Asinine Addictions and Freakish Phobias
You’ve heard about a fear of heights (acrophobia, also incorrectly known as vertigo), water (aquaphobia), and possibly spiders (arachnophobia). But there are phobias and addictions in the world so bizarre you probably don’t know they even exist (and might not believe it when you read it). Many of these phobias are attributed to genetics, traumatic experiences, conditioning and human instinct. For instance, a fear of falling, which is related to a fear of heights, is programmed into many people’s brains to keep them safe from harm. There are freakish addictions most people are aware of that include being a shopaholic and sexaholic. Imagine an addiction to sex? It takes many forms including sex with oneself, a partner, and porn addiction. Shopaholism, also known as compulsive buying disorder, is characterized by an obsession with shopping and buying behavior that causes adverse consequences. It sounds like a good excuse to run up one’s credit card, but compulsive buying even has a place in the DSM-IV-TR: people with CBD meet the criteria for an axis II disorder, a personality disorder which deviates from social expectations in relating to other humans. Hopefully you don’t have listophobia (my invented name for a fear of lists).
Ablutophobia – fear of washing or bathing. Now before you think these people go around smelling like pigs, many people force themselves to sponge bathe, or force themselves into the shower. Ablutophobia is more common in children and women than in men. Ablutophobia is situation specific meaning an anxiety disorder that causes irrational fear.
Agateophobia – fear of insanity. That’s a fear many people who live in the city seem to have and well they should. Agateophobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. Agateophobia develops at some point in your past, where there was an event linking insanity and emotional trauma. Marilyn Monroe suffered from this phobia with good reason: she had bipolar disorder and her mother was a paranoid schizophrenic.
Alliumphobia– Fear of garlic. I’m serious. I wish more people feared garlic because it seems to me that every day at least one person with garlic breath is IN MY FACE. Why?? I brush my teeth. Why don’t they? Personally I have a fear of people who eat garlic. Is there a phobia for that, I wonder? Maybe people with a fear of garlic are hiding a condition called vampirism. That’s my guess.
Bibliophobia– Fear of books….a good excuse for failing a test. People who have this fear usually cannot read, which sometimes is the cause of the fear.
Chaetophobia- Fear of hair. Most people fear losing their hair. This phobia is associated with human hair or animal hair. They fear people and animals with an excess amount of hair. They may also fear the hair on their own body. Some only fear detached or loose hair and do not mind attached hair. As with most phobias this fear could be the result of a negative experience with hair and or a hairy person. Maybe they are related to Big Foot.
Coulrophobia– Fear of clowns. Lots of people say they think clowns are creepy and there is some weight to that: Stephen King even wrote a novel called It about a creepy clown with silver coins for eyes.
Disposophobia- Fear of throwing stuff out. If you watch TLC you know this one by another name: Hoarding. There have been a number of sad reasons for hoarding mentioned on the show including a difficult childhood. Many of these adults were foster kids or they were passed around among relatives, never developing a stable, secure environment. Hoarding is their means of collecting their own possessions and building up a fort against the world, although ultimately it becomes their downfall. Sad.
Eremophobia– Fear of being oneself or of loneliness. It seems to me that Eremophobia then is two very different states of mind. Fear of being oneself is not the same as fear of loneliness. Think of all the sappy programs on TV that finish with the moral “always be yourself.” I should imagine eremophobiacs curl up in the fetal position and suck their thumb when they hear that one.
Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news. I am not making this one up. Most of us fear getting bad news. Gives new meaning to the question “do you want the good news first, or the bad news?”
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia– Fear of the number 666. If you can pronounce this one you deserve a medal. Actually the root word is hex, as in curse. For whatever reason, these people believe Satan indeed is represented by 666. A prominent example is Nancy and Ronald Reagan who, in 1979, had their address—666 St. Cloud Road—changed to 668 St. Cloud Road. Such a relief to know the country was in the hands of this stable-minded couple. The phobia has been a motif in films such as The Omen, Pulp Fiction and End of Days.
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words. I’m serious. I guess these phobes shorten it to hippo – unfortunate if they have a weight problem.
Illyngophobia– Fear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down. This one gets mixed up with a fear of heights but they have nothing to do with each other. A person with vertigo could be on the ground and look up at a tall building and experience symptoms.
Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis. Viagara wouldn’t use this one in a commercial, I should imagine.
Japanophobia– Fear of Japanese. I wish I could type “food” on the end of that one. Perhaps this phobia only applies to people who live in Pearl Harbour.
Kleptophobia- Fear of stealing. This one might accompany the addiction kleptomania since a klepto cannot control their actions. Mel Lastman (former mayor of Toronto, and a shitty one at that), has a wife who is a klepto. After his wife Marilyn was caught shoplifting from an Eaton’s store in Toronto, he threatened to kill CITY-TV reporter Adam Vaughan unless he stopped reporting on his family. That reporter now has a fear of Toronto mayors.
Lutraphobia– Fear of otters. Not train-spotters. Otters.
Medomalacuphobia– Fear of losing an erection. If two men , one who had this phobia and the other who had Ithyphallophobia, were in a homosexual relationship, who would win in the conflict that arose (pun) between them? One would be trying to discourage the other, and the other would be trying to get his partner in the mood. Gives new meaning to the term “not tonight I have a phobia…I mean headache.”
