What the hell is that?

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Shortly before the holiday season commenced, my firm was mandated to undertake a due diligence on behalf of a potential purchaser of a farming operation involving poultry, geese, and ducks. In order to execute our mandate, it became necessary for me to put together an appropriate team comprising of commercial, legal, tax and financial experts. 

One of my proposed team members advised me that whilst she was delighted – even eager – to participate she did not want to attend any facility that actually housed real live quacking ducks and geese because – she said – she suffered from OrnithophobiaI know…. you are thinking exactly what I was thinking. 

Well; according to Wikipedia it is a phobia that involves a fear of birds, including ducks and geese. That got me thinking of other strange, unusual – maybe even crazy sounding – phobias and I spent a pleasant 30 minutes or so with Professor Google identifying crazy (but not to the sufferer) phobias and I thought I would share some with you. It should, at least bring a smile to the dial. 

I intend every few weeks to circulate a list of phobia starting with the letter A and – not surprisingly ending with the letter Z. 


Achluophobia  Fear of darkness – Nyctophobia, also referred to as scotophobia, achluophobia, and lygophobia, may be evolutionary in nature as many predators hunt at night. The fear may not be related to darkness itself but unknown dangers hidden in the darkness (which is why horror and suspense movies often use darkness as a way to scare viewers) 
Acrophobia  Fear of heights – is an intense fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up. Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, known as the fear of falling. On the other hand, those who have little fear of such exposure are said to have a head for heights. 
Aerophobia  Fear of flying – People with fear of flying experience intense, persistent fear or anxiety when they consider flying, as well as during a flight. They will avoid flying if they can, and the fear, anxiety, and avoidance cause significant distress and impair their ability to function. 
Algophobia  Fear of pain – or algiophobiais a phobia of pain - an abnormal and persistent fear of pain that is far more powerful than that of a normal person.[1][2] It can be treated with behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety medication. The term comes from the Greek: ἄλγος, álgos, “pain” and φόβος, phóbos, “fear”. 

According to Sabino Metta, a behavioral psychologist, the phobic reaction is a learned behavior. A common example of this would be an elderly person who hears about all of their friends suffering from various ailments and pains. This person will begin to anticipate the problems and experience the results before anything actually happens to them.[2] People suffering from this probably have hyperalgesia. 

Agoraphobia   Fear of open spaces or crowds – extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places, of leaving one’s own home, or of being in places from which escape is difficult. Panic attacks can occur and also result in a lack of low self-esteem and loss of self-confidence. 
Aichmophobia  Fear of needles or pointed objects – Those affected by aichmophobia will feel anxious, worried, and fearful around any object that is sharp and could cause harm. This could include pencils, pens, needles, pins, scissors, and other common household items. Some people fear all objects that they perceive as sharp, including umbrella points, paper clips and clothes hangers. 
Amaxophobia  Fear of riding in a car – ochophobia, motorphobia, or hamaxophobia is an abnormal or persistent fear of being in, or riding in, a vehicle. Amaxophobia is a clinical phobia generally classified under specific phobias, fear of a single specific panic trigger. Amaxophobic sufferers will fear the accident, partake in backseat driving and/or look for jobs that do not require riding in cars. 
Androphobia  Fear of men – is defined as a fear of men. The term originated inside feminist and lesbian-feminist movements to balance the opposite term “gynophobia,” which means a fear of women. 
Anginophobia  Fear of angina or chocking – the irrational fear of choking, angina or narrowing of the throat. This is mainly caused by experience or being a witness to someone choking. 
Anthrophobia  Fear of flowers – An abnormal and persistent fear of flowers. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize they face no threat from flowers. Any genus or species of flowers can instill fear, as can any flower part, such as a petal or stem. 
Anthropophobia  Fear of people or society – sometimes also spelled anthrophobia, is defined as the fear of people. It has to do with the fear of interpersonal relations, especially offending others. 
Aphenphosmphobia  Fear of being touched – is a rare specific phobia that involves the fear of touching or of being touched. 
Arachibutyrophobia  Fear of peanut butter – coming from the Greek words “arachi” for “ground nut” and “butyr” for butter, and “phobia” for fear, it’s a fear of being choked by peanut butter. Specifically, it refers to the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. 
Arachnophobia  Fear of spiders – These intense fears often stem from negative past experiences. So, in the case of arachnophobia, it’s possible to have a debilitating fear of spiders due to a negative encounter with these arthropods. 
Arithmophobia  Fear of numbers – this fear is somewhat unusual in that it encompasses a wide variety of specific phobias, including a generalized fear of all numbers as well as  fear of specific numbers. 
Astraphobia  Fear of thunder and lightning – It can affect people of all ages, though it may be more common in children than adults. It’s also seen in animals. 
Ataxophobia  Fear of disorder or untidiness – Abnormal fear or dislike of messiness, often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some ataxiophobiacs have obsessive-compulsive disorders that are persistent, intense, senseless, and worrisome. 
Atelophobia  Fear of imperfection – is defined as the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. In other words, it’s a fear of imperfection. 
Atychiphobia  Fear of failure – to have an irrational and persistent fear of failing. Fear of failure may be part of another mood disorder, anxiety disorder, or eating disorder. You may also deal with atychiphobia at times throughout your life if you’re a perfectionist. 
Automatonophobia  Fear of Human-Like Figures – is the fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being. This includes, but is not limited to, ventriloquist dummies, animatronic creatures, mannequins, and wax statues. This fear can manifest itself in numerous ways; every individual who suffers from the fear being different. 
Autophobia  Fear of being alone – An abnormal and persistent fear of loneliness, of being alone. A fear of solitude. Sufferers of autophobia may experience anxiety even though they realize that being alone does not threaten their well-being. They may worry about being ignored and unloved, or they may worry about intruders, strange noises or the possibility of developing a medical problem. 

Autophobia also has another sense, that of an irrational fear of oneself, intense self-fear that is groundless. 


I hope you have enjoyed reading this Newsletter (and pronouncing the phobias) as much as I enjoyed my time with Professor Google. 


This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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