Have a unique phobia? Fear not! You’re not alone

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Do you have a unique phobia? Those with autophobia, the fear of being alone, need not worry in being alone in their fears.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 9.1% of Americans, over 19 million people, experienced a specific phobia in the past year.

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The Recovery Village gave a list of 21 rare phobias people may experience, and where these fears could stem from. Ranging from fearing the color yellow, or Xanthophobia, to a fear of belly buttons, or Omphalophobia.

Let’s dive into some more unique fears.


Are you allergic to peanut butter? Maybe you don’t like the consistency, or you’re worried about choking or it blocking your airways. Or maybe just don’t like the feeling of something sticky. Arachibutyrophobia is for those with the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.


In the day and age where cell phones are used religiously for various activities throughout the day, this next one makes perfect sense. For those that experience extreme FOMO, are worried about missing a call, need to check social media constantly or just like having a cell phone in hand as a comfort item, you may have a nomophobia — a fear of being without your phone.


Now, whoever came up with this next one must’ve been playing a cruel prank because seriously? Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. It is also fittingly, and yet ironically, the longest word in the dictionary. This is believed to stem from a fear of mispronouncing words out loud. Those with dyslexia, fear of public speaking, etc. may fall victim to this.


Do carnivals scare you? Particularly the games where you throw darts and try to pop balloons? Can’t visit a circus, but not for the usual fear of clowns? Well, anyone who has seen the movie “It” might understand having globophobia, a fear of balloons. Something to keep in mind for their birthday parties.


Some people don’t like Santa Claus. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s a homeowner with tons of land despite only working one day a year. Or that he eats everyone’s cookies. Or maybe, it’s the big white beard. Pogonophobia is the fear of beards. This can stem from a fear of the beard hiding someone’s face or a bad experience of someone with a beard.


This next one might be relatable for those working their 9-5, constantly feel burnt out or work in high stress environments. The fear of working. Ergophobia can affect those who worry about finding a job while others get scared after getting one. This can be a result of negative work experiences like an abusive employer or bad work-life balance, according to The Recovery Village.


Getting a freshly knitted scarf or sweater from grandma for Christmas each year might be a dreaded experience by itself, but for those with linonophobia, it may be even worse. The fear of string could come from a fear of being restrained, stemming from either personal experience or seeing it elsewhere.


Now, did all of these phobias freak you out? You guessed it, there’s a word for that too. Phobophobia is the fear of phobias. Also referred to as fearing fear itself. More specifically, people with phobophobia choose to avoid social situations or other situations that can lead to anxiety.

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