Nostophobia- Fear of returning home. This especially applies when (1) your wife is a nag (2) you just lost your job.
Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8. A James Bond fan with this phobia would never have seen Octopussy.
Ophthalmophobia- Fear of being stared at. Imagine a blind person with his eyes open sitting across from a person with this phobia. Let your imagination wander.
Polyphobia– Fear of many things. Seriously, This person might as well just stay home for the rest of her life. Then again, there are scary things in a house too. So she probably ends up with Agateophobia.
Rhytiphobia– Fear of getting wrinkles. Where? In the skin or the bedsheets?
Spheksophobia– Fear of wasps. Personally I don’t think white anglo-saxons are all that bad. Oh, pardon me. They mean the insect variety.
Urophobia– Fear of urine or urinating. Clearly, sex perverts do not fall into this category, including Hitler. That nasty practice of golden showers was one of his favorite sexual encounters but he couldn’t get his lovers and partners to commit this act (wonder why). Historians suggest his love of this perversion stemmed from unusual toilet training, related to this relationship with his mother. I really don’t want to know anymore.
Venustraphobia- Fear of beautiful women. Many men have avoided me for this reason. That’s what I tell myself.
Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons. What? A walloon is a member of a people who speak a French dialect and live in southern and eastern Belgium and neighboring parts of France. Who invents these phobias anyway?
Xenoglossophobia– Fear of foreign languages. This one coincides nicely with the Walloons.
Zemmiphobia– Fear of the great mole rat. I wonder if this has anything to do with Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.
Androphonomania, homicidal insanity. Defence lawyers should use this one when representing serial killers.
Apimania, bees a passion or obsession with bees. Yep. Bees.
Cacodaemomania, one’s own inhabitation by evil spirits. The notorious case of Annaliese Michel who lived in Quebec in the 1950s is a tragic example of this mania. She was convinced she was possessed by Satan. A priest conducted an exorcism for a year and eventually it killed her. The movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based around this story.
Callomania, one’s own beauty (delusional conviction). Marilyn Monroe suffered from callomania. So do I but I’m not suffering. I quite enjoy it.
Discomania, disco music. Obsession with disco? Well, nothing wrong with a little retro, just don’t run out and get that mushroom perm hairstyle with the plastic pick. Remember picks? I knew a girl whose perm was so dense (her, too) that she could stick her pick (easy, now) into her hair and it would stay until she pulled it out again and combed her hair. She was a real boy magnet, of course.
Drapetomania, running away from home. Seems to me most kids run away from home for valid reasons but perhaps this mania suggests such people enjoy the attention of leaving and being found again.
Egomania, oneself and self-worship. Hello Stephen Harper.
Ecomania, family dominance but authority submission. That’s almost perverse, as if the person enjoys changing roles.
Flagellomania, flogging. This sort of behaviour probably applies to people who are into sadomasochism. Ouch.
Hypermania, (severe mania) mental state with high intensity disorientation and often violent behavior – symptomatic of bipolar disorder.
Idolomania, idols. And you wonder why American Idol was such a success.
Kleptomania, uncontrollable urge to steal for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. Kleptomania is classified as an impulse control disorder. There seems to be a release of pressure following the theft, suggest that kleptomania could be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder.
Lisztomania, Franz Liszt (an obsession with classical composer Franz Liszt). Seriously. A composer who has been dead for about 400 years. Perhaps an obsession with Beethoven was responsible for Beatle Mania?
Micromania, self-deprecation. Many people make self-deprecation into a joke but I should imagine an obsessed person is anything but comical. Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh is a fine example.
Necromania, sexual acts with dead bodies. Actually there are many types of necromania, not just having sex with corpses. I suppose necro’s find that one comforting in some weird way.
Onomatomania, word repetition. In the book Sybil, Hattie was portrayed as rhyming words when people spoke. For instance if a person said pot, she would say spot, lot, got. She was a schizophrenic, so this might have been a symptom.
Polkamania, polka dancing. Once when I worked at the Peel Regional Police in Ontario I typed up an occurrence where one man went to his neighbour’s house and punched that man in the face because his daughter was always clog dancing early in the morning waking him up. True story. I don’t know what happened to the clogs after that. The injured man probably threw them into the fireplace.
Pottermania, Harry Potter. Oh seriously, now. I bet the author got that one started.
Rhinotillexomania, nose picking. Gross. Just gross.
Trichotillomania, hair removal. This one is quite bizarre. These people pluck out their eyebrow hair, eyelashes, pull out the hair on their head and those who suffer from Trichtillophagia eat it. A famous example of trichotillimania is the actress Olivia Munn.
Most people can probably see some aspects of these phobias and addictions in their behaviour but it doesn’t make you an addict or phobic unless it interferes considerably with your lifestyle and your relationships. It also needs to be an obsession that is difficult for you to separate from your thoughts and behaviours. Insofar as WordPress is concerned I have coined a new term for everyone who uses it: Blogomania. Ta-daaaa. Brilliant, just brilliant (that qualifies me as a sophomaniac).
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