Bizarre Phobias

Tom wrote to ask about the reality of a site called The Phobia Clinic. At first glance, the site definitely looks like it represents a real business that's selling a program to help people overcome their fears. The strangeness comes when you dig into some of the fears that they claim they can cure, and you have to wonder... do such fears or anxieties really exist? For example, they can cure you of Arachibutyrophobia (that's a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth), Ballistophobia (a fear of bullets... but why would anyone want to overcome their fear of bullets? Isn't that a good thing to be afraid of?), Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words... the name of the anxiety alone probably sends sufferers into convulsions), and the list goes on and on. Despite all the weird anxieties, I think that the Phobia Clinic is real enough, in the sense that they'll take your money and offer some kind of 'cure.' But I'm skeptical about whether their cure actually works.


Posted on Fri Nov 21, 2003


One of my good freinds is terribly afraid of glue. He is completly terrified of it. we did a glue project in school once and his mom wrote him a note so he could be excused from gluing. he is not afaird of all things sticky just glue. He asked me to please find out what the fear of glue is called and if there is a real phobia of it. Thankyou so much.
Posted by Hills  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  05:38 PM
oh my god....i'm terrified of midgets. i never knew exactly HOW scared of them i was until a few weeks ago i was working (at dairy queen) and one came through the drive thru. i opened the window to take his money and then i realized he was a midget and my heart jsut stopped. i had to look away and i started freaking out but i didnt want to be rude, so i forced myself into taking the money out of his little :( hand...and ugh. as soon as i closed the window i was breathing really hard, my heart was beating so fast, my legs went numb, and my hands got all tingly....i told people about my weird fear and they were all laughing at me lol...i even almost started crying, it was pathetic...but i can't help it.
now the worst part was the midget was in a doctor's outfit!!! that's absolutely my worst fear now...once when i was telling my friend about it she was like, "what if he was a gynocologist?" i almost started crying, now tell me ANYONE who wouldn't be freaked out by that!! ugh....
Posted by stephanie  on  Thu Jun 22, 2006  at  02:56 PM
haha wow somebody posted something about this back in January.. but I have a huge phobia of achilles tendons. I cannot stand to look at them or feel them. I hate how they look & I am always scared they are going to snap. I've been scared of them for a few years & all my friends know.. so when we all watched Hostel & his achilles tendons got cut & snapped or whatever.. I went crazy!! I could not think straight that whole night it grossed me out so bad!!!! Is that like a real phobia??
Posted by Meredith  on  Sat Jun 24, 2006  at  07:39 PM
I've never found anyone with the same thing as me but I hope to oneday so I don't seem as insane! I have the biggest fear of napkins. When someone touches one I can feel my whole body tense up and I get goosebumps everywhere. When my family uses them at dinner I have to go eat in a seperate room. It's the noise they make when someone touches's like the sound of death! Or when someone puts something ontop of a napkin...oh god.
Posted by Sarah  on  Sun Jun 25, 2006  at  05:57 PM
I don't really have a phobia of this, but I can understand where people are coming from when they say they have a phobia of papers rubbing over each other.
Whenever I pick up an old book with dusty pages and they rub together my skin crawls.
It doesn't stop me reading the book... I just have to gather my thoughts briefly, so I don't count it as a phobia.
Posted by Sheba  on  Fri Jun 30, 2006  at  01:45 PM
I'm terrified of stryofoam...if I see it, I'm fine few a few seconds, but I'm so scared its going to just start moving around from the littlest bit of wind and make that awful I ask people not to touch it around me, and of course they do...I end up screaming, running out of the room crying and I just blank out...not like pass out butnot being able to get myself to say anything or move...I'm dying to find the name for this....
Posted by Sydney  on  Sat Jul 01, 2006  at  05:47 PM
I have a phobia of most dry things, when my hands are dry, and the feel of paper. Help
Posted by Chris  on  Thu Sep 14, 2006  at  06:58 PM
I have a fear of monkeys. I don't trust them. I also have a fear of foam parties. Neither of these have proper terms and I feel as though my fears are not being recognised. This in turn makes me anxious. Anxiety is a form of fear.It's a vicious circle...
Posted by JM  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  01:08 AM
i am afrid of midgets and thought i was the only one thank god there are more people out there that share the same feeling as i get sweaty hand ,cry ,run away i hate myself for it.
Posted by emma  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  01:33 PM
Posted by Jeff  on  Fri Sep 29, 2006  at  01:05 PM
I WAS LOOKING FOR THE WORD FOR 'A FEAR OF MIDGETS!' I have a friend who is terrified of them and I was trying to locate the word for it. Good to see there are others so it is a legitimate phobia that deserves a legitimate lexical context.
Posted by Jeff  on  Fri Sep 29, 2006  at  01:08 PM
I also have a phobia of fabric on teeth.

