Everyone is afraid of something, and many people have fears intense enough to be considered a phobia.
Do you find yourself sweating uncontrollably with a pounding heart when you come in contact with spiders or snakes? Maybe the thought of being on an airplane or climbing a mountain makes you want to vomit. Those are common phobias, and you wouldn't be alone.
Some phobias affect a smaller percentage of the population, but they are just as traumatic to those who suffer from them. Here are 25 unusual phobias that are real problems for some people.
Some fears are personal and involve specific actions or even body parts.
This is the fear of being touched. Crowds throw these people into a panic because they can't stand the idea of someone bumping into them.
People with this fear are afraid of belly buttons or the navel. Therapists believe this fear may come from the idea that part of the umbilical cord is still attached to the navel. Young children can also develop this fear if the navel is touched during sexual abuse.
People with soteriophobia are afraid of being dependent on someone else. The dependence may be physical, financial or emotional. This social phobia is often associated with narcissistic behaviors.
Someone who is perpetually single may have gamophobia, the fear of being married or in a long-term commitment. This is more than just cold feet about a wedding ceremony. This fear is persistent, intense, and irrational.
Eisoptrophobics are afraid of their reflections. They will obsessively avoid mirrors and other reflective surfaces.
This is the fear of being laughed at by others. It also includes an irrational fear of being made fun of or mocked. People with this phobia tell themselves that other people are laughing at them or making fun of them.
Sometimes people fear specific actions or activities.
People with this condition are intensely afraid of crossing roads. This fear probably stems from being told as a child that roads are dangerous.
This is a fear of riding in cars. People may develop this phobia after hearing about a dangerous car accident, experiencing a car accident or having someone close to them die in a car accident.
Nature can be uncontrollable and dangerous, which may be why there are so many phobias associated with living things and the outdoors.
Ornithophobics are extremely afraid of birds. This fear can be so intense that the person cannot stand being near birds. Sometimes they are particularly fearful of having birds fly close to them or swoop down on them.
Heliophobia is a fear of the sun or any bright light. Some people with this phobia will not leave their homes when the sun is out. They can easily become deficient in vitamin D.
This is a fear of wind or drafts. Sufferers may not be able to tolerate going outdoors in windy conditions, and some are even unable to handle open windows. They may also have anxiety attacks when they come in contact with an object that blows air, like a hand dryer.
Hylophobic people are afraid of groups of trees or wooded areas. This fear probably comes from the idea that scary things happen in the woods. People with this fear may think of the woods as places where bodies get dumped or where creepy people hide.
Ombrophobia is an overwhelming fear of rain or storms. It may develop when adults tell children that they will get sick and die if they play in the rain. It could also be triggered by a traumatic event that occurred in the rain or on a rainy day. People with this fear may have panic attacks when they see pictures of rain.
Many bizarre phobias are fear of specific objects that are innocuous to most people.
People with this disorder experience extreme panic when faced with items that don't match, such as socks. Therapists say that it may develop through an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
This is the intense fear of churches or of attending church. Psychologists agree that this fear usually stems from a frightening image of God developed in childhood, either from being told that God is angry or from seeing religious pictures of blood and violence.
Dextrophobics fear objects being to the right of their bodies, or more specifically, having someone sneak up on them from the right. People with levophobia have the same condition, but it relates to the left side of their bodies.
People with pogonophobia are afraid of beards or people who have beards. This is thought to be caused by a traumatic event in early childhood related to someone with a beard.
This bizarre fear is a phobia of objects with small holes, like a sponge or a honeycomb. This condition recently gained notoriety when Kendall Kardashian claimed to suffer from it.
This phobia is a fear of old buildings or ruins, which could be ancient ruins or the aftermath a recent disaster. Some people are afraid the structures will collapse, but in others, the fear is just general.
People with this disorder are afraid of string. Some people with this fear were tied up with string as children, but the cause is unknown to many.
This is the fear of cheese. It can include consuming it, touching it or even seeing it. Some people find the taste or texture revolting.
People with this phobia do not want to be anywhere near balloons. They don't like the way balloons smell or feel, and some are afraid of the noises balloons make when they pop.
This is a fear of vampires so intense that it is debilitating. Most people with this phobia believe that vampires are real and have targeted them as victims.
Bibliophobia is a fear of books. It can include the specific fear of holding or coming into contact with books, but it is also related to the fear of information in books.
People with aulophobia are afraid of flutes. They may have anxiety when they see or hear a flute as it is played.
This is a fear of mirrors and more specifically, a fear of being watched through a mirror. People affected by spectrophobia will sometimes obsess about seeing a ghost in the mirror behind them.
These 25 irrational fears seem crazy to most people, but they are painfully real to those who have them. Do any of these bizarre fears make sense to you? Look over this list to see if you can relate.
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