First, here is where to find Part I of this post. In it, I explained the reasons for my view that my phobias are among the uncommon ones, while I actually like many things (such as mathematics, darkness, and spiders) which are feared by those with more common phobias. I find such self-analysis, and reflective writing, helpful. This is unusual, of course, but those with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be unusual in many ways, and this includes being different from each other.
For Part II, I used Google, and searched for “100 most common phobias.” My goal was to determine the extent to which my current and past phobias are atypical, when compared to the incidence of various phobias within the general population. The top search result was http://www.fearof.net/, where 100 common phobias are listed, in descending order of world-wide incidence. These 100 phobias were then split into the seven categories, ranging from phobias about things I like a lot, to things about which I am phobic myself, as seen below.
Category 1: I have a strong affinity (a philia) for these things which people commonly fear, and I have never feared them myself. There are 17 phobias in this category, including four of the ten most common phobias.
- Spiders (arachnophobia is the most common phobia of all)
- Heights (acrophobia, 3rd most common phobia of all)
- Small/enclosed spaces (claustrophobia, 7th)
- Flying (aerophobia, 9th)
- Public speaking (glossophobia, 13th)
- Solitude (monophobia, 14th)
- Long words (hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, 26th)
- The unknown (xenophobia, 27th)
- Success (achievemephobia, 30th)
- Cats (ailurophobia, 32nd)
- Balloons (globophobia, 34th)
- Darkness / night (nyctophobia, 35th)
- The number 13 (triskaidekaphobia, 39th)
- Friday the 13th (paraskevideka-triaphobia, 46th)
- Sleep (somniphobia, 47th)
- Women (gynophobia, 48th)
- Numbers (numerophobia, 93rd)
Category 2: I like these things people commonly fear, but not with high enough intensity for the word “philia” to apply. There are 23 phobias in this category, including three more of the top ten.
- Snakes (ophidiophobia, the 2nd most common phobia)
- Thunder and lightning (astraphobia, 6th)
- Holes (trypophobia, 10th)
- Birds (ornithophobia, 16th)
- Chickens (alektorophobia, 17th)
- Intimacy (aphenphosmphobia, 19th)
- Falling (basiphobia, 29th)
- Love, or emotions in general (philophobia, 38th)
- Butterflies (lepidopterophobia 43rd)
- Buttons (koumpounophobia, 50th)
- Ducks (anatidaephobia, 51st)
- Fire (pyrophobia, 52nd)
- Doctors (latrophobia, 57th)
- Adult little people (achondroplasiaphobia, 60th)
- Moths (mottephobia, 61st)
- Bananas (bananaphobia, 63rd)
- Mirrors (catoptrophobia, 70th)
- School (didaskaleinophobia, 83rd)
- Technology (technophobia, 84th)
- The future (chronophobia, 85th)
- Halloween (samhainophobia is the 90th)
- Rain (ombrophobia, 94th)
- Zombies (kinemortophobia, 98th)
Category 3: I used to fear these commonly-feared things, although not to the level of a phobia, but now I no longer fear them at all. This category has a mere six phobias.
- Everything, or terrible things happening (panophobia, the 44th most common phobia)
- Food (cibophobia, 66th)
- Horses (equinophobia, 68th)
- Mice (musophobia, 69th)
- Pain (agliophobia, 71st)
- Worms (scoleciphobia, 97th)
Category 4: I am indifferent to these commonly-feared things, or have a like/dislike balance. In other words, for these things. . . meh. This is the largest category, which I view as healthy. It contains 25 phobias.
