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Living With Phobias

“Nothing to fear, but fear itself” a famous quote from the inaugural address of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

About phobias

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Of course fear is sometimes something that takes over our imaginations and suddenly it seems that every little sound makes us jump. We can get over our fears and control them if we just have the willpower. The problem of getting over fears occurs if we have a phobia or phobias. If you look up the word phobias you’ll find that in the Wikipedia is tells you that these are most commonly the result of a “combination of external events and internal predispositions”. External events are something that might have traumatized you at some point and internal predispositions from heredity or genetics.

Before I get into some of the strangest phobias people might have I have a common phobia Acrophobia which is fear of heights. Mine is hereditary and came from my mom’s mother. My grandma had quite a few adventures in her life due to being afraid of heights. I myself have been faced with serious problems due to my fear of heights which otherwise would have been no problem at all. So let’s take a look at some of the most bizarre types of phobias.

Fear of garlic

Alliumphobia is the fear of garlic. Now can you imagine being Italian and having this phobia? Or being a vampire? The horrors of it all. However if you do have this strange phobia personally I don’t think it could interfere too much with your life. You would have to steer clear of fruit and vegetable stands and of course, make sure all of your friends and relatives know about this. What happens to people with this phobia is that they cannot stand the thought of eating garlic and even seeing it and smelling it. Others who have a problem with garlic are of course vampires but we assume that such creatures should they exist are rare in this world. Supposedly blood-sucking mosquitoes also have a fear of garlic so I think rubbing our skins with garlic might be a good idea to ward off these pesky insects. An odd phobia indeed and it leaves me with one more question – how do you avoid the smell of garlic in a restaurant?

Fear of school

This next phobia has me rather stumped. Why you might ask. Well it is Didaskeleinophobia and it is the fear of going to school. Now I know that I was terrified of going to kindergarten on my first day and I even threw up and my dad had to take me home. If my parents had known about this phobia they might have started worrying but as it turned out I soon returned and learned to love school. Apparently they say that around 5% of the population has the fear of going to school with the root stemming in learning disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD, difficulty in coping with academic pressure or traumatic events such as bullying. Well I think that such a phobia as this can be rooted out as long as the students have full support of parents and teachers. Of course, should an unusual case present itself we now have the option of homeschooling as well.

Fear of in-laws

Who can say that they dearly love their in-laws? Perhaps there are those of you who have good experiences or who get along famously with your in-laws. However what would you do if you had Soceraphobia the fear of in-laws. This phobia brings out constant apprehension, anxiety or fear just at the thought of having to interact with in-laws. Having said that aren’t these the natural reactions of someone who is meeting their in-laws for the first time? I guess one could say they have this phobia if these feelings don’t lessen with time or go away completely. Fearing ones mother-in-law is Pentheraphobia. The apparent root of this fear is in the often exaggerated imagination of the in-law’s similarity to one’s own and most often proves unrealistic. However you never know if you’re among the unlucky when it comes to in-laws you might wind up like Darrin on the TV show “Bewitched” who wound up with a real witch for a mother-in-law.

What I find interesting is the there are a lot of newlywed women and men who go for therapy sessions to overcome this fear. I know that in my life I have had two mother-in-laws. I became the rock my first mother-in-law chose to lean on when she became ill with dementia and thought I was the smartest person on earth. My second mother-in-law became like my own mom when my real mom died. I really don’t know what I would have done if I had had this kind of phobia and I’m glad that I didn’t even know about such a phobia. Why? Because we can be influenced by certain phobias as well. Would we get the phobia? Who knows? I say it is good to be educated about lots of things just never take it too much to mind.

Fear of beards

Just the thought of this phobia makes me smile since there are so many men in this world with beards. The fear of beards is Pogonophobia and comes from the combination of the Greek word “pogono” meaning “pertaining to beard” and from “phobia” meaning “fear”. There are people who have a dislike to men who look like they are disheveled, unhygienic or even barbaric due to the amount of hair on their faces. I have seen quite a few terrible looking beards and quite a few very well groomed ones. Just be very careful you don’t bump into a “Bluebeard” – the scoundrel of a French folktale who murdered his wives. With someone like that around it would seem natural to have a fear of beards.

At the worst of times I have had the pleasure of sitting in a restaurant opposite someone at another table with a beard. I see them getting their beard into soup and I also see bits of food in the beard. At moments like that I really wish that I didn’t still have a full dish of food.  I guess it must be difficult to deal with this phobia as you never know where you’ll see someone with a beard. I find it a very debilitating fear because you cannot have friends with beards, heaven forbid if a family member grows one and just suppose you turn down a person who could turn out to be your true love all because they have a beard.


What do you think?

13 Points


      • My point was that some are considered normal and regarded as legitimate concerns, while some are disregarded as abnormal and therefore invalid. They’re all the same thing manifesting in different ways…