Before the holidays began, I had lots of ideas for new blog posts. Now I wonder if I have ideophobia. That’s the fear of ideas, or in my case, the lack of ideas. I’m afraid they aren’t any good, so perhaps it’s just atelophobia, the fear of imperfection. Or maybe I have phronemophobia, the fear of thinking. Yes, I think I’m afraid of thinking.
Some fears I do not have are chrematophobia, the fear of touching money; dendrophobia, the fear of trees; and cathisophobia, the fear of sitting down.
I may or may not have arachibutyrophobia. That’s the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of my mouth. I think that could be a serious problem but it doesn’t stop me from eating peanut butter, so it isn’t a true phobia. Phobias are irrational fears of things that don’t really pose a threat.
Phobias are fascinating to read about, but not much fun for the people who suffer from them. They are anxiety disorders, and cause mental and physical distress. According to Medline Plus, people try to avoid things they are afraid of, and when they can’t, they may react with physical symptoms such as trembling and rapid heartbeats. There are so many phobias a person might have that I can’t list them all here.
Flawed characters can make a story more believable and interesting, and a phobia or two might help give them distinguishable personality traits. If you want to browse lists of phobias that might make your characters more human, take a look at: http://didyouknow.org/phobias.htm or http://psychology.about.com/od/phobias/a/phobialist.htm
There’s a helpful article at http://www.medicinenet.com/phobias/article.htm describing why people have phobias, as well as symptoms and some possible treatments.
What are you afraid of? What’s the most unusual fear you’ve known someone to have, or read about?