What scares you?

What scares you?

By Cynthia Wairimu

There’s the fear of something, and then there’s extreme fear to the point that, in its presence, all manner of sense flies out of the window and instead one is filled with extreme anxiety, excessive fear, dread, panic and reactions that tend to be unreasonable. Even when the objects of fear are harmless and pose no danger. We call this having a phobia.

Phobias can result from traumatic events, or watching others experiencing something traumatic or informational transmission excesses. We have heard of the most common of them such as arachnophobia – the fear of spiders, claustrophobia – fear of enclosed spaces, acrophobia – fear of heights, and so on and so forth. 

With the coronavirus pandemic having everyone spooked, let’s take a look at some of the phobias you have probably experienced and you didn’t know they existed; 

Dendrophobia is a fear of trees, imagine this person’s life when there’s a tree right about every 100 meters at least. Koumpounophobia is a fear of buttons. Whatever a button has to do to you to cause you such irrational fear makes you wonder if it is the cuteness they are afforded. 

Now, if you’re ever broke and are thinking why is money allergic to your pockets, it will be interesting to remember that, there are people who are dead scared of money, yes, plutophobia is the name. I wonder if it comes from Pluto? Because I am yet to experience anyone on earth who fears money. Imagine staring up at night seeing a big blue silver crescent in the sky and getting a panic attack? Now imagine that the moon isn’t going anywhere?This is referred to as selenophobia which is a fear of the moon.

Porphyrophobia is the fear of the colour purple. Well, there’s also the fear of white, yellow, black and it’s interesting, because how do you avoid colour? Phobophobia is the fear of phobias! Imagine that. Octophobia is the fear of the number 8. Anything with the number 8 becomes scary. I wonder what happens when you are a size 8?

It gets even more interesting; ergophobia is the fear of work. Look, I cannot have a job, it scares me still! I wonder how one is to eat? Chaetophobia, fear of hair. Now that’s one that has to have you jumping at every turn? Hairy situations are never easy. Now you see me, now you don’t, this makes for a good peekaboo game, unless of course you have optophobia, the fear of opening one’s eyes. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is an actual word, longest recorded so far, and is the actual fear of long words! Genuphobia is the fear of knees. How weird is that?

Do you have time, do you make time, do you never have time, are you simply, chronophobic? Yes, this is the fear of time. Do you like to fly out in space, where air is lighter or are you stuck on earth adhering to the laws of nature such as, if it goes up, it should come down? Well, barophobia is the fear of gravity!

We can go on, but these are getting too many to count, or is it a case of arithmophobia, which is the fear of numbers! Well, here’s one to leave you in retrospect, nomophobia, the fear of not having your mobile phone, should I touch on this one?

As you can see, a lot of things can cause one extreme irrational fear, even when they may or may not mean any danger to the person and most times people know their fear is irrational, they just can’t control it. Phobias are relative when it comes to reaction; if you feel yours is too problematic, one can seek out a psychiatrist to help with the management. 

Do you or anyone you know, have any phobias, weird or not? Let us know what your experience is on the feedback page.  (

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