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Phobias, categorised under anxiety disorders, are extreme and irrational fear of specific objects, persons, situations or activities. While we all know of phobias like hydrophobia, the fear of water and acrophobia, the fear of heights, the list of phobias is endless. Here, we are listing some of the most weird phobias that truly exist!

1. Oikophobia

A person with oikophobia (also known as ecophobia) fears being in a home environment (we wish we were kidding, but we’re not!). Not only does the home setting evoke fear, but even household items like the refrigerator and washing machine can cause distress in a person with oikophobia!

2. Ergophobia

Ah! This one isn’t easy either as bread & butter is at stake, seriously! Ergophobia is the fear of work and workplaces. An ergophobic person tends to be apprehensive of tasks assigned to him/her, continuously haunted by the fear of failing at the task.

3. Ablutophobia

If you are a cleanliness-freak, we would urge you to skip this one. Ablutophobia is the fear of bathing and washing! This phobia can cause several adverse consequences like lack of social acceptance and body image disorders.

4. Nomophobia

Need your mobile phone everywhere and every time? We do not imply to say that you have this phobia, but nomophobia is the fear of being without your phone!

5. Ephebiphobia

We suspect Aunt Melinda probably has this as she avoids her evening stroll when the neighbour’s kids are out! Ephephobia is the strange fear of teenagers. The sight of teens or spending some time with teens can be hell for the ephephobic lot.

6. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Phew! That was long! and hey, that’s the fear of long words! This is a phobia that majorly has its roots in the fear of pronouncing long words incorrectly in front of others.

7. Athazagoraphobia

Athazagoraphobia is the fear of forgetting things or sometimes being forgotten. You definitely have that one friend who writes down every tiny bit so that nothing is forgotten!

8. Cibophobia

Did you just read it as “Food is not just to be eaten, but also to be feared!” Well, cibophobic people dread even the sight of food. This phobia supposedly originated from painful spasms post chewing and swallowing.

9. Vestiphobia

Definitely deserves to be in the list of totally weird phobias, vestiphobia is the fear of clothing. Thankfully, vestiphobic persons fear only certain types of clothing. For some, thick jackets can evoke fear in them while for some others, their uniforms are just the perfect “No-No” for the eyes!

10. Somniphobia

Somniphobia is the bizarre fear of falling asleep. This phobia is prevalently found in people who have experienced sleep paralysis – a state of zero mobility while they are partially awake.

How to deal with phobias?

Experts suggest that exposure therapy is by far the best way to manage your phobias. Exposure therapy is a rather gradual and continuous approach where you expose yourself to the object or situation that evokes anxiety in you – for the very first time, the object could be at a distance from you and for a shorter span of time. Slowly the distance between you and the object will be reduced and the duration of exposure lengthened.