3 unusual fears and phobias
Fear is a natural part of the human condition. It is a crucial survival instinct which kicks in when there is danger or risk present in order to trigger our flight-or-fight mechanism which allows us to respond appropriately and keep us as safe as possible. Fear is often presented in the media and elsewhere as some form of weakness or cowardice, but the truth is that being fearful is a critical part of being human.
Fear is not always rational though. Although fear instincts are most often triggered by situations of genuine danger or concern, they can also be triggered by very specific things. The phenomenon whereby a person has a fear of a specific object, creature, thing, place, situation or event is known as a phobia. These often involve an inflated sense of danger about their subject and can be extremely debilitating in many cases.
Phobias can have a serious detriment on people’s lives and their ability to enjoy many aspects of them. Sometimes they are an in-built irrational fear, while in other cases they can be as a result of a previous trauma associated with a particular thing. They can also develop as a result of behaviours learned from family members during childhood, with phobias potentially passed on from parent to child both by genetics and by the visual reaction of someone to something about which they possess a phobia.
While many fears and phobias are well known and common - social interaction, heights, spiders, and so on - others are much rarer or unusual. Here are 3 of the stranger or more surprising fears that people hold. It’s worth noting that this list will be dealing with both phobias - which, specifically, are a form of anxiety - and wider fears that people hold that are not necessarily classified as a phobia.
Many people are fond of the colour yellow. It is a bright, vibrant and cheerful colour which decorates much of our world and can bring a touch of joy to your home furnishings. That is, of course, unless you’re xanthophobic, in which case you are scared of the colour yellow. Those with a xanthophobia may fear anything yellow, including even the sun - something which is very hard to avoid. The worst forms of xanthophobia can also leave sufferers with a huge fear of even the word “yellow.”
While not a specific phobia, a significant number of people are afraid of the possibility of robots taking over large parts of life, feeling distrustful of them. In a recent survey, 32% reporting being worried about robots taking over everyday life. Surprisingly, young people are more concerned about the wider use of robots than older people are with 35% of young people expressing fear, compared to 28% of older people.
Ancraophobia or anemophobia
You might enjoy a long walk on a brisk autumn’s day, with the breeze lapping against your hair, flicking it up. While you may enjoy this, people suffering from ancraophobia (also known as anemophobia), definitely will not. Both of these terms describe a fear of the wind. People who suffer from this phobia can become anxious, outside near open windows, passing hand driers, or air vents. This phobia can come from an event embedded in a person’s subconscious.