If i see anyone chewing on fabric, or tissue paper, I completely freak out, and it makes my teeth feel funny, and I salivate

it is happeing now just thinking about it!
Posted by Hilary  on  Wed Oct 04, 2006  at  02:04 PM
I have a fear of carpet and wet dirty materials like rags, towels, t-shirts, mesh,etc. I can't look at these things or even thouch them. When I go to the movie theater I have a differcult time trying to sit beacause I wont sit on the seats. Does anyone know what kind of phobia this is?
Posted by Melisa  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  08:35 AM
OH MY GOSH!! I am not the only one. As long as I can remember I can NOT touch paper with wet hands. I just can't. It grosses me out so bad I mean disgusts me. Any kid paper. I get the ebie jebies. My husband and friends this I am so strange. I am glad to know that others can relate. Is there a phobia name for it?
Posted by Angie  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  09:03 AM
Well let's see ...
There's aibohphopia, the fear of palindromes. Then there's phobiaphobia, the fear of phobias; and what about phobiaphobiaphobiaphobia, which is the fear of unbounded recursion.
Posted by Russell  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  04:07 AM
Ive got a fear of no I cant type it!The last one!!!!!
Posted by Haggii  on  Fri Oct 20, 2006  at  01:18 AM
hello im 15 and i too have a fear of people touching my kneecaps too. My family and friends used to think it was weird or i was making it up or something , because i used to get really scared about it. Now that I know that Im not the only one with that phobia I thank you for i feel much beter about it now knowing Im not the only one who doesnt like there knees been touched.
Thank You XXX
Posted by ainslii  on  Sun Oct 22, 2006  at  08:53 AM
so im pretty much deathly afraid of midgets for no reason. i will not watch Charlie & The Cholocate Factory. and i will turn and go the other way when i see one. i really feel horrible for it too. i also cannot stand when the dentist puts cotton or anything like it in my mouth. that is the worst feeling ever. oh and i hate when people put anything that is fabric like in their mouths and when little kids chew on their jacket strings. i get chills and i almost throw up. i'm pretty sure there aren't names for these phobias which makes them even worse. anyone on the same page as me?
Posted by amanda  on  Thu Oct 26, 2006  at  07:45 PM
HElp i am so scared of spiders everything about them creeps me out everytime I see one i want to scream and run away as fast as i can and for the record i'm a guy but damn it they could be anywhere with their webs and stuff i mean crawlin all over the place not that one spider bite will kill me but they're just to creepy anyone got any ideas
Posted by Cory H. Hurst  on  Wed Nov 15, 2006  at  10:32 PM
i'm so scared of spiders it's not funny everytime i see one i want to run out of the room screaming and someone else to kill it scoop it up and put in a river that will carry it a million miles away and i'm a guy i mean come on why me anyone else have any suggestions
Posted by Cory  on  Wed Nov 15, 2006  at  10:39 PM
oh MAN!! i totally get what you're saying about the dentist putting cotton stuff in your mouth. gyahhhh.. SO gross. i'm also absolutely TERRIFIED of being injected with something by a needle, as in getting vaccinated. i can handle having my blood drawn a bit better (even though i'm still getting stuck with a needle.. ughh!), but just.. that feeling of the substance being injected into your body.. AAAAAAAAGH. that's gotta be my worst fear ever. i can't even watch someone get a shot. i border on psychotic behaviour if i ever have to get one. crying, screaming, everything. seriously. it's pretty sad. ><

