Chances are you know someone who is absolutely terrified of something without any logical reason as to why. Or at least, it’s not so logical to you.
A cognitive behavioural clinic, Dynamic You, have let us know the five strangest, and five most common, phobias that affect the patients they treat.
First for the strange ones…
1. Ergophobia – fear of work
You’re probably sat at your desk right now shaking your head thinking, “Yes, I have that!!” but you’re also probably confusing this genuine phobia with something called laziness.
Ergophobia, a deep and persistent fear of work, is apparently especially common in the City of London. It turns out bankers might hate their jobs as much as everyone else!
Sufferers often have a combination of fears, such as failing at tasks, getting fired, speaking in front of groups or socialising with co-workers.
2. Lachanophobia – fear of vegetables
Lachanophobia is much more than just disliking vegetables. Dynamic You say that people becoming anxious at the thought of vegetables is something they’ve treated on a number of occasions, with the fear being of the vegetable itself rather than of eating it.
They say that one patient’s fear was focused on long green vegetables, namely cucumbers and marrows.
3. Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
The fear of clowns is actually big enough that at least two major UK circuses avoid clowns completely.
4. Koumpounophobia – fear of buttons
Dynamic You say the patient they treated with this phobia could only wear clothes with zips, and that the phobia is usually linked to a fear of holes – which if you were wondering is called trypophobia.
5. Urination phobia
Paruresis is the fear of urinating in the presence of others, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Dynamic You report that this is the fear of being caught short, or wetting yourself.
They say it’s one of the more sensitive phobias, but is also quite common.
And now for the most common phobias in the UK.
1. Emetophobia – fear of vomiting
Not to be mistaken for an eating disorder, the fear of vomiting is “surprisingly common”, according to Dynamic You. It can include a fear of seeing others vomit, but for other people it can be a fear of vomiting themselves.
Dynamic You say it can often be misdiagnosed as OCD.
2. Acrophobia – fear of heights
Many people who suffer from a fear of heights are unable to cross bridges, fly, and carry out many other activities. One sufferer Dynamic You treated turned down a promotion because it meant moving to a higher floor in their office.
3. Social anxiety disorder
This used to be simply known as social phobia, and is one of the most common anxiety problems. It’s also one of the most under-treated, with the average time before people seek treatment being around 10 years.
It’s related to anxiety in social situations, due to a fear of negative judgments by others – and isn’t to be mistaken for anthropophobia, which is a fear of people.
4. Zoophobia – fear of animals
These are the phobias most people are aware of – arachnophobia and the like. You may think that the UK is the home of dog lovers, but cynophobia, the fear of dogs, is especially common here.
5. Blood-injury-needle phobia
This is usually the only phobia which can cause the sufferer to biologically pass out. People who suffer from it can often faint at the sight of blood, at the anticipation of receiving an injection or of somehow just generally being injured.