While researching phobias, I started thinking I have too many of these. And then I thought what if that is it its own phobia (it is, it is called phobophobia, a condition that deals specifically with the fear of the anxiety and panic that comes with phobias). While I don’t have that (I don’t think), here is a list of phobias that I do think I have in some form or another:
- Acrophobia (fear of heights),
- Agoraphobia (fear of public spaces/crowds),
- Anthropophobia (fear of people or society),
- Apiphobia (fear of stinging insects),
- Atelophobia (fear of imperfection),
- Atychiphobia (fear of failure),
- Catagelophobia (fear of being ridiculed),
- Dysyschiphobia (fear of accidents),
- Koinoniphobia (fear of rooms full of people),
- Sociophobia (fear of social evaluation), and
- Westportaphobia (fear of the town of Westport, MA, a phobia that I just created.
And this is why you should avoid the internet when it comes to mental illness. (a point I also made in the WebMD Do’s and Don’ts post). Because while I do have fears associated with all of these things that are completely unreasonable, they are not things that I consider debilitating. I can interact with the public if I need to. I can (sometimes) not run away when a bee wanders lazily past me. I can manage those phobias.
Indeed, I think most of us have some phobias hidden with us, it is just a question of scale. Even though only about 12.5 percent will experience a specific phobia, I suspect the number is higher, but most people’s phobias don’t raise to the level of needing treatment.
And some people I think have so many phobias that they eventually get merged into generalized anxiety disorder, which is an easier way of describing myself instead of listing all these phobias.
It is also interesting what phobias I don’t have. For example, I don’t have aerophobia, (fear of flying), autophobia (fear of being alone), claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), hemophobia (fear of blood), or ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), which are all common phobias. It is also interesting that even though I have a fear of people and crowds, I don’t have a fear of public speaking (glossophobia). It is equally interesting that despite being afraid of imperfection and failure, that I don’t have a fear of messiness or disorder (atazaphobia).
And the point tho this post (besides keeping the internet away from your anxiety disorder and phobias) is that 1) you can manage and live a productive life with a phobia pig-pile, especially with the help of treatment (specifically exposure therapy). And 2) that it can be helpful to look at all your irrational fears so you can be mindful of them and, hopefully, work on healing some of them.
Or you can research phobias with the intent of working on some of your phobias, only to realize you have a lot more phobias than you realized and that your diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is probably spot on, which is what I did.
Either way hopefully this post was helpful. And thanks for reading.
P.S. Spellcheck kept trying to change all phobias to claustrophobia, but not all phobias are claustrophobia. Seriously spellcheck, get your shit together.
P.P.S I am sorry if anyone from Westport, MA is reading this. Objectively, your town is very lovely, I just have a lot of bad memories there.