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Bizarre Phobias
Tom wrote to ask about the reality of a site called The Phobia Clinic. At first glance, the site definitely looks like it represents a real business that's selling a program to help people overcome their fears. The strangeness comes when you dig into some of the fears that they claim they can cure, and you have to wonder... do such fears or anxieties really exist? For example, they can cure you of Arachibutyrophobia (that's a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth), Ballistophobia (a fear of bullets... but why would anyone want to overcome their fear of bullets? Isn't that a good thing to be afraid of?), Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words... the name of the anxiety alone probably sends sufferers into convulsions), and the list goes on and on. Despite all the weird anxieties, I think that the Phobia Clinic is real enough, in the sense that they'll take your money and offer some kind of 'cure.' But I'm skeptical about whether their cure actually works.
Categories: Psychology
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
I have this realy weird fear of being tickled. If you even just say you're gonna tickle me, i'll actually scream. I tremble and i run away. I've heard of the fear of being tickled by feathers, but being tickled at ALL makes me do these unusual things. Of course, since i scream, my riends ticle me all the time. IM GOING INSANE! at the end of every day my throat is actually coarse from screaming and i cover myself with mi hands as i walk to my dorm. I need help PRONTO! any ideas?
Posted by miri  on  Wed Mar 07, 2007  at  10:08 PM
I actually have a friend who is afraid of baked beans, and another firned said she also knows someone who is afraid. It must be quite common! Anyone know a name for it?
Posted by Bethan  on  Wed Mar 14, 2007  at  04:56 PM
I am an Omphalophobic. omphalophobia is the fear of bellybuttons.
Posted by Rachel  in  United States  on  Thu Mar 29, 2007  at  08:03 PM
I'm So Glad People Have Responded To My Post On Fear Of Dwarves And Midgets. It Is Both Comforting And Eye-Opening To See That I Am Not Alone. Hopefully One Day This Fear Will Be Further Studied And Become A Treatable Nuisance Of The Past. If There Is Anyone Else Who Has Any Information Concerning The Fear Of Dwarves..Please Share. It Would Be Greatly Appreciated.




Rene
Posted by Rene  in  New York  on  Sat Mar 31, 2007  at  01:25 AM
I've always been afraid of midgets, too. It's totally irrational and embarrassing but I think that somehow they're contagious. There must be some evolutionary reason for this phobia.

