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Explained: Seven strangest phobias and fears

·4-min read

We all have fears; while some fears are strange to understand, they are real, and could be triggered by the environment we live in or genetic. Many of us develop phobias based on a negative or unpleasant experience with a particular object/situation and could also have had a panic attack at the time. These experiences are embedded in our memory and trigger a certain fear when faced with a similar situation/object.

Let us talk about some lesser-known phobias; their names and what they mean.



This is a one-of-a-kind phobia, which to some may seem very unlike a phobia, and more of a dislike. It's the fear of the feeling when peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. The level of discomfort could be different for different people, and some may still enjoy a small amount of peanut butter now and then. Those who experience more severe discomfort may avoid having peanut butter or anything like it altogether. One may ask why this offbeat fear. It could stem from something deeper, like choking on a sticky-substance or having had a negative experience with peanut butter itself.



This is a phobia I can relate to! I mean, come on, most of us are so dependent on our mobile phones today, that as unnatural as it may seem, this is a very real and common fear. Our mobiles are the means for us to stay connected, gather information about anything we need, communicate and also make payments. Nomophobia however is a state wherein, the person experiences excessive anxiety when they don't have their phones. They could become panicked and lost. These could be real for people with an addition to the mobile phone. As normal as it may seem, this phobia has been added to the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the DSM-V.



This is explained as a fear of money. Gosh, I have none! While most of us yearn to make and have more money so that we can live our dreams, there are also a select few that genuinely fear money or wealth. They not only fear becoming wealthy but also fear being around others who may be wealthy. As with all phobias, there is always an association with a larger issue; for those suffering Plutophobia, this may stem from the fear of the pressure that comes with having money, or the responsibility, or even the fear of being robbed. Some people may even sabotage their monetary growth to avoid these situations.



Let's break this down. For those of us who love to shower, we may never be able to understand this fear, but as with most fears, this one too has a deep-seated cause. People suffering from Ablutophobia suffer fear of bathing or cleaning themselves. The fear is so extreme that it far outweighs the consequences they may face through social isolation due to poor body odour and physical appearance. Again, this could stem from a scary or life-threatening experience with water, which has caused trauma, and hence the fear of even getting wet. In some instances, this fear of water is called Aquaphobia.



Wow! Now that is a long word. Any guesses as to what it may mean? Ironically, it is used to describe the fear of long words! It is also the longest word in the dictionary. If you're looking for an easier word to remember the same phobia, its Sesquipedalophobia. Common among those with Dyslexia, this fear could stem from experiences from a young age, when children mispronounce long words. The embarrassment attached with a situation like this, where maybe a class-full of students mock the student who mispronounces a long word. This fear can be gripping and could very well follow the person through adulthood.



Vestiphobia is the fear of clothing. This may seem simple enough, but as we delve deeper, there are multiple layers, and hence, manifestations of this fear. It could stem from the fear of a specific garment. Maybe the person wearing it did something to harm the person. For others, it could be a feeling of being restrained, with tight, ill-fitted clothing. It could also arise from an allergy one may have had from a certain material and the discomfort associated with the experience. For others, it may just be across the board, a fear of all clothing.



We see this with many people around us, in our daily dealings. We may call them fence-sitters, or even fickle at times, when they change their minds often, never really sticking to a decision with conviction, no matter what the outcome. As you would have inferred, Decidophobia is the fear of making decisions. Once again, this behaviour stems from a deep-rooted place. For this person, making any decision independently is impossible. They do not trust their own decisions, or even opinions, and may rely on other people to guide them on the same. Some people will even go to the extent of trusting external sources like astrology to guide their decisions, rather than taking a call and trusting in it. This fear could stem from a mental health disorder, known as Dependent Personality Disorder.

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