by Annette Dashofy
I should probably leave the topic of phobias to Tory, as I have no expertise in mental health or the workings of the mind. I do, however, have a few phobias. Some of them can be explained by life experiences. Most are just plain silly. Or so they seem to me.
First, a few things that I’m NOT scared of: I am not scared of the dark. That’s nyctophobia, by the way. I love wandering around my yard or the pasture after dark. The stars are incredible when you don’t have the glare of streetlights to drown them out. In fact, one of my biggest concerns when we got new neighbors was that they might put up a dusk-to-dawn light. So far, so good.
I do admit to being somewhat scared of some of the noises I hear when I’m walking in the dark outside. Living in the country, it’s not the idea of muggers or criminals that worries me (although my crime-writer imagination can easily be set loose in that area and send me running indoors), but rather the very real possibility of an encounter with a skunk. Is there such a thing as skunkophobia? Perhaps that falls under olfactophobia (fear of odors).
I do NOT suffer from claustrophobia, or fear of confined spaces. Elevators don’t freak me out. Then again, I’ve never been stuck in one.
On the other hand, I do have brontophobia. Or maybe it’s karaunophobia. That would be the fear of storms, thunder and lightning. Our house was struck by lightning when I was little and caught on fire. A few years later, some pyromaniac kids burnt down our barn leading to my case of pyrophobia. Yep. Fear of fire.
Another life experience left me with a bad case of hydrophobia. When I was six, I almost drowned resulting in my fear of water. But only if it threatens to go over my head. I love walking on the beach and getting my feet wet. Just not my face.
That brings us to the one that I have no explanation for. Acrophobia. The fear of heights. Although, acrophobia doesn’t accurately describe it for me. I’m not so much scared of heights. I’m scared of FALLING. Yet, I can’t find a specific phobia for falling. Getting even more detailed, maybe it’s the fear of the sudden stop at the bottom that gets me. Splatophobia?
I mean, I don’t mind being up high on an overlook with a railing. I get nauseous when I’m on a ledge with NO railing. I don’t mind being UP there. I’m just not at all interested in falling DOWN.
So what phobias plague you? Do you have verminophobia? That’s the fear of germs, although it sounds to me more like a fear of mice. But, no, that’s musophobia. How about bathmophobia? No, it’s not the fear of baths, but rather the fear of stairways. Go figure. If you really are scared of bathing, you’ve got ablutophobia.
Want to find out the name for what scares you? Click here. Then come back and share your deepest, darkest fears, as well as what they’re called.