Fantastic Phobias and Where to Find Them | Teen Ink

Fantastic Phobias and Where to Find Them

May 7, 2019
By Anduin1112 BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
Anduin1112 BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Phobias can cause you to do irrational things. Fear is different. Fear is a rational thing that kicks in to protect you. Phobias don’t protect you because there is no threat. There are instances where the suffix -phobia/-phobic is used to describe a property rather than a fear. Let's now look at some common types of phobias.


1. Common Types of Phobias
As seen in the picture above there are a lot of things we are irrationally scared of, for example Arachnophobia the fear of spiders or Aerophobia the fear of flying. These phobias are common. As well as: Ophidiophobia the fear of snakes, Cynophobia the fear of dogs, or Acrophobia the fear of heights. Others include  the fear of thunder and lighting Astraphobia, Trypanophobia the fear of injections, Agoraphobia the fear of being alone, and Mysophobia the fear of germs. These things can all kill you, but very unlikely.

2. Other Uses of the Suffix
There are other uses for the suffix -phobia/-phobic. It can be used in biology to describe a property of a object. The article states, “Biologists use a number of -phobia/-phobic terms to describe predispositions by plants and animals against certain conditions,” (Wikipedia). Such conditions include: Oleophobicity the property of oil rejection and Hydrophobic the property of being repelled by water. There are other ways the suffix is used, not just for fears.

3. How to Fix Your Phobias
“Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it,” says the article Phobias and Irrational Fears. According do them there are 4 simple steps that you can do to help combat these fears. Step 1: Make a list. You need to write down things that are associated with your phobia, not just the fear itself. Step 2: Build your fear ladder. Using the items on your list create a ladder with the least scariest things at the bottom and the things that trigger your phobia at the top. Step 3: Work your way up the ladder. Starting at the bottom work your way up. Put yourself in the the situations on the ladder. Don’t move up until you feel comfortable doing that thing. The stuff at the bottom should be easier to get over than the things at the top. Step 4: Practice.  Practice makes perfect. The more you expose yourself to, the less afraid you will be. Just remember, go at your own pace. If you start getting overwhelmed just stop. It’s ok to take a break just don’t quit. Also if you start to feel overwhelmed take a moment calm down. Learn some breathing exercises and use those to help you.

4. How Phobias Affect My Life
Phobias affect some people different. For me my claustrophobia onced gave me a panic attack. I was at the Air Force Museum on a school field trip and we were walking through the presidential airplanes when I walked into the first one I got about half when when I got pushed to the side. That’s when my phobia got triggered, the walls were maybe half a yard wide. I crouched down in the corner breathing fast and feeling like the walls were closing in on me. Again this goes to show how bad things can get. Some people shut down completely. My spheksophobia, fear of wasps, caused me to run away even the it wasn’t chasing me or trying to sting me. Afterwords I was breathing heavily even though I had not run very far. This just goes to show how phobias are irrational.

5. How to know if you’re scared or if you have a legitimate phobia

“It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear serves a protective purpose, activating the automatic “fight-or-flight” response. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves. But with phobias the threat is nonexistent or greatly exaggerated,” (Phobias and Irrational Fears). Being scared of something is normal as stated in the article, “Fear serves a protective purpose…” Being scared protects you. Phobias even though they induce fear don’t protect you because there is nothing to protect you from. Like having xanthophobia, the fear of the color yellow. Yellow can’t hurt you, but something like being shot can. When you’re about to be shot you fear the gun. The gun can hurt you. Yellow can’t possibly harm you. Fears are instantanient, they happen while your wellbeing is being threatened. Phobias are “stickier” they stay with you. You can get rid of them, but unlike fear it is really hard to grow out of them. When you were younger you were probably scared of the dark, right? You were scared because you didn’t know what was in it. As you got older though you learned there was nothing to be scared of. Phobias aren’t like that, they stay with you unless you use the 4 steps and you learn to cope with them.

6. Phobias seen in literature

Many characters in literature have phobias. The book might not come out and broadly state that, but they still have them. Peter Pan suffers from the fear of growing up, gerascophobia. Captain Hook suffers from herpetophobia the fear of reptiles especially one, Tick Tock Croc.  The narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper suffers from xanthophobia which is a weird one as it is the fear of the color yellow. Everyone's favorite ginger, Ron Weasley has arachnophobia the fear of spiders.

This topic is important because a lot of people, even characters in books, have phobias. Phobias are a psychological disorder that most commonly form early in life. The best thing to do if you have a phobia is to follow the 4 steps in section 3. If you have a phobia it is ok. Just try not to let it control you.


Works Cited

Cherry, Kendra, and Steven Gans. “How Are the Most Common Phobias or Fears Treated?” Verywell Mind, Dotdash.

“List of Phobias.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Nov. 2018.

“Phobias and Irrational Fears.” Healthy Eating Tips to Prevent, Control, and Reverse Diabetes.

Telfer, Tori. “11 Literary Characters With Terrible Phobias.” The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, Barnes & Noble Reads, 26 Jan. 2015.

The author's comments:

This piece was done as a school assignment, but I enjoyed making it and learned a lot about phobias.

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This article has 7 comments.

on Jul. 28 2022 at 11:53 pm
Joseph123213 GOLD, Beijing, Other
12 articles 0 photos 4 comments
that's a lot of phobias

on Oct. 1 2020 at 9:51 am
theastridsaenz BRONZE, Panama, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I was here, too."

Literally the best thing I've read this week! Ahh, LOVE it!

on May. 8 2019 at 12:36 pm
jkaisersclass, Dayton, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Love this!

on May. 8 2019 at 11:22 am
MythologyWriter BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
@Anduin1112 Hi, when mine is posted like it. :)

on May. 8 2019 at 11:21 am
willbittman BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
2 articles 1 photo 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
water, yea !!

@mythologywriter hi bean :)

on May. 8 2019 at 11:21 am
willbittman BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
2 articles 1 photo 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
water, yea !!


on May. 8 2019 at 11:14 am
MythologyWriter BRONZE, Lebanon, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
I like this article.