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 lessons I learnt by looking back at my teenage

by Komal Sharma, Freelance Contributor

 

Quite early in our life, based on hit and trial encounters with our environment we subconsciously start to settle ourselves on a particular approach towards dealing with situations we face in life. More often than not, it becomes our default system in how we manage ourselves in contextually similar situations. there are 7 such patterns that I have identified which help me to take a step-back from the situation I am in and look at it objectively. I use this to reflect, and to address it later;  in a healthier and more progressive manner.

 

1. Attachment style

All of us either have a secure or an insecure pattern in which we inter-personally attach to our family, partner, authority figure, subordinate etc. Every time we feel fearful, anxious, overwhelmed to an extent that it shuts down our normal functioning, it is time to be conscious of rapid changes in our bodily and psychological dynamics. Mostly we will find ways of dealing with this in the retrospective analysis of situations that aroused similar emotions within us in the past.

Mantra I follow: Identify problem area -> Detach from your maladaptive approach -> Critical identification of a better response –> And finally; mindful responding

2. Teach them how to love you and learn how to love them

“I don’t think it’s their mistake, maybe I cannot be loved”
“My partner is trying so hard but I don’t feel loved”
“We are happy, but not in love, not like ‘it was before”

We all have been there with our parents, friends, partners and others in our inner circle. It is a two-way process – come a little closer to them, try to reveal your held-back ways of receiving  love, hold out your arm when you need their re-assurance, the chances are that you will end up feeling better about your relationship with them. To have a ‘childish’ conversation of what you need and how you need it is radical in creating foundation of a secure relationship. Let there be nervousness of how they might react, but for that conversation to culminate into a fruitful conclusion, both the sides must yearn to know, share and cultivate the bond.

3. Sometimes give, give, give, and let go

Are you chasing a void of never realizing the outcome you ferociously set out to achieve?
Are you feeding the void with a lack of self-esteem born out of already having put in so much without having anything to show for it?
You are attached to a void that does nothing but disturb your mental peace
This void may be because of a person, desire, any interest or pursuit for which you have not only extended your abilities but also stretched yourself off limits; but without giving it enough time to give you back. Relax. Let go of your troubles. Let life unfold.

4. Pay attention to your emotions

Emotions need expression but more than that, they need articulation. If suppressed, they eventually leak through cracks; jeopardizing our work, relations, health and more.
Have you not had a moment when a friend starts talking in an odd and unexpected manner, and you’re just wondering what went wrong at your end?
It may be just that they had a heated exchange at the office, or they are just plain hungry. A psychological exercise as described by Dan Siegel may be helpful in such a situation– ‘name it to tame it’. If you are able to sit with the emotion and pass it through you while expressing through verbal, written, or kinesthetic modes, you have mastered your mind!

5. To be sensitive is bold

Only brave-hearts can endure paying detailed attention. It understates that they care and are willing to go an extra mile to understand. From slight changes in the immediate environment to energy draining human personalities, they are alert. This helps them to stay away or foresee a conflict and develop meaningful relationships which serve growth at both ends.
A sensitive person naturally evaluates the mood and accordingly, in a non-taxing manner is able to put forth their response. It is a skill highly regarded if you’d like to make most of ‘now’.

6. To be assertive is freedom

We often find difficult to communicate what we want or think is right, and it is arduous to even do that when we are not used to standing up for our needs. To be assertive is to put your own will with due respect and consideration which is critically reasoned well.
Assertiveness is the wisest of personal qualities any person can develop to express effectively. It is an integral element of communication style which improves relation to self (confidence & satisfaction for being heard) and others (self-worth & earned respect for managing emotions). The most powerful assertion is to say ‘No’ without pulling wrong chords.

7. Develop your night time routine

We all have heard about morning routines but little to no emphasis is given to a night routine. We wake up with the mood we sleep with – why not develop a regime that works for us?
It’s natural to witness events in our life beyond our control when there is awfully much to absorb all the time. A night routine which can be combination of few activities like reading novel or quotes, meditating, sipping an organic drink, reflecting on the present day, or reckoning to-do list for next day and more. You are a winner if you bring the agency of your life back before tomorrow starts-off!

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.

 

10 indications that you’re overthinking stuff

Shivangi Srivastava, Freelance Contributor

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Do things keep playing in your head on repeat mode?
Are you always trying to crack some secret code?
Does your sleep ditch you at night?
Are you constantly worrying about your future?

To think about things or situations in life is necessary but when ‘thinking’ goes overboard, that’s when we start facing problems in life. Over-thinking is a state of constant worrying, where our mind starts to work extra hard, unnecessarily.
Here are 10 indications that will help you understand if you’re over thinking it:

1) You’re hesitant when it comes to giving a voice to your opinions.

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You may find it very difficult to share your thoughts and opinions regarding a certain topic or situation because you fear that people will JUDGE you for how you think and for the kind of choices you’ve made or are currently making in life.

2) All the possibilities are only assessed as either ‘BAD’ or ‘WORSE’.

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For you, ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIOS’ are the only possible scenarios. You may find yourself focusing too much on all the things that can possibly go wrong. Good outcomes are just a matter of luck for you. Also, you tend to be over critical about yourself. People who overthink rarely are able to see their own positive sides because they’re too busy evaluating themselves on their negatives.

3) It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against you.

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You may feel as if people around you observe all the things that you do and judge you for it. It may seem as if everybody around you is talking about you, is criticizing your actions and has formed strong opinions AGAINST you.

4) You believe that one must know ‘EVERYTHING’ in order to understand you.

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You try to include all the possible details while telling somebody about anything. In your opinion, missing out on any piece of information would mean that the message was not conveyed exactly how you wanted it to be and now people won’t understand you and may form negative opinions about you.

5) Creative skills are mostly used in decoding ‘HIDDEN’ messages which may not exist at all.

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Being an over-thinker, it is possible for you to consume your energy in looking for underlying meanings for every word that you hear. You may find yourself constantly worrying if somebody’s motive was to indirectly tell or indicate something to you while conversing with you.

6) You cross-check the messages you’re about to send multiple times.

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It takes you a lot of time to send a message to somebody. You keep going through the messages, again and again, deleting or editing its content. You have the notion of sending an error-free or so-called ‘perfect message’ so that the person on the receiving end does not take you for a dumb individual.

7) Maladaptive daydreaming
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As an over thinker, you experience frequent and intrusive daydreams that can disrupt your everyday tasks and quality of life. Certain situations are often stuck in repeat mode inside your head or you start imagining things that have no end to them and eventually find it very difficult to come to reality and do your daily tasks.

8) You take ‘LITTLE’ things very ‘SERIOUSLY’.
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While having a conversation with somebody, you may find yourself taking little things very seriously. There may be times when people are just talking or discussing things on a very general level but you might take things personally and feel disturbed. It sometimes gets a little difficult to convince you that everything’s okay because you usually want every piece of information to make up your mind.

9) Your behaviour and actions are mostly based on your ‘ASSUMPTIONS’.
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The term ‘over-thinking’ itself suggests thinking more than required; thinking more than there is to think actually. Over-thinkers usually pre-assume a lot of things (basically, jumping to conclusions) and later are found constantly worrying about things that may or may not exist. This eventually leads them to behave oddly around people.

10) Anxiety knocks and blows good night’s sleep away.
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Overthinking often generates anxiety and results in panic attacks. This anxiety holds you back and disrupts your normal functioning. Messing up one thing might mean messing up the entire thing, in your opinion. You keep ruminating about it and thus, face trouble sleeping.

 

 

 

 

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.