Are You Friggatriskaidekaphobic?

Today is Friday the 13th. Perfect time to talk about phobias.

Speaking of, do you stay inside today? You may suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia. There’s a mouthful.

It’s the term given to anyone with a phobia of Friday the 13th. It derives from Christian superstition: thirteen people were present the night before Jesus’ death on Good Friday. Doing some slacker homework, there’s no real mention of the use until the 19th century. I know it’s common for those in Japan to be leery of anything with, containing, or equals to the sum of the number 4 as the pronunciation is the same as death. This is called Tetraphobia. Other parts of Asia have similar beliefs. Therefore, a lot of Japanese would be Triskaidekaphobic: the fear of the number 13

Sound advice.

It did get me to wonder, what phobias people tackle on a day-to-day basis? Here’s some that I’ve come across (in no particular order) in both myself others.

Aerophobia and Acrophobia
These seem to come up together, although I can see them being separate issues. Aerophobia is the fear of flying, and acrophobia is the fear of heights. I read that acrophobia may be more biological in nature rather than trauma related when you look at it from an evolutionary standpoint.

Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Claustrophobia
I see these three get confused a lot. Agoraphobia is defined as the fear of being helpless in a situation where escape is difficult, social phobia is fear of being humiliated while in public, and claustrophobia is fear of being trapped in a confined space. If someone has a panic attack while around people at a house party, one may have to play detective to find the true cause.

Arachnophobia and Ophidiophobia
The phobia of spiders and snakes, which understandably derive mostly from an evolutionary trait. Remember, not liking these species doesn’t necessarily mean you’re phobic. The anxiety will cause those to go to extreme lengths to ensure that their surroundings are free from either creature, often causing life disruption (never going into a room until someone else removes a spider and its web, or never using a backyard because a snake was seen only once). It can even lead to unconscious reactions such as fainting.

I am aerophobic (but not acrophobic), and have agoraphobia. I’ve recently developed androphobia (fear of men), which hopefully with trauma work will subside. Since agoraphobia gets in the way of my daily life and is something I can do by myself, I’ve been working on this with exposure and AWARE. Some days are easier than others.

What phobias do you tackle?

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