might cause us harm. But some phobias seem too weird to serve any evolutionary purpose. Some people fear inanimate objects that can do them know harm, yet even though they understand this they cannot stop feeling afraid. Some psychologists suggest that this is because they link the object with some kind of past trauma- eg. when they were an infant they nearly choked on a button and ever since they have had a phobia of buttons.

Here’s my pick of some of the most bizarre phobias ever. Some of these sound pretty amusing, but for the person who suffers from them the fear can be crippling and extremely embarassing.

  • Chromophobia – Fear of colours.
  • Dextrophobia – Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
  • Euphobia – Fear of hearing good news.
  • Francophobia – Fear of France or French culture.
  • Genuphobia – Fear of knees.
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Fear of long words.
  • Ideophobia – Fear of ideas.
  • Japanophobia – Fear of the Japanese.
  • Optophobia – Fear of opening one’s eyes.
  • Plutophobia – Fear of wealth.
  • Selenophobia – Fear of the moon.
  • Uranophobia – Fear of heaven.
  •  Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof ofthe mouth.
  • Geniophobia- Fear of chins
  • Metrophobia- Fear of poetry
  • Nephophobia- Fear of clouds
  • Peladophobia- Fear of bald people
  • Papyrophobia- Fear of paper
  • Verbophobia- Fear of words     

 Personally I’m quite afraid of spiders but I manage my fear a lot better than I used to. Now I can tolerate them as long as they are a) not on my person and b) not hovering above the shower waiting to drop onto my naked body. I have a strange fear of being a plane crash even though I’ve never been on a plane in my life. I expect that comes from watching too much LOST and Final Destination. I am creeped out by waxwork dummies (the old, chipped kind you find at run down museums), pre 1950s hospital equipment and gas masks. I’m not really afraid of them though, they just make me feel a bit freaked out. I suppose my biggest fear is that I will die young before having the chance to get married, have kids and do all the other things I want to do. That’s why I’m extra careful crossing the road…

So what about you? Do you have any fears or phobias?


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6 responses to “A-Z Challenge: F is for Fear

  1. I find it ironic that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is a long word. And I guess that people with optophobia must have to live like blind people. How can someone fear paper? -horror-

    My greatest fear is people, or more accurately, what people can do (murder, rape, kidnapping, maiming, torture, etc.).

  2. "Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Fear of long words" <—– someone had a very weird sense of humor.

    "I have hippopotoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!"

    Aaaaanyway: I fear heights, deep water, needles and escalators. All under control though.


  3. I have fears of rejection, job loss, failure, lists that don't end, lists that do end, captcha, and oh yes, the cancellation of my favorite television shows.

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