9 Weird Phobias That Can Devastate Everyday Life

Updated on August 22, 2018
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

By Tirachard Kumtanom. CC0 Creative Commons
By Tirachard Kumtanom. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

A phobia is a persistent, irrational, and extreme fear of something. Since most phobias are very specific, like a fear of heights or spiders, many sufferers can live a reasonably normal life as long as they avoid their source of fear. However, people also develop phobias to things that we need to encounter on a daily basis.

Here are nine phobias that can, not only significantly impact the sufferer’s quality of life, but very often will disrupt their daily lives as well.

1. Ergophobia

Ergophobia is the extreme and irrational fear of work and everything associated with the workplace. Believed to be a kind of social phobia, people with ergophobia feel incredibly anxious about the workplace and finding employment. They could be scared of failing to do assigned tasks, speaking up in a group, socializing with colleagues, or public speaking in a group.

By energepic.com. CC0 Creative Commons
By energepic.com. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

2. Neophobia

Neophobia, as the name suggests, is the extreme fear of change or anything new; it could be new situations, new items, foods, habits, schedules. Most of us have a natural skepticism for anything we haven’t seen or experienced before. That skepticism is crucial to our survival in case that new thing turns out to be dangerous. But people with neophobia are irrationally fearful of things that are clearly known and accepted to be harmless or even beneficial. Imagine being scared of getting a new phone even if your old phone is unusable, or feeling panicked when something forces your daily routine to change.

By Suzy Hazelwood. CC0 Creative Commons
By Suzy Hazelwood. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

3. Philophobia

Philophobia is the extreme fear of falling in love. It’s relationship baggage in the extreme because this phobia is closely linked to having past traumatic romantic relationships like divorce or a bad breakup. This fear can also be a result of watching their parents’ marriage fall apart. In most cases, philophobia is limited to romantic relationships but rarely can also include family and friends. Needless to say, people with philophobia often feel isolated, alone, and may have poor mental health as a result.

By burak kostak. CC0 Creative Commons
By burak kostak. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

Did You Know?

Most phobias are formed during early childhood. It’s uncommon for a phobia to develop after the age of 30.

4. Ablutophobia

Ablutophobia is the fear of bathing or washing. It is more situation-specific and is more common in women and children. People can develop this phobia after experiencing trauma associated with water. Trauma could be caused by anything from accidents involving water, or even abusive parents who have used washing up or bathing as a form of punishment. People with ablutophobia may only fear the act of showering or can avoid all types of washing up completely.

By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

5. Decidophobia

Committing to a decision can be an anxiety-inducing thing for many of us, but people with decidophobia experience this anxiety in a much higher degree and may feel extreme levels of fear when faced with even the most trivial decisions. People with decidophobia usually go to considerable lengths to avoid making decisions and will put themselves in situations where they can depend on others to make all the decisions.

An individual can develop decidophobia after a traumatic event related to a decision they made in the past that led to devastating consequences. Seeing someone else suffer from the adverse effects of a wrong decision can also trigger the phobia.

By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

6. Genophobia

Genophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of sexual intercourse. Genophobics can be fearful of the act of penetration itself or anything associated with sexual contact. There are usually two types of genophobia: people who develop the phobia because of a past traumatic sexual experience where they were victimized, and people with extreme performance anxiety. The latter may feel anxious or fearful because they lack experience or may have experienced an event that made them doubt their sexual ability.

By Jaymantri. CC0 Creative Commons
By Jaymantri. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

7. Glossophobia

Many of us get nervous when we need to present or make a speech in front of a large crowd, but we can usually push through the nervousness to get the job done. But people with glossophobia experience such an extreme and overwhelming fear response that public speaking becomes impossible. They may fear being embarrassed in front of a large group of people or may have severe performance anxiety.

By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

Did You Know?

Phobias are the most common mental disorder in the United States, affecting about 10% of the US population. The disorder is also more commonly seen in women than men.

8. Nomophobia

A fairly new phobia, first identified in 2008, nomophobia is the extreme fear of being without a mobile phone or device. People can develop this phobia if they have an addiction to technology, but it can also develop from experiencing a traumatic event that came about because the individual was left without their mobile device. People are more predisposed to nomophobia if they are bored, lonely, or socially insecure.

As extreme as this phobia may sound, it is bizarrely common. According to a UK survey, 66% of people were found to suffer from nomophobia in varying degrees. Nomophobia occurs more commonly in the younger generations and in females. According to the survey, 77 percent of 18-24-year-olds have nomophobia, followed by 68 percent of 25-34-year-olds.

By Tyler Lastovich. CC0 Creative Commons
By Tyler Lastovich. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

9. Haphephobia

Haphephobia is the extreme fear of physical touch. People with haphephobia may feel panicked or even experience pain when touched. Some may fear physical contact with one gender only, but others can fear being touched by anyone regardless of gender or relationship.

By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons | Source

Treating Phobias

Exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are the two most common and effective treatments used by psychotherapists to treat phobias.

Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy focuses on forcing your mind to adapt to the object or situation that’s triggering your fear response through gradual, repeated exposure. For example, if an individual has arachnophobia (fear of spiders), the psychotherapist may begin with photos of spiders, to being in the same room as a live spider, and then gradually progressing to touching the spider.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT involves the use of exposure therapy combined with cognitive techniques that teach the individual how to view and deal with the feared object or situation. CBT focuses on learning to master and become more confident with your feelings and thoughts instead of becoming overwhelmed by them.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 KV Lo


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        15 months ago

        I may have a little of 5 and 3.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)