needless to say, i'll never have to worry about developing a heroin addiction. =^)
Posted by Kitty  on  Fri Nov 17, 2006  at  11:31 PM
i'm 19, by the way. ><
Posted by Kitty  on  Fri Nov 17, 2006  at  11:33 PM
woah i defianlty thought i was just weird but i have a fear of any type of wet paper.. especially napkins.. it completly groses me out and makes me sick
Posted by Emily  on  Sun Nov 19, 2006  at  08:51 PM
can anybody tell me if they too have a fear of the following and if possible whats the phobia name for it??? It would be a great help.

Wet paper, touching or even seeing it
licking paper/stamps or envelopes
wet wood (the thought of drying a wooden spoon makes me cringe!!)

Posted by Si4martie  on  Mon Dec 04, 2006  at  08:08 AM
To Sarah in Canada: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! I was just telling someone about my insane fear of napkins and searched for it on the internet and found your post. I can't find anyone else with this fear and all of my friends and family think I am nuts! The sound of fingers rubbing on napkins makes my spine tingle and my skin crawl. Thank God there is ONE other person in the world that has the same phobia!
Posted by Madonna  on  Thu Dec 07, 2006  at  11:05 AM
im agoraphobic...and I have a fear of pickles...I dont know what thats called though.
Posted by Kodi  on  Tue Dec 19, 2006  at  03:28 PM
I HATE cardboard...the feel, the color, the sound it makes when you open a box (like scraping). I have no clue why, but I just can't stand it. Since I can be around it, I don't think it's a phobia (yet), but I try to avoid it when I can.

Posted by Bea  on  Fri Dec 29, 2006  at  12:32 PM
I have a horrible fear of midgets! I can't help it, and I know it's horrible and I'm the nightmare of politically correct people. I have been searching for the correct term forever. I really just freak out, it's not my fault, though, if I could control it, then I would. =[
Also, whenever I touch rocks, or chalk, or rough things, my whole body tenses up. I wouldn't call it a fear, it's just...uncontrolled reflexes. =[
Posted by abby  on  Fri Dec 29, 2006  at  09:34 PM
I am a 30 year old man and when I see a midget I am mortified. I grew up very religious and in the Old Testament of the bible there are 2 references to giants. The bible clearly explains that giants were the offspring of humans who procreated with fallen angels. There is no proof of this ofcourse only faith, but it lends the question; are midgets also the product of some type of other worldly breeding gone bad. My fear of dwarfs is driven by a fear that they are not "all" human. I feel threatened by them and I feel that they all grow up knowing their true origin and even worse - when they're around me they sense that I know what they know. I am wondering if other peoples phobia is rooted in the same type of thought as mine.
Posted by Chad Turner  on  Sun Dec 31, 2006  at  12:51 AM
What do you call the fear of paper rubbing together? I have it and it drives me crazy it's like my skin gets turned inside out!! HELP
Posted by Chris  on  Tue Jan 02, 2007  at  02:41 PM
My mother has a thing against ears. She always comments about people's ears, and asks frequently if her ears are showing. Is that wierd? She also will not admit it, but she is hydrophobic. She will take a bath or shower, but if we want to go to the ocean, lake or pool, she will comment about being careful about getting your head in the water, and how can anybody dive or swim because it's so "unnatural."

