MOST people have a fear of one kind or another. While some suffer from Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and Glossophobia (fear of public speaking), there are many more bizarre phobias.
For instance, there are apparently many who suffer from Macrophobia (fear of long waits) for whom doctors’ waiting rooms, school holiday traffic on jammed motorways and crowded airports with cancelled flights must be a nightmare. The fear of riding in cars (Amaxophobia), too, is hugely problematic especially for those living in the suburbs. And even if there are no cars around, those with Agyrophobia still have the fear of crossing roads.
Not all phobias have been in existence for thousands of years. While Astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning), Pyrophobia (fear of fire), and Herpetophobia (fear of reptiles) have probably existed since the Middle Ages, others have emerged much more recently. Phobias like Motorphobia (fear of vehicles), Electrophobia (fear of electricity) and Pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying), let alone Cyberphobia (fear of computers), Hellenologophobia (fear of confusing, highly technical terminology) and especially Nomophobia (fear of losing mobile phone contact).
Not surprisingly, phobias can severely impact your life. A person with Aichmophobia (fear of needles or pointed objects) or Algophobia (fear of pain) probably won’t make it to their next dental appointment, even assuming they don’t already suffer from Dentophobia (fear of dentists). A person with Mageirocophobia (fear of cooking) or Obesophobia probably hasn’t eaten for ages and could easily die from anorexia.
If you have a phobia, though, don’t despair! There’s still hope. Phobias can be cured! Remember when you were a child and suffered from Scolionophobia (fear of school) because of Arithmophobia (fear of numbers) and Logophobia (fear of words)? Not to mention Ablutophobia (fear of washing) and maybe Ichthyophobia (fear of fish). The chances are good that you’re now quite happy to hop into the shower and that, over here in Spain at least, you’ll enjoy your espetos de sardinas after a hard day’s slog.
But, if all else fails, and you do miss a day at the office, you could always try telling your boss you’ve suddenly developed Ergophobia (fear of work). Particularly if you’d rather be – during the Met Office’s promised long, hot UK summer – al fresco than al desko …
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback /eBook (€0.89;£0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca