Nov 16, 2016

Do you have a phobia?

I'm writing about a character who has a phobia of public speaking (glossophobia)--a genuine mind shattering, heart stopping, body shaking terror of it--and it got me to thinking about phobias in general. As I read all these I realized I'm a great deal more mixed up than I thought!

Here's a list of the top ten (if there can be such a thing) phobias:

1.  Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders). Interestingly enough, this would be my biggest fear but I don't think I'm at phobia stage...yet. My husband, of course, loves spiders. Shudder!

Yes, those really are my hands holding a
snake. Okay, so it's not a big snake, but
it's still a snake, right? 
2.  Ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes). I used to think I was afraid of snakes and could never imagine ever wanting to touch or hold one but on a trip to the US a couple of years back a couple of us visited a reptile museum and we got to touch and hold a couple of snakes. Granted, they were small, but surprisingly, I grew more fascinated by them and less fearful, the longer we were there.

3.  Acrophobia (the fear of heights). Okay, I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane from 15,000 feet, albeit with a man with a parachute strapped to my back, but I think I have a fear of edges, or falling off them without a man with a parachute strapped to my back, more than heights themselves.

4. Agoraphobia (the fear of open or crowded spaces). I'm interested to see that this phobia entails crowded spaces along with open ones. Generally I love open spaces, although I did lose my nerve once, scuba diving at about 80 feet with amazing visibility. To be honest, I was freaked out by the fact I could see for metres under water when I was more used to diving in more murky depths. I guess I really don't like to see what's coming, LOL! Suffice to say I've never scuba dived since. Crowded spaces just wear me out.

5.  Cynophobia (the fear of dogs). Okay, I can understand that in some ways, especially if someone has had a genuinely terrifying experience with a dog, whether it was genuinely aggressive or just playing. I'm very glad I don't have this phobia because that would definitely make time with the grandpuppy a very difficult proposition.

I took this photo from our deck as a big thunderstorm
approached our house one day.
6.  Astrophobia (the fear of thunder and lightning). I'll put my hand up for this one but with a disclaimer. Only at night and particularly when Mr Fix-it is on night shift and therefore not there to be my Rock of Gibraltar in times of stress. Sometimes I don't mind the thunder so much, especially the crackling kind, but lightning makes me extremely nervous. Probably because I'm waiting for the thunder to come after. I always count it out. Do you?

7.  Claustrophobia (the fear of small spaces). I actually think I'm okay with this. I can have an MRI without sedation but only because if I know something I'm going through has a finite period and I can keep my eyes closed and put my mind away somewhere else, I can cope with pretty much anything.

8.  Mysophobia (the fear of germs). It's a good thing I don't suffer from this one because I really am not a great housekeeper. I prefer to think my skills lie in other areas. ;-)

9.  Aerophobia (the fear of flying). Again, not one of my phobias, although I'm less keen to go flying in Mr Fix-it's airplane these days, but that comes mostly because of a tendency to motion sickness which seems to be getting worse as I get older rather than better.

10. Trypophobia (the fear of holes). Apparently one can experience actual biological revulsion over a hole. It's an extreme and irrational fear (although I'm sure it's not irrational to the sufferer) and causes the sufferer to avoid even honeycombs and sponges.

So, those are apparently the top ten. Do you identify with any of those or have any others you'd like to share?

Oh, and by the way, I have a book out this month in which there are no phobias, except perhaps of small children and long term commitments. Look out for ONE HEIR...OR TWO?

17 comments:

  1. I know I have phobias but I don't think any of them are on that list, but then again, at the moment, I'm stuffed if I can remember what my phobias are due to stupid earthquakes and aftershocks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Lyn, I've been wondering how you're coping with all that shaking and all the horrible weather? Is your home safe at the moment? Are you still able to work or is your building one of the ones currently still inside the cordons?

      Sending you lots of wishes for more settled ground and better weather and a whole lot less worry!

      Delete
  2. I think I must be a bit of a scaredy cat, Yvonne. I'm terrified of public speaking and not a huge fan of dogs (I was chased and bitten by a German shepherd when I was 10 and still get scared seeing a dog bounding towards me). I used to be scared of flying, but somehow I'm over that (drugs, mainly!! LOL)
    You were very brave to hold a snake!! I think I'd be okay with it if I knew it wasn't going to kill me.
    I think, when it comes down to it, I'm just scared of pain (including the pain of social humiliation when speaking in public)!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, you hide your fears very well, Louisa. When I look at you I always see a very outgoing and confident woman. As to the snake, it took a while before I actually wanted to hold it. Mr Fix-it held it first, and another friend was holding a slightly larger one. It was as they were about to put them both away that I asked if I could hold the little one and, you know, it actually felt really nice in my hands. Really smooth and soft and you could feel the muscles moving in its body. Quite fascinating, really.

