Wednesday, December 23, 2009

what are you afraid of?

I had a brief exchange with one of my co-workers. We secretly hate each other (well actually, we're both quite open about it) but we have some pretty stimulating conversations. I was commenting on the number of people in the gallery and how it was freaking me out. She asked if I had a fear of people - agoraphobia. We both paused a moment and decided her classification was incorrect. Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces. This prompted me to try to look up the proper phobia. The list of phobias is endless and quite amusing in itself. Following is just a sample of the phobias beginning with "A:"

Ablutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing.
Acarophobia- Fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching.
Acerophobia- Fear of sourness.
Agateophobia- Fear of insanity.
Albuminurophobia- Fear of kidney disease.
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic.
Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
Amathophobia- Fear of dust.
Anablephobia- Fear of looking up.
Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single.
Apeirophobia- Fear of infinity.
Atomosophobia- Fear of atomic explosions.
Aulophobia- Fear of flutes.
Autodysomophobia- Fear of one that has a vile odor.
Automatonophobia- Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues - anything that falsely represents a sentient being.

You have to admit to suffering from one or more of these to a moderate extent yourself. I know I have personally grappled with many of these. Show up with a dummy and I guarantee you I will run screaming into the night. And how many of us have stayed awake at night worrying about kidney disease? Huh? Come on, you know who you are. Well, perhaps some of these are a little bit of a stretch compared to others, but while we may laugh hysterically at some of these phobias, there is someone out there who is not so amused. I must admit that the list makes me feel downright healthy. I'll try not to be insensitive to the phobias of others, but secretly wouldn't it be funny to put together an ablutophobiac with an autodysomophobiac?

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