Although most people have heard of common phobias (irrational fear of an object, situation or living being), such as fear of heights ( acrophobia ) or fear of spiders ( arachnophobia ), there are many strange phobias and less known.

While fear is a natural response to danger, phobias often occur in response to something that is unlikely to cause real harm.

21 weird phobias you may never have heard of:

1. Arachibutyrophobia (Fear that peanut butter will stick to the palate)

Arachbutyrophobia is the fear that peanut butter will stick to the palate. While the phenomenon has happened to everyone at one point or another, people with arachibutyrophobia are very afraid of it.

The severity of arachibutyrophobia varies from person to person.

Some people with this condition may be able to eat small amounts of peanut butter, while others will avoid eating peanut butter or anything else with the consistency of peanut butter altogether.

Arachibutyrophobia can stem from a greater phobia of things that are sticky or from a fear of suffocation. It can also stem from a traumatic incident with peanut butter, such as choking or being allergic to it.

2. Nomophobia (Fear of being without your mobile phone)

Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. People with nomophobia experience excessive anxiety about not having their phone with them, because their battery is low, or because their phone is out of order.

Regardless of the circumstances, not being able to use your phone causes people with nomophobia to panic and experience extreme symptoms of anxiety.

This phobia often comes from a person who has a cell phone addiction. People with this phobia can obsessively check their phone throughout the day.

It seems to be quite common. In recent surveys of diverse populations, the prevalence of anxiety related to not having or being able to use a cell phone ranged from 9% to 77%.

A group in Italy has suggested that nomophobia be added to the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

3. Arithmophobia (Fear of numbers)

Many people grow up dreading math class, but people with arithmophobia have a genuine fear of numbers.

People with this fear generally experience anxiety associated with math or dealing with numbers in general, compared to the fear of actually seeing number symbols.

Fear of numbers is also sometimes called numerophobia . Arithmophobia can significantly harm a person’s life, as it is difficult to perform many tasks or occupations without taking numbers into account.

4. Plutophobia (Fear of money)

Many people probably want more money, but plutophobia is a fear of money or wealth. People with plutophobia may fear becoming rich or be afraid of rich people. They are usually afraid of money itself and having to deal with money.

People with this fear can potentially sabotage their careers to prevent them from making more money or getting rich.

The fear of getting rich may stem from the fear of the responsibilities or pressures associated with it or from the fear of being robbed.

5. Xanthophobia (Fear of the color yellow)

Xanthophobia is a fear of the color yellow. People with xanthrophobia are also often afraid of anything that is yellow, such as school buses and flowers.

People with xanthophobia can avoid the color yellow at all costs. This phobia tends to interfere with daily life, as yellow things can be found everywhere.

6. Ablutophobia (Fear of bathing)

Ablutophobia is the fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning. This phobia occurs more often in children and resolves with age, but it can still be present in adults. People with ablutophobia avoid bathing and showering, which can lead to unpleasant body odor and sometimes subsequent social isolation.

However, their fear of the bathroom and the anxiety they experience while bathing tend to be so extreme that these consequences pale in comparison.

Ablutophobia can be the result of a traumatic event involving water or a person who is afraid of getting wet. In some cases, the phobia is related to aquaphobia, which is the fear of water.

7. Octophobia (Fear of the number eight)

Octophobia is a fear of the number eight. Interestingly, there are few other known phobias of specific numbers, except for the fear of the numbers themselves (arithmophobia) and the fear of the number thirteen (triskaidekaphobia). Not only do people with octophobia fear the symbol eight as it is written, in directions, or in advertisements, but they may also fear objects in groups of eight.

The fear of the number eight may come from its resemblance to the sign of infinity. It can also come from a traumatic event involving the number eight, such as an accident that occurred on the 8th of the month.

8. Optofobia (Fear of opening the eyes)

Optophobia is the fear of opening your eyes. This fear can be extremely debilitating, as it is difficult for an individual to carry out their daily activities without opening their eyes. People with optophobia may prefer to stay indoors or in poorly lit areas.

This phobia is generally associated with a generalized anxiety disorder. Like so many other phobias, this fear is usually the result of a traumatic incident.

9. Globophobia (Fear of balloons)

Balloonphobia is a fear of balloons. The level of fear varies from person to person and can range from avoiding being around balloons to avoiding places with balloons altogether.

In some people, the fear is so great that even seeing a balloon on television triggers intense anxiety.

This phobia can be especially difficult for young children, as balloons are often present at children’s birthday parties.

Balloonphobia is usually caused by a traumatic experience with a balloon in childhood, such as the popping of a balloon and the noise that scares them. It can also be related to a fear of clowns (or coulrophobia), as the two are often found together.

10. Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (Fear of long words)

Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a fear of long words. Ironically, it is also the longest word in the dictionary. Another name for this phobia is sesquipedalophobia .

This phobia is believed to develop from being embarrassed about pronouncing long words incorrectly.

This can happen while reading aloud in front of the class as a child. The phobia can also be common in people with dyslexia.

11. Ephebiphobia (Fear of adolescents)

Ephebiphobia is a fear of adolescents or young people. People with ephebiphobia may perceive teens as out of control or dangerous.

People with this fear may believe that teens are rude, unpredictable, and don’t follow the rules.

This fear is believed to develop from the negative image of adolescents in the media. People with ephebiphobia are afraid of teenagers and will not want to be around them. People with this fear may avoid going to a friend’s house if they have teenagers or going to places where teenagers tend to hang out.

12. Omphalophobia (Fear of belly buttons)

Omphalophobia is a fear of the belly buttons. People with omphalophobia will avoid seeing or touching their belly buttons, even their own. They could even put a bandage over the belly button to avoid looking at it. Sometimes they avoid places where the navels may be exposed, like the beach.

13. Linophobia (Fear of ropes)

Linophobia is a fear of ropes. A person with linophobia will have an extreme reaction when thinking of the rope, let alone seeing it in person. People with linophobia will avoid using rope or anything that has to do with rope, such as sewing or tying shoes.

This usually develops from a negative association with the thread that can stem from the fear of being restricted or restricted.

A person who experiences a traumatic event, such as being tied up as punishment or kidnapping, can develop linophobia. It can also develop simply by watching these events on television.

14. Pogonophobia (Fear of beards)

Pogonophobia is a fear of beards. This is usually due to an alarming incident with a bearded person. It can also arise from a person who does not like a beard to hide someone’s face.

People with pogonophobia will avoid people with beards and may even have anxiety when looking at a photo of someone with a beard. They will generally not be friends with someone who has a beard and will be extremely nervous when talking to someone who does.

15. Chaetophobia (Fear of hair)

Kethophobia is a fear of hair. This phobia can be a fear of a person’s own hair, other people’s hair, or even an animal’s hair. People with chaethophobia may be afraid of a hairball on the floor or of combing their hair.

They generally avoid situations where other people touch their hair and often find it extremely difficult to get a haircut.

This phobia can arise from a traumatic experience involving hair. Some examples are a bad haircut or the loss of large amounts of hair, such as going bald.

It can also be caused by someone who thinks their hair is dirty and does not want to come into contact with it.

Related phobias are trichophobia and trichophobia. Trichophobia is the fear of having hair down, such as hair that has fallen on clothing or furniture. Trichopathophobia is the fear of hair disease, such as a change in hair color or baldness.

16. Vestiphobia (Fear of clothes)

Vestiphobia is a fear of clothing. For many people, this manifests as a fear of a specific garment. For others, it may stem from a fear of tight clothing that makes them feel restricted. In other cases, it is a fear of all clothing.

Vestiphobia can arise from an allergy to a specific type of fabric or from a traumatic event associated with a certain item of clothing.

For example, there have been cases where former soldiers have developed a fear of military clothing.

17. Ergophobia (Fear of work)

Ergophobia is a fear of work. People with ergophobia tend to have extreme anxieties associated with their workplace or work environment. Others may fear manual labor or the act of working for themselves.

Still, others may be afraid of finding a job. All these cases would be classified as ergophobia.

Fear of work can lead to anxiety attacks and impair a person’s ability to perform professionally.

It can have a huge impact on a person’s life, as most people need to hold a job to survive. Ergophobia can stem from occupational burnout, in which a person feels so stressed and exhausted from their work that they feel like they can no longer complete it.

It can also be associated with negative work experiences, such as an abusive employer or a poor work-life balance.

Ergophobia is usually related to other specific phobias, such as social phobia, fear of public speaking, or fear of criticism.

18. Decidophobia (Fear of making decisions)

Decidophobia is the fear of making decisions. Making any kind of decision may seem impossible to someone with decidophobia, as they do not trust their own opinions.

A person with decidophobia may be overly dependent on others for help in making decisions.

They can even turn to outside sources, such as astrology, for advice. Decidophobia could be part of a larger mental health disorder called dependent personality disorder. One of the symptoms of dependent personality disorder is depending on others to make decisions.

19. Eisoptrophobia (Fear of mirrors)

Eisoptrophobia is a fear of mirrors, sometimes also known as spectrophobia or cattophobia. People with this fear are unable to look at themselves in a mirror. This fear can also extend to any reflective surface.

  • This fear may stem from superstitions about mirrors.
  • For example, a person may be afraid to break a mirror because they believe it will cause bad luck.
  • Others may fear seeing something supernatural in a mirror, such as a ghost.

In some cases, eisoprophobia develops from low self-esteem, in which a person is ashamed of their physical appearance and therefore does not want to see it in a mirror. In some cases, it can lead to depression.

20. Deipnophobia (Fear of dining with others)

Deipnophobia is the fear of dining with others. This often manifests as a fear of dinner parties and can stem from the fear of dinner conversations or having to carry on a conversation while eating.

It may be related to an underlying social phobia.

In many cases, deipnophobia is triggered by traumatic events in an individual’s past, such as being ridiculed as a child for the way they ate or for not following proper etiquette at the dinner table.

The fear of dining with others can also be related to the fear of being criticized for the way a person eats.

A person with deipnophobia may feel uncomfortable eating in front of others and therefore avoid it. People with deipnophobia tend to eat alone or prefer to eat quietly if they eat with other people.

21. Phobophobia (Fear of phobias)

Phobophobia is a fear of phobias. This can be described as free-floating anxiety, where a person spirals in a circle of anxiety out of fear itself. In that sense, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The phobia is commonly co-diagnosed with other types of specific phobias and is often associated with anxiety disorders.

People with phobia often avoid social situations or other situations that can lead to anxiety. When it is extreme, it greatly interferes with an individual’s daily life.

Among the strangest phobias are:

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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