My mother had a friend who has a fear of tomatoes because "they are ugly." She wouldn't touch a tomato, or permit one to be in her sight. She would eat ketchup, but never ever want to look at any tomato, even canned or sun-dried. That's wierd.
Posted by Linda  on  Fri Jan 05, 2007  at  03:19 PM
I am So glad to hear that I'm not alone. The sound of cardboard boxes scratching against eachother, even thinking about cardboard, sends chills down my spine, ooohhh... - sort of like nails against a chalkboard. Also styrofoam makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. The worst is when I have to open boxes with styrofoam packing..OMG.
Posted by Kathy  on  Tue Jan 09, 2007  at  07:46 PM
I realized today that i have a fear of fingertips touching fabrics or any material. Before today I never understood what was going on, I always have had long nails since i can remember...and today i chewed them all completely off...And I lost my remote in the couch and i couldnt even bare to touch the cushion with my fingertips..I had to put a glove on just to pick it up...and before, Whenever people would scratch their leg through their pants or anything I would cringe, tense up and grit my teeth and I just want to SCREAM!

Now what the heck is that called??? How can i stop that..I cant stand not being able to touch fabric without a glove on, its getting OLD!

please help lol
Posted by Sara Ventimiglia  on  Fri Jan 12, 2007  at  01:58 AM
Dose anyone know what the fear of belly buttons is called?
I hate them, i cant stand seeing people put their fingers in them or touching my belly button. It freaks me out sooooo badly.
Posted by jo  on  Mon Jan 15, 2007  at  12:42 PM
My daughter has been told by psychiatrists that fear of touching paper is a real problem and it is out there. Hers is an obsessive compulsive disorder and also a sensory disorder as well. She cannot touch dry feeling paper. Only smooth feeling paper such as magazines. She must have lotion on her at all times to keep moisture in her hands. She only touches toilet tissue because she has to obviously. Just saying the word PAPER around her makes her cringe. Also being near people whistling is very difficult for her to be around. But I do not have an actual name for this either.
Posted by Sheila Pachesny  on  Fri Jan 19, 2007  at  10:27 PM
Umm ok since a few years ago I relized that whenever I look at feet for more then two seconds I start to have a panic attack. I start to get really sick and uncomfotable...even with my own feet. I hate for people to touch my feet. I also refuse to touch other peoples feet as well. Do you know what that phobia is called?? I know what caused me to be scared of feet...But what I don't know is what it's called.

Posted by cammie  on  Wed Jan 24, 2007  at  06:13 PM
Does anyone know the name of the phobia for losing fingernails is? Ever since I was the unfortunate witness of an accident involving bicicle stokes, I have had this fear of losing my nails. I have looked all over for the name. I know there is a fear of losing teeth but Im not to sure about nails.
Posted by alyssa  on  Sun Jan 28, 2007  at  01:10 PM
i am terrified of a boob. not both ..... just 1! i guess its just b/c the nipples look like eyes staring out at me!!! I mean its usually the left one, and when i see thAT LEFT PEAK, i have to cry &i run awway from it, & thats why i only have sex with a girl when her bra is on, or when her left boob is covered up by a napkin....its b/c of my old daycare teacher that had 3 boobs!!!yes 3. it was always just another lump there...scary!!!
Posted by nik  on  Mon Feb 12, 2007  at  03:45 PM
fear of porclin dolls
Posted by n/a  on  Tue Feb 13, 2007  at  02:47 PM
I have searched high and low for the name of the fear of styrofoam. The noise, the smell, the touch...I can't do it. I get severe panic attacks.
Posted by Sarah J  on  Thu Feb 22, 2007  at  07:19 AM
I have this realy weird fear of being tickled. If you even just say you're gonna tickle me, i'll actually scream. I tremble and i run away. I've heard of the fear of being tickled by feathers, but being tickled at ALL makes me do these unusual things. Of course, since i scream, my riends ticle me all the time. IM GOING INSANE! at the end of every day my throat is actually coarse from screaming and i cover myself with mi hands as i walk to my dorm. I need help PRONTO! any ideas?
Posted by miri  on  Wed Mar 07, 2007  at  08:08 PM
I actually have a friend who is afraid of baked beans, and another firned said she also knows someone who is afraid. It must be quite common! Anyone know a name for it?
Posted by Bethan  on  Wed Mar 14, 2007  at  02:56 PM
I am an Omphalophobic. omphalophobia is the fear of bellybuttons.
Posted by Rachel  on  Thu Mar 29, 2007  at  06:03 PM
I'm So Glad People Have Responded To My Post On Fear Of Dwarves And Midgets. It Is Both Comforting And Eye-Opening To See That I Am Not Alone. Hopefully One Day This Fear Will Be Further Studied And Become A Treatable Nuisance Of The Past. If There Is Anyone Else Who Has Any Information Concerning The Fear Of Dwarves..Please Share. It Would Be Greatly Appreciated.

