7 weird and unusual phobias

by Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear” – H.P. Lovecraft

Phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of a specific object or situation. A phobia is classified as a type of anxiety disorder, since anxiety is the chief symptom experienced by the sufferer. Phobias are thought to be learned emotional responses. It is generally held that phobias occur when fear produced by an original threatening situation is transferred to other similar situations, with the original fear often repressed or forgotten. Here are 7 weird but common phobias.

1. NOMOPHOBIA

Nomophobia is everywhere in industrialized nations. The term is an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”. It is the fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. Specifically, separation from smartphones is found to cause increases in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings are the symptoms of nomophobia.

2. TRYPOPHOBIA-

Sufferers of trypophobia fear objects with small holes. It is not yet considered an official phobia. It is not yet considered an official phobia, although thousands of people are reported to suffer from it. According to researchers trypophobics associate holes with danger. Examples of feared objects include honeycomb sponges and any plant with small holes in it. Symptoms of tryphobia from nausea and itchy skin to full blown panic attacks.

3. DORAPHOBIA –

Doraphobia is the term used for an abnormal and persistent fear of fur. Sufferers of this fear avoid fur-bearing animals such as dogs, cats, foxes, beavers and rabbits because fur is repulsive to them. The symptoms of fear of fur are similar to those experienced during a panic attack. Nervousness, terror, nausea, and dizziness are common when the doraphobic person is confronted with fur.

4. ATYCHIPHOBIA-

Atychiphobia or kakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of failure or defeat. The phobia is often caused by frustrations about the failure or being defeated, especially those that should have been successful, though it is often due to brain chemistry, heredity, and genetics. Symptoms include shortness of breath, speedy breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread when people panic.

5. EREMOPHOBIA-

Being alone can be frightening for a lot of people and the extreme and persistent fear of begin alone is called eremophobia. This type of fear is usually compounded by the natural desire to make friends and this desire can be denied and the reason is usually out of the control of the person.

6. MYSOPHOBIA-

Mysophobia is the excessive and often irrational fear of microbes or getting contaminated with germs. Mysophobia is also known as germophobia. People with an excessive fear of germs believe the world to be a ‘filthy place’. As a result, they are always washing or cleaning. Many people with the extreme fear of germs also tend to think about microbes all the time. They fear getting contaminated from dirt, dust, grime or people who are sneezing or coughing.

7. CHRONOPHOBIA-

Chronophobia is defined as the persistent and often irrational fear of the future or the fear of passing time. Since time can be considered as a “specific object”. In case of persistent Chronophobia, the sufferer develops an extreme fear of passing time in that; s/he suddenly feels that the present moment is going to be in the past soon and this thought can terrify him/her. The phobic obsesses over time; s/he is extremely anxious so much so that it affects his/her day-to-day functioning.

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7 things people with social anxiety disorder go through

By Pallavi Kandhari, Freelance Contributor 

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. A person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) may sometimes think that people would ‘judge’ them if they talk about this fear. But it is the most common anxiety disorder with up to 10% of people being affected at some point in their life. So, you are not alone. Here are some points every person going through SAD can relate to-

1) Excessive worry about one’s looks

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They tend to spend more time in getting ready than what an average person would do and that is because of the fear of being negatively “judged” by people they don’t really know… So, they need to look their best every time they step out of the house in order to avoid the fear of being negatively evaluated. And as Eleanor Roosevelt said rightly,” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
2) Being the center of attention is a NIGHTMARE

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Have to give a presentation at work, school or college? Have to give a speech? The mere thought of being the center of attention is equivalent to a nightmare and cripples them with fear and anxiety. They are afraid that what if people notice, how anxious they are? Sweating, trembling and other physiological reactions come naturally when asked to give a speech or presentation.
3) Shyness is a pervasive personal state

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Having any sort of conversation with any stranger or sometimes even known people triggers shyness related anxiety and they begin to having irrational thoughts that they might end up getting judged, mocked or negatively percieved in some way. However it is important to remember that many people who are shy do not have the negative emotions and feelings that accompany social anxiety disorder. They live a normal life, and do not view shyness as a negative trait.
4) Hesitance and low self confidence tend to be mostly around the corner

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People with social anxiety usually (but not always) tend to have a low self esteem due to the fear of being rejected or being mocked at. They try to avoid conversations as much as possible in order to avoid being judged or evaluated. They constantly have the fear of being criticized and disapproved. They sometimes hesitate to take decisions and risk ending up coming across as ill-equipped in handling pressure situations.
5) Ordering food is not meant for them.

