Archive for phobia

Featured Fear: Acrophobia (Fear of Heights)

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2018 by ranranami

 

I do not fear heights. I love them. Roller coasters. Sky drops. Winding bridges. You name it, I love it. There’s a certain adrenaline rush a person can get from scaling heights (that’s probably why so many people love climbing hills and mountains.) All of that being said, this scene right here? Anxiety. Sheer painful (albeit comedic) anxiety. Every time I see someone dangling out of a window or over a roof in a movie, even one that reaches the very height of silly, I get incredibly anxious for the main character.

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Jimmy Stewart gets it. Acrophobia is probably one of the most reasonable, and almost primal phobias a person can have. When you’re afraid of the dark, it’s the unknown that scares you the most. But heights? It’s because your brain can probably play out a hundred thousand scenarios of just how brutal and grisly an accident could be if you fell. No matter how safe you may actually be.

It doesn’t just stop with panic attacks. Acrophobia can be so intense, that a person becomes paralyzed, or stricken by extreme vertigo. The danger of this fear is that in some cases, being unable to control your body or force yourself to move may very well get you killed (say you’re walking on a narrow perch or driving around an old road on a steep hill. Panicking isn’t going to help.) Luckily, as with all phobias, psychotherapy, medication, exposure, and even meditation can help to ease the worst of your fears. Just remember. Don’t look down.

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Featured Fear: Gynophobia (Fear of Women)

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2018 by ranranami

Have you ever seen ‘The Bad Seed’? Perhaps you grew up with a little girl just as evil as little Rhoda, or knew an old woman as mad as Norman’s ‘mother’. Whatever the reason, the fear of women is more than simple romantic anxiety. It’s more than a desperate need to hide when the girl you like or want to meet is in the room. It’s sheer, desperate terror.

 

 

The above is an absolutely fantastic tribute by Nash Mau. I highly recommend visiting their channel.

One might argue that film noir is inspired just a little by the fear of women. Some sexual dynamo of a female tricks a young schmuck into doing something for her, leading him down a dark path that more often than not ends up with more than one death along the way.

Gender and sex are a funny thing. I’m not sure if gynophobia usually translates into fear of transgendered women as well, but I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised. A lot of these fears tend to stem from a history of abuse suffered at the hands of a mother figure, another female relative, or even a spouse over time. I’d like to say it’s easily treated by a simple interaction with one very nice woman to allay all your fears, but this deep-seated issue requires therapy, as with all other phobias.

With that, I’d like to leave all of you with perhaps one of the most sexist quotes, and an example of one of many men who seems to have feared women as deeply as he may have feared his own death…

Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one’s guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. … Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good.

– Albertus Magnus

Featured Fear: Pedophobia (fear of children/childhood)

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2017 by ranranami

There are those who love them. Then, there are those who hate them. Finally, there are those who fear them. Children. Often depicted in film as the epitome of innocence, and in some of the most disturbing horror you’ll find quite the opposite. The Bad Seed, The Good Son, Village of the Damned, Children of the Corn, Bloody Birthday, the list goes on. And on. And on. 

To quote Georgia Coiner (and maybe Wikipedia too), “children embarrass us because they point ever too cleverly and clearly to our denial of personal, material, and maternal history.” I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly an angel myself, and this phobia in particular leaves me scratching my head, but it’s all too real. Some sources I’ve scanned seem to indicate that it’s not entirely the fear of children, but the fear of what children may do that really motivates this phobia. Children on the cusp of adulthood in particular, ranging from the ages of 12-14. After all, at that age, raging puberty can drive kids to do pretty crazy things.

With a lot of adults deciding to forego parenthood in western countries, too, they’re a little less exposed to kids in their daily lives, and generally may develop a general distrust that may eventually develop into pedophobia, but it’s not altogether likely to happen to most of us.

Then, there’s the fear of childhood itself, which is really more of a fear of thinking about it, stemming from general trauma as a kid (don’t all of these phobias seem to come from that?) The most common, and frankly easiest treatment advised for pedophobia is basic exposure therapy. In time, parent or not, almost anyone can overcome their fear if they try.

Now, with that being said, how about a short skit from College Humor to remind you exactly why you should reconsider getting over your fear?

Featured Fear: Thanatophobia (Fear of Death)

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2016 by ranranami

 

In this world, where the fortunate find themselves boxed away from reality, Thanatophobia (fear of death) is all too commonly nurtured, to the point that many people find themselves knocking on wood, tying every act to superstition, every fearful thought to the knowledge that some day we all become worm’s meat.

