They say that the fear of fear is the worst fear in itself. That said, fear is probably the most common of all human emotions besieging people in strangest of times. Every one’s been scared of something or the other at some point – from that perspective, fear is one great leveler too!
Everyone supposedly has a fear of some sort, but not all of us can claim to suffer from the type of ‘pathological fear’ called a ‘phobia’. There are some phobias that are very well known: Agoraphobia, the fear of being in an open area or in a large crowd; Thanatophobia, the fear of death!
However, there are these other phobias that are well, just plain bizarre! Think about Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth! So let’s gear up for a ride in to the world of phobias and acquaint ourselves with ten worst phobias ever to besiege the human mind!
What is it? – The fear of walking or standing.
Imagine, if you can, the simply unbearable implications of such a fear! The very thought of standing or walking around filling one’s mind with the feeling of utter terror and dread! Talk about being able to live a normal life – not by a far stretch of imagination. You definitely cannot travel around the world, or even around the block strapped to a motorized chair!
It is natural to assume that people who are assailed by this fear are forced to reckon with their fears man, many times, very single day of their lives! Not fun at all.
What is it? – The fear of making decisions.
As is obvious, it’s apparent that some phobias have grave psychological consequences. Think about someone who gets totally creeped out at the thought of making a decision. How do they go about life at all, the question begs an answer!
Think about it… even choosing which clothes to wear every morning is the slightest, yet the most fundamental of all decisions!
People inflicted by the decision phobia must surely be in a constant state of mental dilemma; as long as they don’t contemplate on a decision, they would be free from fear but the alternative must be the nadir of their fears!
What is it? – The fear of knowledge.
Yes. You can gasp now. Outrage aside, this is one of those kinds of fear that are hard to rationalize and even harder to believe.
So, what again? The fear of knowledge? Indeed. Which means no school, no education, no introduction to new facts and stories of any sort?
Developing this phobia must be akin to a strange form of arrested development. You cannot learn anything new unless you go through the extreme terrorizing fear that precedes the learning process – and even during the learning process the senses must be impaired by the numbing sense of all invasive fear. Sad, but it exists.
What is it? – The fear of food.
First all, let’s just put the facts into perspective: food is essential to life and there is no known ‘workaround' to that. Cibophobes are frightened by food!
What this really means is that such people only have two options left: totally avoid food which will eventually result in their malnutrition and then starvation or stay alive and deal with eating food. It also means dealing with the very idea of food itself, thereby rendering themselves vulnerable to bone chilling trembles of fear every time a spoonful of food approaches their mouths!
We cannot really imagine being a Cibophobe – especially not when we do not even think about food in terms of something separate from us. It’s a part of our daily, unchangeable routine – think about those people who have to think about fear every time they so much as even imagine about macroni-and-cheese or a bacon-and-cheddar cheeseburger!
What is it? – The fear of Sleep
Just like the one before, this one deals with a process that is vital to life itself once again. Imagine being scared stiff from getting your precious shut-eye!
Life for people who have to deal with this phobia on a day to day basis must have lost a little of its beauty already. What is life when one cannot lay down one’s guard and give into the arms of precious somnambulism which is all healing?
One can hardly even begin to imagine the overall physical and mental fatigue that this phobia must cause; the constant staying awake can cause physiological damage, not to mention severely undermining one’s brain’s functioning!
Definitely a terrible fear to have to deal with!
What is it? – The morbid fear of sounds, including your own voice.
Onwards to stranger phobias. How exactly does an acousticophobe live a normal life? In a sound proofed room? Or does such a person walk around with earplugs?
Do acousticophobes convince doctors to make them surgically deaf? How in the world do they live with the terror of hearing their own voices ring in their ears? All of these sound like rather drastic measures and dangerous too but the alternative to all this is just isn’t promising: having to constantly live in bone chilling fear of hearing sounds and noises and even those made by yourself!
What is it? – The fear of the passing of time, or more generally of time itself.
Stretching this fear to its logical conclusion, one would naturally assume that the fear of time will also entail the fear of concepts related to time such as the past, the present, the future; and even words like ‘later’, ‘early’, ‘sometime’ etc.
What a truly horrible existence would that be, eh? Even chronophobes aren’t afraid of words or ideas related time, it is a given that they are scared to the bone by time and its passage. As human beings we’re all afraid that time is slowly ticking by and a certain end is near but its truly ghastly to imagine the life a chronophobe and having to stare at a watch or one of those analog clocks with loudly ticking seconds hands… every passing second resounding like an earth quake and sending spasms of terror up the spine!
What is it? – The preference by a phobic for fearful situations.
You should probably re-read that definition for discernment. This one’s truly a bizarre, mind bending crazy phobia if there ever was once.
So granted, this person has a phobia, and this person actually SEEKS out those situations or objects that cause him/her intense discomfort and fear. This is bound to sound like some strange sort of twisted masochistic syndrome, but it is believed that counterphobes engage in these activities in order to combat their phobias!
Face your fears – at its best? Just not so sure at all.
What is it? – The morbid fear of developing a phobia.
It just doesn’t get any worse than this. The intense, bone jarring fear of developing a manic fear? Well, it’s already a fear, so in that case, isn’t phobophobia essentially a self referential disorder? It would certainly seem so!
This is such an absolutely, ridiculously complicated fear that it seems more like a brain teaser than a legitimate fear.
It’s really a pity that people suffering from this phobia are truly battling the fear of developing a fear so in essence phobophobia sort of feeds upon itself in an endless cycle, ad infinitum!
What is it? – The fear of everything.
This is the classic cherry on the top of all phobias. At first you almost want to laugh out loud at this phobia.
Then you sort of get squeamish. The fear of everything? Really? That’s just plain absurd. Then the realization strikes homes and you finally begin to understand the gravity of this phobia.
Think about being afraid, all the time – of EVERYTHING. According to one source, this phobia can be described as, ‘a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil’. So in a sense, a pantophobe can go through life in a completely normal way, even enjoying themselves, except for the fact that they are constantly haunted by an incessant, unrelenting, unwavering fear that some universal, strange sinister force is out there somewhere!
Whereas most other phobias in this list can be traced to a specific cause this one is a rarity in itself as it entails ubiquitous dread; no matter where a pantophobe goes, no matter what he does, every aspect of his life including every thought, every object, every relationship and interaction, environment and moment is plagued by a nagging thought that something evil is hovering all around him, following from behind and closing in on him from all sides.
This goes until his end times. So much for a vague dread as Pantophobia!