MENTAL DISORDERS

Weird phobias that actually exist

Phobias identified as diagnosable mental disorders.

In Summary

• Phobias are diagnosable mental disorders.

• Phobias can have a serious impact on the well-being but it is important to remember you are not alone and phobias are actually treatable.

The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Kenya, a counselling centre, identifies phobias as diagnosable mental disorders.

Phobia which is an excessive and irrational fear reaction can be identified in three categories.

Social phobia - a fear of social situations, agoraphobia - a fear of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation and specific phobias.

Specific phobia is when people have a specific fear of specific objects like snakes, spiders or needles among other things.

Fears of the natural environment, fears related to animals, fear related to medical treatments or issues and fears related to specific situations are the main categories of specific phobias.

Here are some of the weird phobias that actually exist.

  1. Philophobia - Fear of love

It can also be a fear of getting into a relationship or fear that you will not be able to maintain a relationship. Many people experience a minor fear of falling in love at some point in their lives. But in extreme cases, philophobia can make people feel isolated and unloved.

  1. Pteromerhanophobia - Fear of flying

The fear of being on an aeroplane, or another flying vehicle, such as a helicopter, while in flight.

  1. Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners

Extreme, intense fear and dislike of customs, cultures, and people considered strange, unusual, or unknown. This is often triggered by unemployment, poverty and inadequate or lack of service delivery.

  1. Nosocomephobia - Fear of hospitals

This is a common medical phobia. There are people who would rather die than go to the hospital.

  1. Heliophobia - Fear of the sun.

These people are afraid of bright indoor light as well, some people stay away from the sunlight because of a growing fear of skin cancer or blindness.

  1. Gamophobia - Fear of marriage

A person who has gamophobia may like or love a person, but when he or she finds out about that person liking them back and attempting to be together, there is a possibility that their affection would change to hate. This is the extreme fear of being in a relationship, being committed or getting married.

  1. Ataxophobia - Fear of disorder or untidiness

These people’s anxieties can turn into a full-blown panic attack if a place is untidy or not organised. They are keen on symmetry and avoid social contacts and visiting people’s homes.

Causes 

Some causes of phobias are attributed to distressing events, having a stressful memory, age and gender- women are more likely to have animal phobias than men, children or people with low socioeconomic status are more likely to have social phobias. Men make up the majority of those with dentist and doctor phobias.

There is no single known cause for phobias, they are thought to run in families, be influenced by culture and how one is parented.

Phobias can have a serious impact on well-being but it is important to remember you are not alone and phobias are actually treatable.

If you believe you have symptoms of some phobia, it is advised you consult your doctor for evaluation and treatment advice.

Edited by D Tarus