Among the different types of phobias are extremely peculiar and irrational obsessions. The most unusual ones include fear of touch (haphephobia), fear of clowns (coulrophobia), fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia), and even fear of sunlight (eosophobia). Read about the most bizarre types of phobias.
Phobia is an anxiety disorder involving a feeling of fear of certain situations, phenomena or objects. A person exhibiting phobia symptoms avoids anxiety-inducing factors, and when they come into contact with them, reacts with panic, screaming, experiences a rapid pulse, excessive sweating and trembling. In extreme cases, they may even lose consciousness and faint.
The most well-known phobias are agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights), and nyctophobia (fear of the dark). None of these phobias usually come as a surprise because they are quite common disorders. However, there are examples of extremely atypical phobias that affect a very small percentage of the population. Despite their peculiarities, most of them have an official status as mental disorders and are listed in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.
Check out examples of the most bizarre phobias.
1.Triskaidekaphobia – morbid fear of the number 13
In our culture, triskaidekaphobia means that the number 13 brings bad luck. Psychiatrists described this phobia as early as 1910. Many famous personalities suffered from it, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Richard Wagner, Mark Twain, and Franklin Roosevelt. Because of the prevalence of this phobia, some hotels have given up numbering their rooms with 13, and there are no buttons with this number in elevators.
2.Taphophobia – fear of being buried alive
Especially for those who suffer from this phobia, a coffin with a motion sensor alert system has been developed. In the UK, where this phobia is very common, some funeral directors offer their clients the option of being buried with a mobile phone – in case the person wakes up in the coffin and needs to call for help.
3.Haphephobia – fear of touching people and objects
This phobia relates to situations where someone touches us, or when we ourselves touch someone or something. The cause of haphephobia can be traumatic experiences from childhood or a symptom of more complex disorders, such as social phobia (fear of contact with strangers).
4.Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
A person with this type of phobia will panic when they see clowns. While most people will laugh at people in colorful costumes and makeup, some experience strong anxiety combined with panic attacks, sweating, and heart palpitations. It is difficult to pinpoint the specific causes of this phobia, but one possible hypothesis is that the fear of clowns stems from an inability to recognize a masked person.
5.Gynephobia – fear of women
Gynephobia occurs in men and manifests itself when they are in contact with women, as well as with female objects such as lipstick, bras, or purses. It causes symptoms typical of social phobia: increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, and speech disorders. In extreme cases, this phobia can lead to complete avoidance of contact with the opposite sex.
6.Eosophobia – fear of dawn and sunlight
People with this type of phobia are active at night and sleep in darkened rooms during the day. If they go out in the sun, they hide under oversized clothing and wear dark glasses.
7.Rhytiphobia – fear of wrinkles
Rhytiphobia mainly affects women and occurs regardless of age. Even very young women with this phobia worry too much about their faces, apply various anti-wrinkle creams, and regularly undergo rejuvenation treatments.
8.Pediophobia – fear of dolls
A person affected by pediophobia reacts with fear when they see various types of dolls: porcelain, plastic, talking, and moving. German psychologist Ernst Jentsch tried to explore the causes of this phobia, among other things. He believed that the anxiety caused by dolls stemmed from uncertainty about whether the toy was real or artificial. This cognitive dissonance causes fear and confusion in some people.