A phobia is an irrational fear, a kind of anxiety disorder in which the individual has a relentless dread of a situation, living creature, place, or thing. Many people with a phobia are unable to complete daily tasks, and will go out of their way to avoid the perceived fear that they may have to face something they are afraid of. Phobias cause a deep anxiety, and they are said to develop from genetics and predisposition as well as traumatic life events. Some phobias are developed by engaging in certain activities or being exposed to negative beliefs early in childhood. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 4 to 5 percent of Americans have a phobia.

The Telegraph, a UK-based website providing information on topics ranging from sports, business, and money to life, women, and fashion, has provided a few of the most unusual phobias:

  • Xanthophobia – fear of yellow. This may be a deep fear of anything that is yellow, including the sun, daffodils, and yellow paint. Some people may even fear the word itself.
  • Turophobia – fear of cheese. Kaplan International notes that while people do not have to be allergic to cheese, they may link it to a traumatic memory. Individuals with this fear are often afraid of the texture and taste of cheese.
  • Somniphobia – fear of falling sleep. Dr. Anderson, a specialist in pulmonary and sleep medicine and physician at the Sleep Disorders Center in Louisville, KY, told The Huffington Post that a child who has this phobia may fear having bad dreams. Dr. Anderson also noted that adults with sleep apnea who gasp for air in the middle of the night might develop this phobia.  
  • Omphalophia – fear of the naval. Health Research Funding states that the phobia exists in three conditions: fear of touching one’s bellybutton/other people touching one’s bellybutton. The second condition involves becoming very anxious and fearful if someone else’s bellybutton is being touched or is being visible. The third condition is the most severe; if a person sees a bellybutton they immediately become anxious and depressed.
  • Papaphobia – fear of the pope. It is said that fear of popes often derives from traumatic experiences with a pope, priest, or other religious authority figure.

If you have a phobia and you are having trouble managing your symptoms, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several California mental health and addiction recovery treatment centers – our licensed, experienced health care team will work with you to construct an individualized, holistic plan of treatment to begin your journey to recovery. You deserve to be in control of your life. Call us today for a consultation.

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