The 13th Floor

Ten Bizarre Phobias You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

A phobia is defined by science as an irrational fear – in other words, fear directed toward something which does not typically pose a personal threat, but nevertheless triggers the instinctive “fight-or-flight” emotional response. Not in a fun way, like we get from horror movies, roller-coaster rides or haunted houses, but in ways that can sometimes prevent us from living normal, healthy lives.

We all know about the most common phobias, and most of us have suffered from at least one or two of them: I’ll bet you know someone with arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights), or claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), and I’ll bet you experienced nyctophobia (fear of the dark) when you were younger… or still do. But today we’re going to explore the outer fringes of fear by examining some of the strangest phobias known to the field of psychology.

As bizarre as some may sound, every one of these fears has at least one documented case, most are listed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and some have impaired their sufferers’ ability to function normally, even to the point of being unable to leave their homes (unless they have domatophobia, which is a fear of houses).

Bear in mind I’m not making light of these fears – and you shouldn’t either, as there are people out there who may be tormented by them right now, and a few are even life-threatening. But I have to admit some of the entries below are weird as hell, and I can imagine some wicked horror stories stemming from most of them (if they haven’t already). So crawl under your favorite security blanket (unless you suffer from textophobia, which is the fear of touching certain fabrics), and read on!

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