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 weird phobias.
Apparently, many suffer from Macrophobia (fear of long waits) for whom doctors’ waiting rooms, Bank Holiday travel on jammed motorways and crowded airports with cancelled flights (yes, Ryanair and British Airways pilots, I’m looking at you!) are a nightmare.
Likewise the fear of riding in cars (Amaxophobia) for those living in built-up areas and Bathmophobia (fear of stairs) for Donald Trump. Remember him fervently clutching Theresa May’s hands at the White House?
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Not all phobias have been around 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 like Motorphobia (fear of vehicles), Electrophobia (fear of electricity) and Pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying – count me in!) are naturally quite recent.
After the Second World War, a brand new phobia escalated dramatically in the Cold War that followed: Nucleomituphobia (fear or nuclear weapons). Current phobias? Cyberphobia (fear of computers), Hellenologophobia (fear of confusing, highly technical terminology) and especially Nomophobia (fear of losing mobile phone contact).
Unsurprisingly, phobias can severely impact your life. Someone with Aichmophobia (fear of needles or pointed objects) or Algophobia (fear of pain) probably won’t make it to the dentist’s, 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 you enjoy your sardinas a la plancha after a hard day’s work.
Nora Johnson’s crime thrillers ‘Betrayal,’ ‘The Girl in the Woods,’ ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Bac,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online (€0.99;£0.99). All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.
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