Bet you haven’t heard of these 7 uncommon phobias

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 Bet you haven’t heard of these 7 uncommon phobias

Maybe we’ll start with a short definition of what a phobias is: It’s an extreme or irrational fear, a kind of anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has a relentless dread of a situation, living creature, place or thing.

Phobias aren’t as uncommon as you might think. About 11% of people encounter a phobia at some point in their lives.

Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—mine for example is mice. For most people, these fears are minor. But, when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias. The good news is that phobias can be managed and cured.

Some phobias are more common; fear of spiders, sharks, drowning, or flying, and others are much more bizarre, like being afraid of colors (xanthophobia), trees (dendrophobia), or sitting (kathisophobia).

How do most of these phobias even start? Experts think they’re caused by a traumatic event from our childhood we may not even remember.

Below are seven uncommon phobias you’ve probably never heard of.

1. Fear of paper (papyrophobia)

This phobia affects people in different ways. Some are only afraid of blank paper, others of torn paper or wet paper. Actress Megan Fox has admitted to a fear of dry paper. This phobia can be especially difficult to deal with because paper is everywhere and very difficult to avoid.

2. Fear of wet wood (oneirogmophobia)

Does the mere sight of wet wood cause you to feel  nauseous  or make you break out into a sweat? You probably have oneirogmophobia. Sufferers from this phobia can’t use toothpicks, enjoy a Popsicle, or lick cake batter from a wooden spoon.

3. Fear of chewing gum (chiclephobia)

It may seem silly to you, but one of the world’s most famous celebrities, Oprah Winfrey, is afraid of chewing gum. She won’t even allow it in her studio. Winfrey traces her disdain for the chewy goo back to her grandmother who would save used pieces of chewed gum at the bottom of dinner plates or in kitchen cabinets. Yuck! Score points for originality.

4.Fear of buttons (koumpounophobia)

Most of us use buttons every day. They can be found on clothes, purses, and even hats. But people who suffer from  koumpounophobia can’t stand the sight, touch, or smell of buttons. Some sufferers even needed to wash their skin if it comes into contact with a button. In more extreme cases some people can’t even say or write the word ‘button.’

5. Fear of bald people (peladophobia)

Fearing bald people can often be attributed to a childhood trauma involving someone with no hair. It could be as innocent as seeing scary Uncle Fester from The Addams Family movies, or as heart-breaking as witnessing someone’s hair falling out from illness like chemo treatments.

6. Fear of chins (geniophobia)

This is one of the more rare phobias, but it does exist. It stems from thinking your own chin is too large, small, or unpleasant to look at. You then become obsessed with fixating on other people’s chins because it reminds you of your own perceived flaw.

7. Fear of needles (beloneophobia)

This is actually a common fear, but one most people get over in order to receive healthcare treatment and get blood tests or vaccines they may need to ward off serious illness. In fact, researchers say that of the 20 million kids and adults in the US who experience deep fear of needles, only 3.5 million have skipped medically prescribed tests and injections to avoid getting pricked.

If you have some phobias you are struggling with, fear not. The experts say there are ways to overcome phobias even your most debilitating.

For more mild anxieties, take a deep breath and then visualize what it is that scares you. Spend time every day mentally picturing your phobia and then soothing your fear with a positive statement like “This can’t hurt me” or “Everything is going to be fine.”

Serious phobias like the ones listed above are going to require more intense therapy treatments like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is a popular therapy because you learn healthier thought patterns that eventually replace anxiety-causing thoughts of your phobia. This treatment may include hypnotherapy or exposure therapy. This is where the patient is exposed, in tiny increments, to the source of their anxiety untilthey’re able to overcome it.

Phobias only become a real problem when they start to rule our lives, or we experience physical symptoms from fear like chest pains, nausea, choking, or trembling. Some people’s phobias and fears send their heart pounding which will  bring on severe anxiety attacks at the mere thought of them. These phobias are debilitate to their quality of life and hence therapy should be sought out.

Tina is a DailyStar senior writer. She graduated from Edith Cowan University. Writing has always been something she enjoyed. Her positive outlook colours every aspect of her life. Her motto -Life’s too short so get living.

When she’s not busy writing, Tina is exploring the city she adores, running in her local Park every day, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, taking care of an adorable pup, kids and traveling.

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