Posted by Rene  on  Fri Mar 30, 2007  at  11:25 PM
I've always been afraid of midgets, too. It's totally irrational and embarrassing but I think that somehow they're contagious. There must be some evolutionary reason for this phobia.

(My mother cannot stand the site of a loose eyelash on someone's face.)
Posted by MLE  on  Wed Apr 11, 2007  at  07:28 PM
About the fear of Midgets:
I do not have this fear to the extent of a phobia, but my sister does. I remember once we were in Amsterdam in a clup, and really high on some mushroom and dancing like crazy, and she spotted a little person dancing in the floor, she freaked out into a bad trip and spent the rest of her days in the hotel room. She claims it is because of a B-movie she saw when she was 6 in which a group of midgets were lynching a nun. The name of the movie was translated "I don't want to be born" into Turkish.
I asked a psychiatrist friend of mine, and he said it might be related to a primal survival mechanism of "leaving the odd one out". That is, when facing a person with genetical abnormality, the brain urges one to stay away with the irrational fear that the abnormality can be contagious. We know that most cultures in ancient times killed babies that were born with bigger than usual heads, small or no limps or digits.
Posted by Umut  on  Fri Apr 13, 2007  at  06:59 AM
Ok..this subject was mentioned but I didnt see anyone with an actual chalk phobia. I am freaked out by chalk. It makes me feel like it will never get it off of me if I touch it. I won't even let my kids have sidewalk chalk. I almost quit a college algebra class because the teacher used the chalkboard. I was able to convince him to switch to the dry erase. Its not just the dryness-its the impending dread of that scratching noise too. OMG everyone thinks I'm crazy. I also HATE my elbows touched. WEird, huh?
Posted by Heather  on  Fri Apr 13, 2007  at  09:49 AM
Posted by Shannon  on  Mon Apr 16, 2007  at  02:09 PM
I have a terrible phobia of the movie "The Ring" and "The Grudge". I didn't see the grudge, because the previews would give me panic attacks. I also have a phobia of soap...IF i use it (at home, I don't use it in public), I have to make several trips back to rinse off whatever was washed. Whenever I get into a situation where The Ring is involved (catching a glimpse of something on tv), i have what i think are convulsions, but i don't know what they are called, they are very physical (my stomach muscles contract up and i can't breathe at all) and almost always include some form of self-mutilation, usually hitting my head on a wall, with a shoe, whatever is near...thinking about someone getting soap on me can also induce these attack-things. PLEASE help I don't know what to do about the convulsion-like-episodes, and has anyone ever heard of a fear of soap or a specific movie?
Posted by Julie  on  Tue Apr 17, 2007  at  10:05 PM
Help.My son is in grade 6 and has thus paper phobia. He cannot touch paper especially after the shower. It seems to be getting worse. Can we fix this? Can we improve it? How can I help him? Is ther anyone who has got over this problem or found a way to improve the phobia.
Posted by Lisa  on  Sun Apr 29, 2007  at  05:56 AM
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