- Failure (atychiphobia is the 15th most common phobia)
- Needles (trypanophobia, 20th)
- People, in all situations (anthropophobia, 21st)
- Abandonment (autophobia, 23rd)
- Commitment (gamophobia, 25th)
- Bridges (gephyrophobia, 41st)
- Insects (entomophobia, 42nd)
- Feet (podophobia, 45th)
- Frogs (ranidaphobia, 53rd)
- Dolls (pediophobia, 58th)
- Fish (ichthyophobia, 59th)
- Animals (zoophobia, 62nd)
- Cotton balls or plastic foams (sidonglobophobia, 64th)
- Ghosts (phasmophobia, 67th)
- Beards (pogonophobia, 74th)
- Belly buttons (navels; omphalophobia, 75th)
- Depths (bathophobia, 77th)
- Obese people (cacomorphobia, 78th)
- Getting old (gerascophobia, 79th)
- Hair (chaetophobia, 80th)
- Hospitals (nosocomephobia, 81st)
- Work (ergophobia, 87th)
- Opinions (allodoxaphobia, 89th)
- Oceans (thalassophobia, 96th)
- Being buried alive (taphophobia, 100th)
Category 5: I currently have an aversion to these commonly-feared things, but my aversion, in this category, does not reach the level of a phobia, and never has. This category contains only nine phobias, and none are in the top 32.
- Change (metathesiophbia, the 33rd most common phobia)
- Sharks (galeophobia, 54th)
- Being forgotten, or not remembering things (athazagoraphobia, 55th)
- Cockroaches (atsaridaphobia, 56th)
- Choking (pseudodysphagia, the fear of choking, 76th)
- Loud noises (ligyrophobia, 82nd)
- Clowns (coulrophobia, 88th)
- Roller coasters (coasterphobia, 95th)
- Ants (myrmecophobia, 99th)
Category 6: I used to be phobic regarding these things, and still don’t like them. However, I can manage, now, to keep my aversion below the intensity of a phobia. This is also the category that has involved the most work, for it is difficult to shed a phobia. This category has three of the top ten, and 14 total — but these are former phobias, not current ones.
- Open or crowded places (agoraphobia, the 4th most common phobia)
- Dogs (cynophobia, 5th)
- Germs (mysophobia, 8th)
- Cancer (carcinophobia, 11th)
- Death (thanatophobia 12th)
- Crowds (enochlophobia, 18th)
- Water (aquaphobia, 22nd)
- Blood (hemophobia, 24th)
- Driving (vehophobia, 28th)
- God and/or religion (theophobia, 31st)
- Bees (apiphobia, 49th)
- Crime (sclerophobia, 65th)
- Wasps (spheksophobia 86th)
- Getting rid of stuff (disposophobia, 92nd)
Category 7: I am phobic, now (or very recently), about these things, and still actively try to avoid them, when I can. There are only six left in this category, and, with professional help, I am working on eliminating them, as well. Nothing left in this category is ranked in the top 35, which is consistent with my idea that my remaining phobias are among the less common ones.
- Men (androphobia, the 36th most common phobia)
- Fear (phobophobia, 37th)
- Vomiting (emetophobia, 40th)
- Pregnancy & childbirth (tokophobia, 72nd). In my case, since I am male, this means that I have been very careful, my whole life, to avoid participation in the creation of a pregnancy. The reason is simple: My now-deceased father was a horrible role model for fatherhood, and have never felt I could take the risk of becoming a biological father myself, for fear that I would turn out like him. His influence is also the reason I have both androphobia (top of this category) and PTSD. If there is a silver lining here, it is that I would not have learned how to focus on mental health, rather than mental illness, without him making such work necessary.
- Talking on the phone (telephonophobia, 73rd)
- Light (photophobia, 91st)
Further evidence that my phobias are rare was discussed in Part I. I may actually have some which are unique to me, such as my dread of the 16th of each month, which has plagued me since my mother’s death, last November 16th. Since fear of the number thirteen is called triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number sixteen is hexakaidekaphobia. This is what July looked like, to me, as I approached the 16th.
Yesterday was the 16th of July, and that is when I wrote Part I of this post, which is no coincidence. The 16th is now over. By focusing on improving my mental health, and using therapeutic writing (which I am also doing right now), I made it through yesterday without falling apart, although it was not easy. Sixteen is a rational number, and it is time for me to resume being rational about it.
This makes me hopeful that hexakaidekaphobia will now stay in the past, where it belongs. No one need suggest that I get medical help, including seeing a mental health professional, for the appointments to do exactly those things, before school resumes, are already scheduled.
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I had wondered if your fear was similar to people who fear the Ides of [whatever month]
[or indeed Tax Day in April].
I’m not sure — but, fortunately, my own phobia regarding the 16th of the month has diminished greatly since I wrote this post.