      Delete
  3. Hi Yvonne

    Thunder storms would be my biggest fear although since having children of my own it isn't as bad as it used to be I learnt to cope when my kids were little because I didn't want to scare them but before that I was terrified of them I can remember them as a child myself although I still cringe here and there now especially if I am home alone :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My youngest generally comforts me when there's a thunderstorm. Actually, I always came second to her big sister, who also isn't a fan. Little Miss Fashion would always jump out of bed during a storm and race down the hall to the Drill Sergeant's bedroom and jump into bed with her, and not because she was scared but because she always knew the Drill Sergeant would be.

      I don't know if its the energy in the air that comes with a thunderstorm but I'll often get a headache beforehand and I also get really tense, even if I have no idea one is coming.

      Delete
  4. There are definitely things that I'm scared of, Yvonne, but I wouldn't call them phobias. I am frightened of spiders - like shrieking frightened but I can cope with them. I've been afraid of dogs ever since, like Louisa, a german shepherd attacked me (completely unprovoked, I was just riding past on my bike) when I was ten and tore a bloody great big hole in the back of my Brownie uniform. Luckily it didn't actually grab hold of any flesh!! But I can cope with dogs too I just always ask people who I dont know if they have a dog if I'm going to their place so I can prepare myself.....
    I've never written a hero or a heroine with a phobia though. So now you've got me thinking ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to have got you thinking, AA! Ideas come from everywhere, right? Like you, while I really REALLY don't like spiders, I can deal with them. I'd just prefer someone else did it. That said, a couple of weeks ago I came home late from a friend's, Mr Fix-it was fast asleep in bed, and I went into the en suite and there was not one, but TWO nasty BIG black spiders in there. I got 'em both but, oh man, was I shaking like a leaf afterward. *shudders* I can still feel their bodies through the tissue paper *gags*.

      Delete
  5. Hi Yvonne - Coulrophobia....a fear of clowns. I can't stand them. Would rather walk through a room full of snakes than a room full of clowns. Shudder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, I'm totally with you. I'm not a fan of magicians either. Or basically anything that relies on deception. But clowns, ugh. I'm amazed they're not in that top 10 list!

      Delete
  6. Snakes...mice....clowns and FROGS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frogs? Wow. I never thought about frogs...quickly Googles...ranidaphobia.

      Fear of frogs and toads is both a known specific phobia, known simply as frog phobia or ranidaphobia (from ranidae, the most widespread family of frogs), and a superstition common to the folkways of many cultures. Psychiatric speciality literature uses the simple term "fear of frogs" rather than any specialized term.

      Delete
  7. Hmm interesting list! I think the only one I have that qualifies as a proper phobia is arachnophobia. I am really terrified of spiders and not just when I see them, but if I'm staying at a new place I sometimes have to do a 'check' to make sure there aren't any in the room. Yeah, I'm crazy.

    I don't like snakes but the fear isn't quite at the same level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say that's crazy, Stef, I'd say that's very very sensible. However, the little beggars hide (as I discovered when I went to plug my charger in next to the bed last night and the MOTHER OF ALL DADDY LONG LEGS came out! Argh!)

      Delete
  8. Go you on holding that snake, Yvonne!

    I don't like spiders, but I'm not phobic. We have a strip of bushland running behind our house so we get lots of spiders and the occasional snake. Forced proximity has forced me to learn to deal with them.

    My mother had a phobic fear of the dentist, which made me terrified of them too when I was a child, but while I don't enjoy visiting the dentist (does anybody?), I'd prefer it to putting up with a toothache. Being phobic takes a lot of energy...and the truth of the matter is I'm innately lazy. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Yes, I reckon being phobic must sap a lot of energy from a person. All that adrenalin would take it's toll, wouldn't it. I have the strongest empathy for your poor mum. My primary school was a feeder for the dental nurse training centre here in Auckland, back when I was little, so as you can imagine, going to the dentist is not one of my favourite things, either!

      Delete
  9. Hi Yvonne,
    I'm late coming to this blog- sorry! but I have a phobia of rats and mice. I've had it since I was three and I've tried therapy and mindfulness and a whole heap of stuff and I'm still as bad as ever. I grew up on a farm and my siblings use to tease me with dead ones because it would get a rise out of me. My mother encouraged them to do it as she thought it would " toughen" me up. It didn't. My father, bless him, never once teased me and always made sure he got rid of them before I could see them. I still meet people today who think teasing someone with a phobia is fine. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete