Phobias can develop regarding a great number of objects, situations or living things. While the condition can be treated, having a phobia can create a lot of anxiety for someone when they are faced with or encounter the thing that they fear. In this article, you will learn more about phobias and some of the more interesting ones that exist.
Fear of the Dark
Children often exhibit a fear of the dark and beg their parents to leave the light on. This fear is referred to as achluophobia, and can occur in people of all ages. Oftentimes, people do not have a fear of darkness, it is the unknown dangers that they feel is possible (even if imagined) that could take place under the cover of darkness. Sigmund Freud (known as the infamous founding father of psychoanalysis) believed that the fear of the dark was a manifestation of separation anxiety disorder. Another fear associated with darkness is sciophobia ”“ when someone is afraid of shadows.
Fear of Mirrors
Spectrophobia describes the morbid fear of mirrors and seeing one’s own reflection. If you just have a fear of mirrors, then you have catoptrophobia, which is different from just being fearful of seeing your own reflection (eisoptrophobia). When someone exhibits the signs of spectrophobia, they have usually experienced some sort of traumatizing event where they believe they have seen or heard ghosts or apparitions. The trauma could stem from a scary TV show, horror movie, supernatural encounter, or a nightmare. They could have had a bad experience with a mirror. Those with catoptrophobia are extremely superstitious about the breaking of mirrors brining bad luck. Some may even see a mirror as a gateway to another world, and that ghosts and other entities can pass through.
Fear of Sleeping
The ultimate insomniac is one that is actually afraid to go to sleep. If you have an abnormal fear of sleep, then you have hypnophobia (or somniphobia). An individual may experience a feeling of control loss or suffer repeating nightmares that makes sleep unpleasant, but they do not want to fall asleep. Triggering events can make the phobia worse, such as seeing a scary movie on television or seeing someone having a sleep terror. Symptoms associated with hypnophobia include physical and mental setbacks that can lead to anxiety. One may experience rapid breathing, shortness of breath, confusion, sweating, sleepiness, dry mouth, trembling, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat and nausea. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms.
Fear of Bats
During the Halloween season, someone with chiroptophobia is most likely going crazy. An intense fear of bats usually emerges when an individual has become affected by the typical negative stereotypes surrounding the creature. Usually, the person is misinformed. For example, they may fear a bat will suck out all of their blood ”“ a concept that comes from the association of bats with Dracula. Bats are nocturnal animals, which means that they come out at night and fly through the darkness ”“ another characteristic that makes some fearful. Interestingly, there are only three species of bats that feed on blood and all of them live in Latin America.