Having a phobia goes a step beyond just being frightened by something: Your whole body shuts down. Suddenly, breathing and keeping your balance become difficult and your heart rhythm becomes erratic. While some phobias are common—like arachnophobia or the fear of spiders—others are, well, quite bizarre, particularly these five phobias.
Few things are as terrible as that backed up feeling—like when you don’t go to the bathroom for a day or so. If you have rhypophobia, you have a legit terror of defecating. You may try to hold it so you don’t have to feel it or look at it. To make matters worse, if your poop fear is really bad, you’ll stress out when a dog relieves himself, so adopting a four-legged friend probably isn’t your best option.
Thankfully, we live in an era of paperless billing, texting and emails, because for folks with papyrophobia, paper can be incredibly scary. This weird phobia causes you to lose your cool if you touch paper or even see it. In some cases, tearing or smelling paper can send someone with papyrophobia into panic mode. Probably not a good idea to mail birthday cards to a friend with papyrophobia—give her a call instead.
Of course, you know how lonely it feels when you accidentally leave your cell phone at home for the day. No calls. No texts. No way to secretly update your status while you’re at work. But for people with nomophobia, that feeling goes a bit further. Nomophobia is the extreme fear of not being able to use your mobile device. That’s right; there’s actually a name for the condition. If you suffer from nomophobia, you go into panic mode when you don’t have your cell phone on you—or find yourself in an area with no service. You have panic attacks, find it difficult to breathe and start sweating profusely.
You probably love your bed and fantasize about snuggling up with your pillow all day long. However, for people with clinophobia, that bed becomes a petrifying spot. Clinophobia is an extreme fear of going to sleep. If you have clinophobia, you may have extreme night terrors that make it too scary to close your eyes; have a fear of talking in your sleep and revealing your deepest darkest secrets to your other half; or have a history of hurting yourself—or others—while you’re zonked out.
Ithyphallophobia is especially awkward if you’re a man—or a single woman in the dating scene. This bizarre phobia means you have a fear of erect penises. You can’t stand seeing them or feeling them. In fact, just the thought of an erection sends you screaming down the hallway—not something you can run away from if it’s attached to you.