Isaiah 41:10 ESV
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In this article, I am just opening up the initial discussion on fear. A really basic “What is Fear” synopsis followed by a partial list of fears and phobias.
Fear is an interesting emotion. While it starts in the brain with some type of trigger or stimulus, there is a sudden release of chemicals which cause other physical reactions. The heart races and blood pressure rises. Even glucose levels can rise.
The pupils get larger, allowing more light to come through. The palms get sweaty. Breathing is likely affected. Fear can cause the fight or flight response to kick in. Fear can interfere with the ability to focus on small tasks or it can be completely debilitating.
But those are just a few of the physical reactions to fear. So why are we so incredibly enamoured with fear? There seems to be a significant part of our society that craves to have their socks scared off. Countless movies with a focus on the macabre have been produced with a wide array of scary topics. Vampires, werewolves, giant gorillas, and other monsters have been used in a number of movies and subsequent remakes. Of course, one cannot forget about sharks. The Jaws franchise kept several people out of the water for a time.
There are some themes that, just as the villain in the script, just don’t die. This year the studios are doing the 10th installment of Michael Meyers coming back. And to mark the occasion, Jamie Lee Curtis will help bookend the 40 year old series. The list of scary movies is exhaustive and I have already spent more time on the subject than I intended. But we are seemingly fascinated with the topic. Enough so, that movie producers will continue to shock us out of our seats.
But far beyond the entertainment value, there is an incredible variety of fears that plague our society. Psychologists tend to lump these into categories called phobias. A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.
The rest of this article is a list of just some of the fears or phobias that I have come across. Some seem to me to be legitimate. But some of them I find a bit humorous. This isn’t a complete list. It’s just a few that you may find interesting.
- Acrophobia – heights
- Agoraphobia – open spaces
- Amartophobia – sinning
- Androphobia – men
- Arachnophobia – spiders
- Astraphobia – thunder and lightning
- Atychiphobia – failure or defeat
- Claustrophobia – small spaces
- Coimetrophobia – cemeteries
- Cyberphobia – computers or working on a computer
- Cynophobia – dogs
- Decidophobia – making decisions
- Dextrophobia – right side
- Entomophobia – insects
- Ephebiphobia – young people or teenagers
- Euphobia – good news
- Gephyrophobia – bridges
- Glossophobia – public speaking
- Graphophobia – writing or handwriting
- Heliophobia – sun, sunlight, or any bright light
- Herpetophobia – reptiles, commonly lizards and snakes
- Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – long words
- Hodophobia – traveling
- Hylophobia – forests
- Katsaradaphobia – roaches
- Logizomechanophobia – computers (so scary that two words were needed)
- Monophobia – alone or a single person
- Mysophobia – germs
- Nyctophobia – the dark
- Ophidiophobia – snakes
- Peladophobia – hair loss
- Phobophobia – phobia(s) and anxieties
- Placophobia – tombstones
- Pteromerhanophobia – flying
- Pyrophobia – fire
- Ranidaphobia – frogs
- Sciophobia – shadows
- Sinistrophobia – left side
- Taphophobia (or Taphephobia) – being buried alive
- Technophobia – technology
- Thanatophobia – death
- Tokophobia – pregnancy
- Trypophobia – irregular clusters of holes or bumps
- Wiccaphobia – witches