Saturday, November 07, 2015

Facing Your Worst Fear

Phobia - the moment you hear this word, and if you happen to be a phobic, you feel the chill running down your spine. You remember every detail of the things you have a phobia of. It can be one, it can be multiple. You imagine yourself being tied from head to toe with a rope and the phobia to be death without the hood. For a person who does not have any phobia or is yet unaware about his/her phobia will find this explanation quite exaggerating. But that’s how you feel when you face your worst fear.

The dictionary definition says - “A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.” Thank god words don’t scare me, or else I would have fainted halfway reading this definition. To put it simply, it’s your worst fear - a fear that is capable to make you lose your senses, scream out loud, cry, hide, cover your face or even faint. Common phobias include Acrophobia (fear of heights), Claustrophobia (fear of confined places), Aquaphobia (fear of water), Hemophobia (fear of blood) and so on.

These day-to-day things that look plain and simple to us may turn out to be the biggest hurdle for some. Imagine being a woman and hemophobic. Every month you have to face the blood coming out of your own body. A friend of mine gets sleepless nights when she is on her periods. Changing sanitary pads is the biggest challenge for her. She avoids blood tests. And in unavoidable circumstances, she goes for one with a blindfold on and nose covered. A claustrophobic climbs 24 floors but he will not travel by a closed lift. An aquaphobic panics even when he sees 3-4 water bottles lined up together.

These are common types of phobias. Some people have really weird phobias too. Chromophobia is a fear of bright colours. You are walking on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly you spot a perfectly curved rainbow in the sky. Or a bed of beautiful and colourful flowers. And you freak out. You are terrorised. That’s because you are suffering from chromophobia.

Now imagine being scared of hair. Your own body hair that covers every possible part of your body. And you are scared of them. To an extent that you pluck out every tiny hair that you spot on your body. Your scar it just to get rid of those scary hair. That pain of pulling out hair from your sensitive area is more tolerable than the sight of hair.

There also exists something called Lepidopterophobia - fear of butterflies. Those harmless beauties can scare someone so much that they end up fainting. Eisoptrophobia - fear of your own reflection. Not seeing yourself in the mirror because you imagine worst possible things that your reflection does to you, that also includes strangling you. But the cruelest of all is Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - it’s a phobia of long words. What an irony. The phobia itself is one of the longest words I have seen. If I think of it, I have a phobia of long sentences. I write in short sentences mostly. But when a sentence is longer than two lines, I freak out. I don’t understand how to deal with it. Talking of weird phobias of others!

It’s worrisome how these fears control us, how they limit the way we think and function. We can take other kind of pains just to avoid facing the fear. Imagine taking unbearable pain just because we are scared of something. Our imagination can trick us into doing something so stupid and so dangerous. Can this be cured? Can you get rid of your fear? For that you need to face it. The thought itself scares the daylights out of me.


  1. Beautiful! :)

    I have a fear of fur. :(

  2. Never thought of you as one with phobia(s)... But I can only imagine how it may be!

  3. I guess everyone has either one or more phobias. For some people the word 'phobia' carries no meaning at all, because they don't understand the meaning. Yet, they may live with fear for certain things without making effort to understand what is this fear all about. They just know they fear certain things. A good write.

  4. Phobia is an extreme emotion. I am scared of certain things, but am not phobic.Nice write up:)

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  6. I really want to thank the author for such a nice blog that helped me to understand why it is important. thanks for sharing. Plymouth Hypnotherapy