Death is inescapable. Of the many great phobias out there, it is the one that will always capture you in the end, and for many, the very thought is so disturbing that often it seems to usher itself in that much quicker with the stress and obsession it seems to create in the victim. Nothing so typifies this fear being realized in such a literal sense as the knight’s eternal struggle with death in Bergman’s classic film, ‘The Seventh Seal.’ A brave man encountering death, denying his fears and at the same time meeting them head on with something as mundane as a game of chess. Bravery, in fact, is the best way to face any fear, isn’t it?

 

The desire for immortality, the modern beautification and idealization of the vampire, our cultural obsession with an upcoming zombie apocalypse, the fact that if you ever bring death up in a general conversation you are pretty much guaranteeing that you’re the buzzkill of the year. We are all afraid of death, to some degree. Even for those who deny it, those who obsess with it, those who pursue it. Instinct itself demands that this fear shall always and ever be a constant until the very last man or woman takes his or her very last breath.

 

Featured Fear: Aquaphobia (fear of water)

Posted in Media with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2016 by ranranami

I hope you don’t mind if I put my drink beside you. There we go…don’t worry, though. It’s just water.

Hey…are you alright? You look like you’re starting to sweat a little. Hold on, I’m just going to take a nice, refreshing sip…Oh, I’m sorry. Here, let me get that for-…you’re sure you’re okay? Yeah, I’ve got a paper bag here somewhere for you to breathe in. Do you want something to drink to calm you dow…where are you going?!

Aquaphobia. The fear of water. It’s not too hard to believe there are people out there without rabies who have a perishing desire to avoid it at all costs. (By the way, the fear associated with rabies is called ‘Hydrophobia’.)  I mean, too much water can kill you, can’t it? Whether it’s just several drinks, or just being surrounded by it and unable to get any air. Houdini was well aware of how dangerous water could be, after all…water was part of his most famous escape act.

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Poster for a famous act by Harry Houdini (1874-1926) american conjurer, c. 1913 : Chinese Water Torture Cell. (Photo by APIC/Getty Images)

It’s hard to tell anyone with a phobia ‘not to worry’. However, Houdini survived each and every water torture performance, even surrounded by locks and chains…so if anything, I’d say a ruptured appendix is something to be far more concerned about. So sit back, relax, have a glass of water, and remember…it’s everywhere, even in the air you breathe.

Featured Fear: Trypophobia (fear of holes)

Posted in People with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by ranranami

This past year or so, a very strange myth has been circulating around the internet. The basic premise of the story is that there’s a rare disease which causes your face to calcify and rot in such a way (or any other part of your body) that hardened holes form all over the affected area. And if I were both naive and unaware of photoshop as well as the basic shape of a lotus flower, I might even have believed it.

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In a way, I can kind of understand the fear that this concept stems from. I mean, who didn’t at some point in their childhood find themselves paranoid to take a shower, because they’d somehow gotten it into their heads that they were going to get sucked down the drain? It goes to reason that you could be just as afraid of a hole in a honeycomb, a hole in a well, a hole in a pair of socks, a hole in a doughnut, a book called Holes…if you indulged in the drain fear past a certain age.

Trypophobia can even go beyond just holes, and is often connected with a fear of things grouped together. Large numbers of symmetrical shapes…bug’s eggs, fly’s eyes, sunflower florets…the list goes on. Which leads me to believe Trypophobia may just also be a reflection of someone’s OCD getting the better of them in a much more sinister manner. Sometimes I wonder if Lewis Carroll had mild trypohobia…

Featured Fear: Hemophobia (fear of blood)

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by ranranami

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This is an odd one, though certainly not as odd as anatadaephobia (fear of being watched by a duck) or something along those lines. Hemophobia is strange, because it isn’t usually single. This means people with the fear of blood are usually afraid of something else, like needles or other various pointy things.

Now if you break it down, hemophobia becomes a perfectly reasonable condition. Most often when a person is first introduced to the sight of blood in childhood, it is their own. I suppose this can cause one to associate blood with pain…and it can kind of just get worse from there. This is when it is purely psychological, of course, which hemophobia usually isn’t.

When a person is exposed to the sight of blood, the body’s reaction is to generally have a small drop in blood pressure. This is instinctual. Because when blood pressure drops, one is less likely to bleed or clot as much if injured. If your blood pressure drops TOO much, you faint. Sooooo…since fainting is usually pretty inconvenient, it can at times be another cause for hemophobia.

Most phobias are treated by desensitization. Hemophobia is too, but…it’s also treated in another very unique way. Training one’s body to raise their blood pressure, either through tensing muscles or engaging in vigorous activity.

So now that you’ve read a little bit about hemophobia, here’s a short video from a personal favorite show of mine, to ease you into…some kind of…pun using the word vein. I’m not always on my A game here, folks. Much less my B or O game either…