Each and every last one of us will have something somewhere in the world that we hold with a sense of abject dread and simply cannot bear the thought of. At least to a modest extent. However, those with true medically diagnosed phobias have something of a much more difficult lot and have to deal with the kind of true, blood-curdling and life-changing fear the rest of us simply cannot imagine. Fear of spiders, dentists, flying, and other such common examples are all but taken for granted and are, generally speaking, accepted to a considerable degree. But what about the poor souls living with altogether much rarer and misunderstood phobias? Phobias everyone thinks they’re so weird and can’t possibly be true?



A man showering
By Ordinary Guy (O.G.)Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Ablutophobia is the official title given to the all-consuming and truly devastating fear of anything to do with bathing, cleaning or washing in general. This applies not only to the person in question but also the surrounding areas and can, therefore, result in rather severe medical conditions and the potential for living in abject squalor. As is the case with most phobias, there is little explanation as to when or why an onset of Ablutophiba may occur, though thankfully lists as one of the rarest, extreme cases.



Daviesmo at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Daviesmo at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Prepare your accusations and cries of laziness if you will, but the fact of the matter is that there is indeed an officially recognized fear of work, which is Ergophobia. In fact, Ergophobia stretches far further than work alone and can, in fact, be the abject fear of functioning altogether, leaving those suffering from the condition unable to do anything productive without suffering horrendously in the process. And before you’re tempted… no… this will not win you a free week off work if used surreptitiously.



photo: alistgator
photo: alistgator

Moving well and truly closer to the ranks of the weird and wonderful, Tetraphobia is the irrational and altogether barrier-building fear of the number 4. Needless to say, those suffering from this particular condition will likely face at least one birthday every ten-year that will not be to their liking, with a certain date in their fifth decade bringing about 12-months in their own personal hell. You just try avoiding the number 4 for a whole day and see how much fun it isn’t!



Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - Fear Of Long Words - Phobias
via Pinterest

My personal favorite and in no way for reasons of unkindness, those behind the naming of Hippopoto-monstros-esquipeda-liophobia really must have been playing a joke on the world. I mean seriously, could there be any worse title for a psychological and truly damaging fear of long words? After all, it is one thing to have your life blighted by a phobia, but another if you can’t bare to say, read or write its name! Whoever is responsible for this one, shame on you…



photo synthesis: Alistgator.com with images from Pixabay.com

Another example now often quoted by those who are a little concerned of their domestic role becoming permanent or are perhaps just a little bored, Oikophobia is the name given to an irrational fear of the surroundings of the home as a whole, or in some more specific cases the household appliances. Needless to say, settling down with such a person in a domestic capacity can prove rather difficult. Unless of course you have a penchant for living with no mod-cons at all, or perhaps in a tent.


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