Archive for phobia

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…

 

Featured Fear: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)

Posted in Media, Trailers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by ranranami

“For the rest of her life Arachne was to hang from a thread and to be a great weaver and the descendents of Arachne still weave their magic webs all over the earth today. ” – The Story of Arachne

So goes a classic myth of (arguably) the most disturbing creatures in the world, equally beautiful and deadly. Though, not always. Much like snakes, there are plenty of breeds of harmless spiders. Still, I’m hard-pressed to remember a time I saw a spider in a public setting and the next nearest person didn’t break into a shrieking fit before sentencing poor little thing to a squishy death.

As a small child, I dug through my recently deceased great grandfather’s things, and in the very back of his closet I found a strange leather container with a black strap. I pulled it out and looked inside, but it was too dark to see what the recesses of the case held. I reached inside and recoiled in pain. A little black spider crawled out over my arm and skittered down to the ground before disappearing back into the closet. But you know what? I still wasn’t afraid of spiders. Then again, the bite didn’t turn out to be poisonous.

Perhaps it’s the way they walk with their many legs, disturbingly fast and far in such short spaces of time. Perhaps it’s the invisible silks they weave from over-hanging branches which catch in the hair of innocent passersby. Or even the tendency of the humble spider to select locations that are already pretty creepy…dark places. Disused places…porch swings…They make for sufficiently creepy nightmare bait.

Desensitization seems to be the only real cure for this phobia, which I find a little difficult. How often do people take trips to spider-filled caves and basements? Luckily I found a music video that might help those of you with arachnophobia issues…

 

Featured Fear: Coulrophobia (Fear of Clowns)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by ranranami

Did you hear that? There was a squeaky sound. I just heard it. No, I’m not making it up. I’m telling you, there’s A CLOWN IN THIS ROOM!

 

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Oh…no, that was just my chair, false alarm.

A surprisingly large number of people have a creeping fear of these pancake-covered children’s entertainers, with their large shoes and red noses. The suffix ‘coulro’ doesn’t translate to clown, though. Apparently it means stilt-walker. I can’t really say who decided that would be appropriate…possibly because it sounds a little silly.

Many an unprofessional actor is responsible for this fear, believe it or not. I know more than a handful of people who caught a clown on a bad day when they were children and got screamed at or even shoved. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who give one job a bad name. It’s just a shame that children’s entertainers aren’t exempt from having bad moods.

Still more people just feel uncomfortable with the exagerated behavior of a clown. The intense colors of their clothes. The crazy hair. They are rather wild-looking, when you think about it.

I close this entry about clowns with a gentle reminder that maybe…just maybe…if clowns come from space, those are the ones you’ll really want to avoid.

 

Featured Fear: Pediophobia

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by ranranami

There is no shame in a phobia, everybody fears something. Without fear to fuel the flames of…some other kind of horrific f word (but not he sexual one), there’d be no horror. No Halloween. NO TERROR. Be glad we all have some kind of fear in our lives, and try not to be so judgmental of the ones that may seem a little…silly.

No, surprisingly this isn’t the fear of children or the fear of the love of children. It’s the fear of dolls. This can range from any type of doll, but I’m sure you aren’t surprised the most common form of Pediophobia is for those rather eery porcelain dolls your grandmother used to keep on the mantle.

Sometimes a child has trouble telling the difference between a real person and something that may look like one, so it isn’t surprising they may even believe dolls are people. People who just…stare at you. People who don’t blink (unless of course you have the kind that blinks when you tip it backwards.) People who don’t change and are always witness to the naughty things a child does when their parents aren’t around.

Believe it or not, Pediophobia does not group itself with the fear of ventriloquist dummies, robots and wax statues (automatonophobia). But it makes sense people might feel uncomfortable towards not-quite-people, things that seem to have all of the appearances of a human being, but lacking that one important aspect…a soul.

But I leave you with a short commercial as a reminder. When you talk to your dolls…sometimes…they talk back.