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Some of the Strangest Phobias or Fears People Have

A phobia is an extreme fear of a particular thing.  Often the fear is completely irrational and in many cases stems from a traumatic experience when the person was younger.  Common symptoms of phobias are shaking, nausea, sweating, dizziness, heart palpitations, and anxiety attacks when confronted with the subject of the phobia.  If a phobia affects life in a significant way, the person should seek help from a mental health professional.

Some phobias can seem particularly strange to those who don’t suffer from them. Here are some examples of strange fears and phobia people can have.


The Fear of Having Peanut Butter Stuck to the Roof of Your Mouth

The biggest part of the problem with this is if it’s in public, it can be embarrassing. The person feels they are unable to remove the peanut butter from the roof of their mouth because of this, and therefore simply refuses to ever eat peanut butter.

peanut butter
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The Fear of Numbers

There are different variations on this one as a person could just be afraid of a particular number or a set of numbers, and not all numbers.  It’s also known as numerophobia.  You can imagine with how much people use numbers in their everyday lives, that this fear can create quite an impact.  Counselling is the best therapy for arithmophobia if it affects your daily life, and the sooner the better as this phobia can lead to a person cutting off loved ones from embarrassment.

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The fear of wealth and having wealth

People with this phobia will tend to live with as little money as possible.  The actual worry varies a little bit as it could be caused by a person thinking they might mismanage the money they have or that money itself is evil.

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The fear of knees or kneeling

This generally comes from an experience when younger such as not being allowed to show or see their knees., or a traumatic injury to the knee.  It could also be due to kneeling being a form of submission.  Therapy is best for dealing with Genuphobia.

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The fear of otters

Yes, otters.  Those cute aquatic mammals that do tricks at the zoos and are cute to watch swim around — they cause a great deal of fear in some people.

In reality otters are predatory animals and if startled or cornered are likely to attack.  They have very sharp teeth for eating fish.  If a person was attacked by one it might cause lutraphobia.

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The fear of belly buttons

There are false beliefs that a person can poke through a belly button and kill them instantly.  Some cultures forbid cleaning out the belly button.  People with Omphalophobia won’t touch their belly buttons and may cover them to protect them.  They will not go to places, such as the beach, where there are a lot of exposed belly buttons.

belly button
Credit: Dylan Luder (via Flickr)


The fear of thinking

People can be afraid of thinking particular things or are scared of what others might think.  People with this phobia try to keep themselves distracted so they don’t have to think about anything too much, and so are sometimes thought to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

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These are just some examples of weird phobias that people have had.  Have you known someone with a weird phobia?  What was it?  How did it affect their lives? What’s your strangest fear and how did it come about? Share your story with us in the comments.

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