Psychology 101: People’s Weirdest Phobias

In psychology, we know that phobia is a condition of having an irrational fear of something. “Simply put,” wrote Nicole Martinez, LCPC, “a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something … Usually, somewhere in their childhood they associated this ‘thing’ with fear, or had a bad experience.”

There is this presence of unbearable anxiety and terror that sometimes affects people’s daily functions. That is the reason why the National Institute of Mental Health considers it as one of the mental illnesses that require treatment and medication. Though some of its conditions may be common such as having a fear of heights, a fear of flying, a fear of spiders, a fear of snakes, and a fear of injection, there are types of phobias that seem a little bit freaky.


Weirdest Types Of Phobias

Omphalophobia – It is a bizarre type of phobia where people feel afraid of the navel or what’s commonly called the “belly button.” Whether it is their navel or not, it doesn’t matter. Though it does not mean that these individuals are afraid of people, but getting too close with their navel is a big No-No. In some extreme cases, some people who imagine their belly button getting touched by others can cause severe panic attacks.

“While some things that scare people make sense due to the reasonable threat they cause, other things people fear can seem be come from an unreasonable place of fear due to the lack of threat that the things or situations cause.” – Shannon V. McHugh, PsyD

Turophobia – It is an entirely irrational fear of cheese. We might not believe it, but there are tons of people in the world who can’t seem to go near a piece of cheddar. People with turophobia often avoid consuming foods that are cheesy or anything that has cheese in it. These include cheese pizza, lasagna, cheesecakes, and so on.

Triskaidekaphobia – It is a condition that feels familiar to all people. It is the fear of the number 13. Well, it is mostly due to superstitious beliefs. Other causes of it sometimes relate to religion and myths too. Generally, a lot of people don’t like the number 13 because they feel it is not that nice. The severe cases are more like a psychological malady than an irrational belief.


Nomophobia – It is a type of phobia that feels a little off. However, according to research, the cases are becoming common, especially to the younger generation. It is a condition where people fear being away from their cellphones, having low battery issues, and as well as having no connection to the internet.

Papaphobia – It is a phobia that seems a little bit questionable. However, it does exist. It is the fear of getting near or seeing the Pope. These people who have the condition suffer from increased heart rate, too much sweating, and sometimes nausea every time the Pope is around. The state is thought to relate to any fear concerning getting near any religious objects also.

Ablutophobia – It is the worse condition to have when people want to secure hygiene. That is because it is the phobia of washing or bathing. It is more common in kids than adults, though. However, without any assistance of therapy, it becomes a life-long issue when individuals reach adulthood. It will require treatment because it is believed to be the result of a traumatic experience as a child when bathing.


Ephebiphobia – It is a condition where adults are irrationally scared of younger people. Yes, children, these days get subjected to moral panic due to older people’s constant complaints about them being spoiled. These kids get chastised for being out of control in some way. That is the reason why some adults don’t want to be anywhere near the youths.

Phagophobia – It is a type of phobia that entirely does not make any sense. It is the fear of swallowing. It differs from the fear of eating because it does not concern weight or whatsoever but merely focuses on the fear of choking. Though in some research, an individual’s throat has the potential to close during panic attacks making the condition a little bit scary.

Dextrophobia – It is one of the most irrational fears people could have. It is the fear of having things arranged in the right side position. According to sources, the condition is related to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder where these individuals avoid organizing stuff on the right. That is why they often clutter things at home or the office all to the left side.

Phobophobia – It is quite amusing because phobophobia is the fear of having a phobia. From a source of description, the condition may feel like a panic attack. At some point, the anxiety forms in the unconscious mind that when it begins, individuals feel tense and dizzy as well as experience heart pounding.

As strange as these phobias sound, these conditions genuinely exist.

Nevertheless, Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist, said, “In general, approaching phobias is about teaching the body and the mind that the feared object or situation doesn’t have to automatically elicit the anxiety response.”