By Frances “not a registered psychotherapist” Divine
At long last it’s time to plunge into summer, except it’s full of things that freak us out. Going to the beach may be a problem especially if you’re hydrophobic, have a fear of water, limnophobic, fear lakes or thalassophobic, fear the sea. But you can still keep cool by looking great and jumping into your new swimsuit, that is, unless you’re dishabiliophobic and have a fear of undressing in front of others. Okay, so forget the suit! Go skinny dipping, although if you’re gymnophobic, have a fear of nudity, that might be a challenge.
But who needs to swim anyway? It’ll only mess up you hair. You can always get a tan instead. Although, if you’re heliophobic or photophobic (dread the sun and light, respectively) or carcinaphobic (fear cancer) you’ll probably be diving for the shade.
Oh well, you can always look forward to great evening parties, barbeques and festivals. But then again, if you’re agoraphobic or demophobic, fear public places or enochlophobic, have a fear of crowds you may need to get away for some quiet time. But a vacation may be a problem if you’re aviophobic, fear flying, which would be compounded by aeronausiphobia, have a fear of vomiting from airsickness.
So what? Stay local and enjoy a summer romance, even if it’s been necessitated by your fear of staying single, anuptaphobia. However, that might prove difficult if you turn out to be philemaphobic, fear kissing, or philophobic, fear of being in love.
Forget about it. You need the great outdoors to clear your mind—maybe a camping trip with some good friends. But if you’re arsonphobic (fear fire), roasting marshmallows won’t be as much fun, and being achluophobic, afraid of the dark, could mean really rough nights. And then, there are the bugs! If you’re entomophobic and fear insects like bees (apiphobia), spiders (arachnophobia) or wasps (spheksophobia), camping may not be for you. Especially if you’re also botanophobic or dendrophobic, terrified of plants and trees. But if you get past all of that, the lack of shower facilities could really set off your automysophobia, fear of being dirty. And the outhouses will surely push you over the edge, although, you could always hold your breath, except that you’re probably hyperventilating because of your coprophobia/scatophobia, fear of feces and your mysophobia, fear of being contaminated with germs.
Oh well, there’s no place like home.
Phobics can experience full-blown panic attacks, symptoms of which include a pounding heart, difficulty breathing and the need to get away from what’s bothering you. Just about anything can trigger these attacks, and experts estimate that they affect one in ten Canadians. Fortunately, they are curable.
The first step is to recognize and accept the panic you are feeling, and to seek out help, if you need it. The symptoms can often be alleviated with relaxation exercises. New treatments include exposure therapy, where you are guided through gradually approaching and finally confronting the object of your fears. Cognitive/behavioural therapy and psychotherapy can help you confront and unlearn your conscious and unconscious thoughts that are at the root of phobias. Some experts suggest that anti-anxiety medication helps, which sounds great, until you realize you are neopharmaphobic, have a fear of new drugs.
For more phobias, check out: http://www.phobialist.com