(My mother cannot stand the site of a loose eyelash on someone's face.)
Posted by MLE  in  Connecticut  on  Wed Apr 11, 2007  at  09:28 PM
About the fear of Midgets:
I do not have this fear to the extent of a phobia, but my sister does. I remember once we were in Amsterdam in a clup, and really high on some mushroom and dancing like crazy, and she spotted a little person dancing in the floor, she freaked out into a bad trip and spent the rest of her days in the hotel room. She claims it is because of a B-movie she saw when she was 6 in which a group of midgets were lynching a nun. The name of the movie was translated "I don't want to be born" into Turkish.
I asked a psychiatrist friend of mine, and he said it might be related to a primal survival mechanism of "leaving the odd one out". That is, when facing a person with genetical abnormality, the brain urges one to stay away with the irrational fear that the abnormality can be contagious. We know that most cultures in ancient times killed babies that were born with bigger than usual heads, small or no limps or digits.
Posted by Umut  in  Ankara  on  Fri Apr 13, 2007  at  08:59 AM
Ok..this subject was mentioned but I didnt see anyone with an actual chalk phobia. I am freaked out by chalk. It makes me feel like it will never get it off of me if I touch it. I won't even let my kids have sidewalk chalk. I almost quit a college algebra class because the teacher used the chalkboard. I was able to convince him to switch to the dry erase. Its not just the dryness-its the impending dread of that scratching noise too. OMG everyone thinks I'm crazy. I also HATE my elbows touched. WEird, huh?
Posted by Heather  in  Houston, TX  on  Fri Apr 13, 2007  at  11:49 AM
I HAVE A FEAR OF WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR FIRST AT SCHOOL, IT BOTHERS ME SO MUCH! AND I ALSO HAVE A PHOBIA OF HEARING CERTAIN WORDS USED TWICE IN A ROW NEXT TO ANOTHER WORD USED TWICE IN A ROW.
Posted by Shannon  in  mi casa  on  Mon Apr 16, 2007  at  04:09 PM
I have a terrible phobia of the movie "The Ring" and "The Grudge". I didn't see the grudge, because the previews would give me panic attacks. I also have a phobia of soap...IF i use it (at home, I don't use it in public), I have to make several trips back to rinse off whatever was washed. Whenever I get into a situation where The Ring is involved (catching a glimpse of something on tv), i have what i think are convulsions, but i don't know what they are called, they are very physical (my stomach muscles contract up and i can't breathe at all) and almost always include some form of self-mutilation, usually hitting my head on a wall, with a shoe, whatever is near...thinking about someone getting soap on me can also induce these attack-things. PLEASE help I don't know what to do about the convulsion-like-episodes, and has anyone ever heard of a fear of soap or a specific movie?
Posted by Julie  in  California  on  Wed Apr 18, 2007  at  12:05 AM
Help.My son is in grade 6 and has thus paper phobia. He cannot touch paper especially after the shower. It seems to be getting worse. Can we fix this? Can we improve it? How can I help him? Is ther anyone who has got over this problem or found a way to improve the phobia.
Posted by Lisa  in  Victoria, Australia  on  Sun Apr 29, 2007  at  07:56 AM
Omg I'm so glad I found this site!! I have a massive phobia of wet toilet paper. I have no idea why and it sounds so stupid that I never tell anyone!!! I freak out when going in swimming pool toilets...wet toilet paper all over the floor just makes my skin crawl!!
Posted by Helen  in  London  on  Sun Apr 29, 2007  at  05:36 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one out there with a strange quirk - i really dislike cardboard and some paper, especially newspapers. I don't class it as a phobia yet as if i really have to handle it i will grin and bare it. It's not all cardboard, just the unshiney shuff, like raw cardboard as i call it. I think it developed from working in a shoe shop and dealing with boxes all the time. I hate the feel on my hands especially after i have washed my hands. It makes my skin crawl. Sometimes i forget i'm carrying cardboard and i when i realise (soon after) i drop whatever im carrying. Pizza boxes is the worse and the sound of them opening, yuck. I've dropped one in the middle of the street before without realising. The sound of cardboad on cardboard makes my skin itch. Everyone finds it funny and not really serious so rub it in my face, scratch it ect.. I'm glad there is others out ther and a name for it Papyrophobia so i can prove to the sceptics that i'm not just strange!!
Posted by Angelmouse  in  Scotland  on  Tue May 08, 2007  at  08:26 AM
Right, so i have a fear of chalk, in school i couldnt even watch someone right with it, i cant stand the sound, it makes me spasm all over. one kid in my math class ate a piece just to gross me out, and i puked. yea its that bad, i cant touch it or anything, and somehow this also ties in with snow....you know like when its so cold that the snow crunches? i cant walk on it because of the feeling and sound. Also, grinding teeth....gyyyaaaahhhhhhhh! and when the dentist scrapes your teeth with that pointy thing!

not sure how but all of this ties together for me.

does anyone know what the name for any of those phobias is??? please!
Posted by Samantha  on  Fri Jun 08, 2007  at  12:18 PM
Please, please tell me what the fear of achilles tendons is. I'm deathly afraid of them. I hate the word. It's hard to just type this. They physically hurt when I even hear the word. I've passed out in movies because of certain things happening. Please, please, please what the name?
Posted by Dwayne  in  Kentucky  on  Thu Jun 14, 2007  at  02:22 AM
Achilles tendonitis.


Sorry, sorry... had to be said. I couldn't help myself.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Jun 14, 2007  at  11:25 AM
My mother has Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of her mouth. Really. Well, at least she started out with Arachibutyrophobia, but now she just hates peanut butter, and when I say "hate," I mean HATE. She can barely stand to have it in the house. Heck, she can barely stand to have it in the same hemisphere.
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Thu Jun 14, 2007  at  02:19 PM
About that achilles tendon fear of Dwayne's...well, you might try looking here: http://www.phobialist.com/

