According to our Weird Holidays & Observances Calendar, October 11 is National Face Your Fears Day. (And also Octopus Myths & Legends Day. Not sure if there’s such a thing as a fear of octopus –likely– but if there is and you suffer from it, today is the day to face it!)
I found myself once again having to look up the name for the fear of the number 13 when I was writing “October 13, 2017: Thirteen Thrilling Places to Spend Friday the 13th.”
(I know it when I hear it, but I can never remember how to spell it. Btw, it’s Triskaidekaphobia. And both Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia can be used for fear of Friday the 13th.)
Anyway, that’s how I tripped upon FearOf.net, “the ultimate list of phobias and fears.”
I was instantly intrigued, because I have a phobia…or is it a fear?
Difference Between Fears and Phobias
There’s a section called Fear? on FearOf.net that discusses the difference between a mere fear and a full-blown phobia.
Because there is a “subtle” difference between the two, which is distinguished by intensity and severity.
Basically, fears don’t interfere with your life. You may be afraid of something, but you can suck it up and push on/push through it.
Phobias, however, elicit a more dramatic response. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. They can do everything from induce panic attacks to make you avoid situations entirely –affecting your life and even sometimes endangering it– because your fear is that intense.
Well, that answered that. I suffered from a real phobia. Three actually:
- Trypanophobia, a fear of needles
- Iatrophobia, a fear of doctors
- Nosocomephobia, a fear of hospitals
I avoided situations (specifically doctors and hospitals) where I might have to face a needle, because quite frankly shots meant hell. And embarrassment.
Sweating, tears, fainting, vomiting, and diarrhea, basically all simultaneously, could lead to some awkward, not to mention messy, situations.
So, yeah, it was in my best interest to avoid needles and doctors at all costs. Which I managed to accomplish pretty successfully until I was 38.
However, thanks to cancer, I had to face those fears if I wanted to live. Once in a while I still have my reaction, but at least now I can sit in a chair for a blood draw. As long as I look away and the phlebotomist is quick, gentle, and compassionate. And I voluntarily get a flu shot every year. That never happened before.
Do You Have One of the Top 100 Phobias?
Both of my phobias are in the Top 100. I’m actually shocked neither are in the Top 10, which are:
- Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders (which did you know affects women four times more than men, according to the site?)
- Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes.
- Acrophobia – The fear of heights.
- Agoraphobia – The fear of open or crowded spaces.
- Cynophobia – The fear of dogs.
- Astraphobia – The fear of thunder/lightning AKA Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, Ceraunophobia.
- Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces.
- Mysophobia – The fear of germs. It is also rightly termed as Germophobia or Bacterophobia.
- Aerophobia – The fear of flying.
- Trypophobia – The fear of holes.
Number 10 surprised me. Until this season of American Horror Story: Cult, I never knew there was such a thing as a fear of holes. I had no idea it was so common. Did you?
I was also surprised the fear of dogs was so high on the list. I would’ve expected the fear of public speaking or even the fear of drowning (which I didn’t see on the list, but fear of water is pretty high up at number 22…but still not as high as I would’ve predicted).
There were some phobias in the Top 100 that caught my eye.
Not for being unusual per se, nor are they fears I have. In fact, it’s almost the opposite.
Not that I love any of the following, but I am either very intrigued or dig some of them greatly. Such as ghosts, Halloween and zombies. (Shoot, HJ wouldn’t exist if I suffered from any of these phobias!)
- Hemophobia – The fear of blood (#24; )
- Globophobia – The fear of balloons (#34)
- Nyctophobia – The fear of darkness (#35)
- Phobophobia – The fear of fear (#37)
- Somniphobia – The fear of sleep (#47, which made the rhyme “One two, Freddy’s coming for you…” immediately pop to mind)
- Pediophobia – The fear of dolls (#58)
- Scelerophobia – The fear of crime (#65)
- Phasmophobia – The fear of ghosts (#67)
- Coulrophobia – The fear of clowns (#88)
- Samhainophobia – The fear of Halloween (#90)
- Kinemortophobia – The fear of zombies (#98)
You can find the complete list of Top 100 phobias here: http://www.fearof.net/
And if you want to conquer your fears, FearOf.net has resources to help you.
(I’m alive today, and Haunt Jaunts exists today, because I was able to conquer mine. My life is the richer for it, so that’s why I’m embracing Face Your Fears Day. Doing so can not only change and improve your life, but can also potentially save it.)
What scares you? Is it on the list? Have you ever been forced to face your fears like cancer made me face mine? Let me know below!