I have a fear of flying. My anxiety has gotten progressively worse with each flight. Even though I can logically think my way out of the irrational fear, my brain still wants to twist and mangle my fear response into something worse. I’m afraid I might be developing a phobia.
Phobias are Common
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million American adults suffer from some anxiety disorder. Phobias, including specialized phobias and social phobias, are considered to be anxiety disorders. As of today, there are approximately 228 million people over the age of 20 in the US. This means nearly one out of every six people you meet will suffer from some anxiety disorder.
Phobias not only plague us ordinary people – celebrities have them too! Christina Ricci reportedly suffers from botanophobia, or fear of house plants and Orlando Bloom has a fear of pigs, also known as swinophobia.
There are two phobias that might influence a person’s decision to get term life insurance. Death and money are unavoidable topics to consider when planning for your loved ones. Money tends to be a bit easier to talk about, as few people like to think or talk about their death. In fact, death is such an unpleasant word to use that many life insurance agents will not say it when talking about life insurance. Instead, they simply swap it out for phrases such as ‘the unthinkable,’ or ‘if something were to happen.’
If you suffer from a phobia called thanatophobia, you have a fear of death or dying. This specific phobia can involve all things relating to death or dying, including anxiety around graveyards, fear of ghosts, fear of the unknown when we die, the actual act of dying, and fear of what will happen to loved ones when we die. Phobias create such anxiety that the sufferer will change their lifestyle to avoid coming in contact with or having to interact in any way with the situations or things that trigger the phobia.
A fear of money is called chrometophobia. This phobia is related to anxiety over handling money, mismanaging finances, and the general karma of money as being the cause of greed and evil in the world.
A few of the more unusual or bizarre phobias courtesy of listverse.com are:
- Ephebiphobia – Fear of young people. Many parents can relate.
- Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns. All of us can relate.
- Ergasiophobia – Fear of work. Don’t use this excuse when you call in sick.
- Friggatriskaidekaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th. Thanks, Jason.
- Pteronophobia – Fear of being tickled by feathers. Hmmm.
According to WebMD, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or sometimes referred to as exposure therapy, is a common treatment for phobias. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves being in contact visually or physically with the object or situation that causes the phobia. Over time, the patient becomes desensitized to the object or situation that causes the phobia. If you think you have a phobia, visit your doctor to see if treatment is needed.
Do you have a phobia? Let us know in the comments!