Photo by Mart Production

Do you have any phobias?

Phobias aren’t just fears. They are irrational (unrealistic) and persistent fears of a specific situation, object, or activity. 

Most people have some fear of things like snakes or insects or heights. But if your fear of snakes, for example, is so intense that you couldn’t look at pictures of them or enter a room where they were in cages and couldn’t even touch a stuffed one, then you have a phobia.

A simple phobia does not usually interfere with daily functioning, but if a person starts to avoid situations in a less rational way (such as avoiding the beach because of fear of a shark attack or avoiding going outside because of fear of bees) the fear may be diagnosed as a phobia.

Look at all the phobias just in the “C” section of a list:

• Cacophobia- Fear of ugliness.
• Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women.
• Carcinophobia- Fear of cancer.
• Cardiophobia- Fear of the heart.
• Carnophobia- Fear of meat.
• Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors.
• Chaetophobia- Fear of hair.
• Chemophobia- Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals
• Chionophobia- Fear of snow.
• Chorophobia- Fear of dancing.
• Chrometophobia- Fear of money.
• Chromophobia- Fear of colors.
• Chronophobia- Fear of time.
• Cibophobia – Fear of food.
• Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.
• Cleptophobia- Fear of stealing.
• Cnidophobia- Fear of strings.
• Coimetrophobia- Fear of cemeteries.
• Coitophobia- Fear of coitus.
• Coprastasophobia- Fear of constipation.
• Coprophobia- Fear of feces.
• Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.
• Crystallophobia- Fear of crystals or glass.
• Cypridophobia – Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.

Photo by Mart Production

I definitely don’t have claustrophobia. In fact, I have always loved being in small spaces. As a child, I liked crawling behind the couch, playing in closets, and making little forts from blankets, boxes, and sticks out in the woods. I had a very small bedroom, and I loved it. Of course, there is a name for this too. I am a claustrophile – a person who has the “condition” (that makes it sound bad) of claustrophilia, a love of closed-in spaces. I went spelunking (cave exploring) and crawled on my belly through tight passages in total darkness. I felt good.

For a full phobias list, go to

Are You Suffering from Chronophobia and Anticipatory Anxiety?

fear of future
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

I don’t need more to worry about these days, but I recently read about a reported increase in fear of the future by therapists and mental health providers. I did some reading and found that the official names for those fears are chronophobia and anticipatory anxiety. If you’re not fearful of reading more about it, proceed.

Chronophobia – like all phobias – manifests as an extreme, one that can cause obsessive and debilitating behavior. It is a fear of time and mostly fear of time moving forward. That fear often comes from the unknown, and the future is the great unknown.

For some people, the fear of the future is based on a fear of failing in that future.

Anticipatory anxiety seems to be defined as pretty much the same thing: being nervous about future events where the outcome is unknown.

Some of the warning signs of these mental health issues are problems eating, sleep disorders, and muscle tension. Aren’t those just descriptions of how we all feel all the time? Hopefully not, but…

Fear causes inner pain and body pain perceptions. We often try to numb the pain with substances and behaviors that seem to have a temporary effect but often have a longer-term negative effect.

I’m not a professional but I point you in this post to some articles with coping suggestions.  I channel some of my anxiety, stress, or fears into my walks in nature. I think writing also helps, though those things sometimes both inspire and hinder my writing.

If you made it to this point in the post, at least you didn’t fear reading about your fears.  And acceptance is the goal at the end of the acceptance cycle, so good for you!




A Disproportionate Fear

Little Miss Muffet suffered from arachnophobia.

We all have fears. But if you have a disproportionate fear of something that does not pose a real danger,  that is a phobia. Phobias are an intense, persistent and lasting fear that you associate with a specific thing.

I did some experiments for college psychology classes related to phobias. I was in a group for arachnophobia, the fairly common fear of spiders. We were told that past experiences often have a profound influence on our reactions to things in our environment. I couldn’t recall any traumatic events occurring with spiders, but not all types of phobias necessarily develop due to psychological trauma.

The conditioning our group went through started with looking at photographs of spiders. Some people were freaked out by the photos. We moved to spider videos and then to spiders in tanks. I was fine until we got to putting our arm into a tank and allowing spiders to crawl on me.


People suffering from phobias get physiological symptoms including tachycardia (rapid heart rate) dizziness, gastric and urinary disorders, nausea, diarrhea, choking, redness, excessive sweating, trembling and exhaustion.

There are different categories of phobias. Situational phobias are fears caused by a specific situation, such as public transport, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, driving, or closed areas (claustrophobia) or  open spaces (agoraphobia).

There are many kinds of animal phobias: fear of birds and even a fear of just pigeons, insects, dogs, cats, mice etc.

Besides my fear of spiders (which isn’t bad enough to really interfere with my life) I also have one of the more common phobias – acrophobia or fear of heights. That fear hits me on a tall ladder, cliff edge and many amusement park rides.

I have read that glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, is the most common phobia. The word glossophobia derives from the Greek glōssa, meaning tongue, and phobos, fear or dread. Some people have this specific phobia, while others may also have broader social phobia or social anxiety disorder.

Other common ones are fear of  the dark (scotophobia), phobia of water (hydrophobia), blood phobia (hemophobia), and needle (as in injections) phobia.

There are also some rarer but real phobias.

How about reacting to hearing good news with fear? Those individuals are suffering from euphobia have opposite reactions to good news.

Yellow is a nice color most of associate with warmth, summer, sunlight and positive emotions. But there are people who fear yellow. That is xanthophobia.

Eosophobia can be a disabling phobia because fearing daylight, these people prefer sleeping during the day and become more active throughout the night. Get ready for vampire jokes, but it can seriously affect someone’s work and social life.

Whatever the opposite of turophobia is, I have it. Turophobia is an irrational fear of cheese. Like any true phobia, this can manifest as a fear of seeing, smelling, touching and certainly of eating cheeses.

it is more likely that the thought of cheese causes you nausea. Only the idea of eating cheese will probably make you feel disgusted due to its texture and taste.

Imagine how tough it is to live with ablutophobia which is when the thought of bathing, showering, cleaning or washing can cause shortness of breath or accelerated heartbeat. Many children show this fear at an early age, but become conditioned to these activities. Some never do.

On the other extreme are individuals with mysophobia who have such a fear of getting in contact with contaminated things that have a constant need to clean their environment, such as their working area or any object they touch.

There are conditioning treatments that can be effective for some people with phobias. It is a very gentle exposure to what we fear. You have probably heard about people who have a fear of flying (aviophobia) who watch airplanes, sit in grounded ones and build up to actually going up in the air for a flight.