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Ordering food in person or on phone can be very stressful as it involves taking a decision and then interacting with a stranger. When they go to a restaurant they constantly feel that people will judge and laugh at them. Sometimes they may have the fear of pronouncing something wrong and that raises their anxiety even before they order as they feel that they may end up sounding silly.
6) Escape becomes their best friend

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Leaving a party, social gathering or a family function after spending a brief amount of time is very common. They are the last ones to enter and the first one to leave. Escaping from these situations when anxiety raises can sometimes help them to calm down and they have no regrets of leaving early or escaping from anxiety provoking social gatherings.
7) They become their own best friends

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With the constant fear of being negatively evaluated or criticized by people, they mostly avoid their company and start to enjoy their own company. They become their own best friends and end up spending a lot of time with themselves which sometimes curbs the anxiety provoking thoughts and make them a feel a bit relaxed.

 

7 things you can do in the moment to tackle Anxiety

by Kritika Joshi, freelance contributor |

Anxiety is an emotion we address in our everyday lives. It is a part of everyone’s experience, whether it is exam anxiety, social anxiety or specific phobias etc. Anxiety is associated with alterations in our mental state experienced as worry or apprehension and physical symptoms such as raised heart rate and adrenaline. It is likely to affect us temporarily until the source of our anxiety has passed or we have learnt to cope with it.
The following are 7 things one can do in the moment to tackle anxiety:

1. DISTRACT YOURSELF
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It is important to think clearly when you are flooded with anxiety. Take time to calm down and try your best to distract yourself from whatever it is that has you on edge. Taking a walk, a bath, noticing the environment, listening to your favourite song are activities that could help.
If you get anxious regularly, engage yourself in a hobby which you could turn to during those trying times.

2. PHONE A FRIEND
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Sometimes all you need, is to hear a familiar, friendly voice or to just know that you have a human soundboard to bounce ideas off of. Surround yourself with people that are a good influence on your life. Discussing your problems with others can help you feel less alone. Socializing stimulates the production of hormone oxytocin, which has an anxiety reducing effect. So next time a freak out happens grab your most trusted pal and sit with him/her.

3. SMILE
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It sounds like the most obvious advice imaginable; but clichés are clichés for a reason, so just put up a happy face.
A recent study claims that smiling does actually help us feel better and reduce anxiety. When you are feeling anxious try forcing a smile on your face. There will be something oddly satisfying watching the anxiety monster crumble at the sight of your smiling face.

4. PLAY AROUND:
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Playing with a dog can decrease cortisol (stress producing hormone) whereas increase oxytocin production (stress reducing hormone). Why not have access to natural anxiety killers that have the added advantage of being super cute, if you can.

5. DRINK WATER
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Studies show that water is a great ‘anxiety quencher’. When body is dehydrated it can induce anxiety and nervousness. Our brain needs sufficient water to function properly. Experts recommend drinking 2-3 litres of water daily.

6. SIT WITH YOUR BODY FOR 10 MINS AND JUST LISTEN TO IT
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Take 10 seconds out and collect some fresh oxygen. Have a silent conversation with yourself. When you are anxious your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Bring your breathing and mind together. Listen to the movement of your lungs. Try deliberately slowing your breath. Count to 3 as you breathe in slowly then count to 3 as you breathe out slowly. This’ll calm you down.

7. SAFE PLACE MENTAL IMAGERY:
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Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm, visualise a happy place. It could be any happy memory from childhood or any other happy incident, to soothe you until your anxiety lowers.
Try not to pay attention to current anxious mental state just focus on the feeling of smooth sailing through the storm.