It's just a list (a very LONG list) of phobias, and it's indexed both alphabetically and by feared thing, so maybe you can find something there. I didn't see anything, but I didn't look very closely. And even if you don't find it, well, the lesson you learn from the phobia list is that it is, in a way, really normal to have irrational fears, it's just that people don't always agree on what those things ought to be.
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Thu Jun 14, 2007  at  02:42 PM
i have a deathly fear of napkins. i hate the way the feel and when they rub together, i always use a towel to wipe my hands, or even my pants. i hate them especially when they get wet. sometimes i will throw up. also, i have a phobia of midgets. i feel like their diaphragms are being crushed since they are small. AH
Posted by marisa  in  michigan  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  08:00 PM
i also have a fear of breaking that string under my tongue, it would hurt so bad! and i HATE when the fork scrapes on the plate.. also i hate when you scratch the top of the car ceiling with your nails GAHH i cannot even think about it. i think im the only person weird enough to have all these odd phobias.
Posted by marisa  in  michigan  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  08:02 PM
i have a phobia of seaweed. if i see it i will gag.
Posted by Emily  in  MICHIGAN  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  08:04 PM
gulp OMG!! chris from new york, i like so totally know what you mean!! whenever my hands are dry i just like put them in a fist and wait for them to sweat so that they aren't completely dry. and when my hands ARE dry, sometimes like in the mornings, when i feel paper or like any dry stuff i just have to suck in my lips and put my hands in fists until they aren't dry, like i said before. omg. does anyone know the name of this phobia? if so, please tell me.
Posted by kristin  in  minnesota  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  10:38 PM
gulp NEVERMIND!! i went to phobialist.com and i know the word for the fear of dryness! omg! it's Xerophobia. YAY! i have xerophobia. well not yay, but at least i know what it is
Posted by kristin  in  minnesota  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  10:46 PM
gulpOMG! abby in florida who posted her comment on fri. dec. 29, 2006 at 8:34 pm i guess, you're like SO totally right with that touching rocks or chalk or anything rough, your whole body tenses up. that like happens to me too! if it IS uncontrolled reflexes, that sucks, but it might be a phobia. anyone know the name?
Posted by kristin  in  minnesota  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  11:01 PM
gulpOMG! samantha that posted in this page, above me a little, that posted on fri. jun. 8, 2007 at 8:18 am i like so totally know what you mean with the fear of chalk and like the dentist scraping your teeth with that pointy thingy!! i can't stand it! the only things that i don't have similar to your comment are the snow crunching thing and the teeth grinding thing. i actually don't have a fear of those. but i like really understand your other fears! it might have to do with dryness or something, but i would also like to have all of my fears linked together cuz they are already kinda. and some of them, like the ones you listed, there aren't phobias for!! does anyone know the name of them?
Posted by kristin  in  minnesota  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  11:22 PM
gulpOMG for the one i posted before [sorry for posting so many smile] Chionophobia is the fear of snow! just to let you know, samantha
Posted by kristin  in  minnesota  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  11:37 PM
ey i have homophobia i am not scaired of gay people but the freak me out and make me very angry just know ing they are there makes me mad i dont even like gay girls and im a dude does any1 know how 2 help over come this i dont wanna hate gay people i just do oh and ps seaweed fear girl sea weed is an ingrediant in most tooth pastes lol
Posted by Alex Ferguson  in  texas  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  02:29 PM
Omgosh i have this insane fear of styrofoam and its ALWAYS the packaging of gifts so im beginning to hate christmas and birthdays (though not phobias lol but i dont want them to come) Any time i see styrofoam i HAVE to walk away and if someone touches it im completely paralyzed. After they stop i feel the need to grind my teeth together and scratch my nails on a hard surface like jeans or plastic. Just typing this is making me grind my teeth. I don't even know if their is a name for that phobia and i guess its not the name so much that im concerned about but if anyone knows how to help it i would appreciate hearing from them.
Posted by i goby Hugs  on  Wed Aug 08, 2007  at  01:43 AM
i have a fear of midgets...i feel so bad but i cant help it! i told my boyfriend and he didnt believe me until one time at the casino there was a midget worker and i tryed so hard not to look but he made me and i cryed...i felt horrible. luckely the midget didnt see me.
can anyone relate????
Posted by angelina  in  california  on  Sat Aug 11, 2007  at  04:35 PM
i hate cardborad and lollypop sticks they make me cry, if some one put them on me i would screem
they make me feel sick, i can't stand them
Posted by jordan  in  lilport  on  Mon Aug 13, 2007  at  01:48 PM
I have a fear of glue. Does anyone know what this is called? I've checked the Phobia List website and it's not there, and using Search Engines comes up with nothing.

Thanks in advance. ;3
Posted by Tagg  in  U.S.A.  on  Thu Aug 23, 2007  at  05:25 AM
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