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What makes a fear a phobia?

What makes a fear a phobia?

Phobias are much more than just being afraid of something. Almost all people feel afraid at some point, depending on their exposure to certain things or threatening situations. People with phobias, on the other hand, have a marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation that can lead to clinically significant distress. They can have an impairment in their ability to function in daily life, including socially or at work. Certain phobias are more common than others, including ones related to airplanes, elevators, or spiders; others are less so.

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
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It’s an uncomfortable feeling for everyone, but some people have a phobia involving fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Some people can handle eating small amounts, but others avoid peanut-based products like peanut butter sauces and ice creams. It can be rooted in a broader phobia, like the fear of sticky textures or choking, or it can occur independently.

Alliumphobia: Fear of garlic

Alliumphobia: Fear of garlic
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Garlic bread could cause a panic attack for someone with an extraordinary fear of garlic. It’s much more than just a dislike of the potent vegetable’s taste – people with alliumphobia might start to shake or feel unable to breathe when around garlic or other pungent plants like onions and chives. For such people, focusing on its health benefits probably won’t help; a compound in garlic may have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, according to a study in a 2015 issue of the Journal of Immunology Research.

Phobophobia: Fear of having a phobia

Phobophobia: Fear of having a phobia
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Unfortunately, people with this condition are fighting a losing battle: the fear of acquiring a phobia.

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Sesquipedalophobia: Fear of long words

Sesquipedalophobia: Fear of long words
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With twisted irony, sesquipedalophobia is the morbid fear of long words.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of very long words

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of very long words
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Proving linguists can be real jerks, this very long word refers to the fear of very long words. If you have it, steer clear of James Joyce, chemistry and telling people what your phobia is called.

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Ablutophobia: Fear of bathing and cleaning

Ablutophobia: Fear of bathing and cleaning
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Ablutophobia is one of those phobias that can stem from a traumatic past event, and can lead to social isolation.

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Dextrophobia: Fear of having objects to your right

Dextrophobia: Fear of having objects to your right
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With a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, some people can’t stand to have objects at the right side of their body. On the flip side, levophobia is defined by fear of things to the left side of the body.

Siderophobia: Fear of stars

Siderophobia: Fear of stars
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Many people enjoy stargazing on a clear night, but that’s not true for everyone. People with siderophobia have a fear of stars, and might keep their curtains closed to avoid getting overwhelmed by how vast and uncontrollable the universe is.

Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers

Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers
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For some people, a fear of numbers goes beyond frustrations over solving equations and understanding geometry. People with arithmophobia have an irrational fear of numbers in general.

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