Updated: Sep 8, 2018
I was afraid of mushrooms. Do you have any fears or phobias?
Phobias are medical conditions that affect millions of people, and every demographic is affected. Some phobia sufferers actually inflict more harm avoiding what they fear than the object or situation ever could. It is normal and healthy to experience fear in certain scary or unfamiliar situations. When fear becomes overwhelming or crippling that's Phobia.
What Are Phobias
The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines phobia as an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.
Phobias are anxiety disorders and there are 3 different categories of phobias:
Specific - Unreasonable or irrational fear as related to objects or situations
Social - Significant fear of social situations
Agoraphobia - Fear of perceived unsafe environments with no easy escape
Some phobias are more common than others. We typically tend to be familiar with these phobias: Acrophobia - A fear of heights Aerophobia - Fear of flying Arachnophobia - Severe fear of spiders Aquaphobia - This term is a fear of water Claustrophobia - Fear of being constricted/in small spaces Coulrophophia - The movie "It" could be and added reason for the fear of clowns Nyctophobia - Being afraid of the dark
Trypanophobia - Fear of needlesYou may know at least one person that one or more of these fears.
There are a few phobias that have resulted from modern technology:
Cyberphobia - fear of computers
Nomophobia - Fear of being without cell phone coverage
Editovultaphobic - Fear of Facebook
Rare & Unusual Phobias
Arachibutyrophobia - Irrational fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth
Ablutophobia - The fear of washing or bathing
Carbophobia -Yes, it's true some are fearful of carbohydrates.
Chemophobia - Fear of all chemicals and preference for natural elements
Cainophobia - This is the fear of anything new.
Cathisophobia - Some have a deep fear of sitting down
Chaetophobia - This term refers to the fear of hair or hair or hairy objects
Cymophobia - Being afraid of waves and wave-like motions
Ephebiphobia - Some suffer from a fear of teenagers
Igniterroremophobia - The fear of fire alarm suddenly going off
Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking
Mnemophobia - A fear of memories
Macrophobia - There is no waiting in line with the fear of long waits.
Rhypophobia - Being afraid of defecation
Scoleciphobia - Also referred to as vermiphobia, the fear of caterpillars, maggots or worms
Syngenesophobia - Some relatives are scary but this term refers to fear of all relatives. Sesquipedalophobia - This long word is appropriate for the fear of long words Spectrophobia - People that are too afraid to look into a mirror
Trypophobia - Fear of small holes/ clusters of holes. This phobia recently caused my sister great distress at a glance of the picture below. The strawberry started sprouting while still on the vine. This is how I discovered that my sister suffered from trypophobia.
My Personal Struggle
I am generally very calm and I have never had high anxiety in my social life. Yet, a small fungi once severely threatened my comfort levels. I could barely tolerate fungi and bacteria and seeing fungi manifest as a mushroom fostered my unreasonable fear that lasted for decades.
The site of a mushroom growing caused me to feel unsettled and afraid. Seeing one caused my stomach to feel queasy, my mouth dry and I felt the need to flee. Even the thought of a mushroom caused my skin to tingle. Whenever I encountered a mushroom growing it plagued my thoughts well into the night and often for several days at a time. Fungophobia or mycophobia is the name of the phobia that I overcame. Unfortunately, many others continue to battle different phobia's every day.
If you or a loved one suffer's from phobia there is help, professional and self-help. I personally, challenged my fears with positive thinking, breathing exercises and meditation. I can now look at and even eat mushrooms. Life is too precious to have hindrances. Now, I 'm currently afraid to miss opportunities.