American president Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" but, when it comes to things that freak us out, unfortunately F.D.R.’S calming words offer little consolation.
Phobias are a very real condition for most humans – and there’s a veritable plethora of paranoia out there that will get the heart pounding and bring on the cold sweats.
A fear of snakes (Ophidiophobia), spiders (Arachnophobia) or speaking in public (Glossophobia) consistently feature in all-time global dreads – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Irrational or otherwise, we’ve all got our own quirks and terrors and while we appreciate the following list features most genuine fears for some, here are a few recognised phobias that definitely take things to the next level:
Globophobia – fear of balloons (anyone who has had 20 of them systematically explode while preparing for Timmy’s fifth birthday party will be nodding in twitchy agreement)
Ancraophobia – fear of wind or drafts (if you suffer from this, Toowoomba, Chicago or any cliff buff may not be the best place to call home)
Batrachophobia – fear of frogs and other amphibians (Toad-ly agree)
Cherophobia – fear of happiness (Too many people seem to have this these days)
Gephyrophobia – fear of bridges (suggesting to ‘build a bridge and get over it’ may not be the best advice)
Phagophobia – fear of swallowing (gulp!)
Koumpounophobia – fear of buttons (possibly falsely started and disseminated by the zipper industry)
Nomophobia – fear of being out of mobile phone contact (one for our Millennials)
Pogonophobia – fear of beards (the ultimate in shear terror)
Spectrophobia or Catoptrophobia – fear of mirrors (we should reflect on that)
Halitophobia – fear of bad breath (Can’t say we actually fear it, but most everyone will agree that we can certainly do without it).
YOU’RE FREAKING ME OUT MAN!