I want to talk about phobias. I suppose one could be afraid of just about anything.

According to the NIMH (source: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1SPEC_ADULT.shtml) ....

Phobias are said to be marked and persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.

I found this list of phobias: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_phobias

Do you have any phobias?

Have you ever gotten treatment for a phobia?

How do you know the difference between a phobia and a rational fear of something?

I have an irrational fear of men and I'm trying to work through it....but I hope the discussion can help anyone with a phobia open up. I hope we can laugh a little too....I remember so many little things I've been "afraid" of only to laugh at myself later. That ever happen to you? Or is it just me? Lol.....

Oh yah, can phobias be HEALTHY? Why did phobias evolve?

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There is also a fear of Atheists called Atheophobia.. 

Lets not "send in the clowns", please. Well, time has made them tolerable and even mildly entertaining. I attribute it to a horrid clown painting on the wall in my crib room, visible in some baby pics.

Didn't catch that movie, guessing it's not all about Milla Jovovich wasting clowns by the dozen but if it was, I'd like to see it...;) Let's give the zombies a break already.

Yeah.  It ruined clowns for me, too.

In Europe, clowns don't wear makeup as it frightens the children.

See, there they go again, being all practical and forward thinking.

Oh, and children should never be frightened, right?

Are we talkin' like, Unseen Scary!?

Unseen frightens me...he's...like...well...unseen...and that's scary. :0

One can hope.

I have an absolutely ridiculous fear of phone calls. I always have, since I was young. I think it's the fear of those long awkward silences when you don't know what to say. I have to plan my conversation before making a call and almost memorise it because I tend to go blank when the person on the other end answers. At least it's not a paralysing fear, I can still make a phone call if I absolutely have to but I try to avoid it any chance I can.

I think the phobia is called phonephobia or telephobia.

I've never had a clown phobia, but I'm not surprised it exists. There's a part of the brain that focuses on facial recognition, and it's easy to get weirded out by facial oddities, especially in the eyes and mouth. Cartoons, comics, and movies use this phenomenon.

What's interesting to me is why people have varying degrees of different phobias, even ones that are clearly of evolutionary origin. Maybe the variability also has survival value.


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