We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And bugs. And heights. And large bodies of water.

When I was a child, I had a recurring nightmare where my mom and I were on a bus, heading to a mall. The bus turns onto a bridge that’s right next to the mall and the bridge is riddled with potholes. Gigantic potholes which are probably called something else like large-dangerous-this-bridge-should-be-condemned-holes. I panic because I see that we’re going to fall through one of the holes and into the river. Sometimes, I would wake up screaming. I believe this nightmare (and if you’re a psychologist or dream interpreter, feel free to analyze me) is the reason I’m very wary when I drive over bridges. That and my possibly irrational fear of large bodies of water. You can’t see what’s going on down there! To me, the movie Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus isn’t just based on someone’s imagination; it’s a completely plausible event. Someday, a mega shark will battle a giant octopus and I’ll laugh at all of you and say, “I told you! We don’t know what’s going on down there! WE DON’T KNOW!”

(image found at http://www.theasylum.cc/product.php?id=155)

So, phobias. That’s what this post is about.

Let’s get mine out of the way. The fear of bridges or of crossing them is called gephyrophobia. The fear of water is called hydrophobia, though I guess my fear isn’t so much of water, but of the frightening, unknown creatures who may or may not exist in it. Entomophobia is the fear of insects and I don’t fear all insects, but I am not a fan of butterflies. Yes, butterflies. You don’t know where they’re going and they don’t seem to know either. They just flutter around all willy-nilly. It’s weird.

The fear of anything new, not the fear of the Keanu Reeves‘s character in The Matrix, is called neophobia.

Asymmetriphobia (fear of asymmetry) and symmetrophobia (fear of symmetry) both exist which might be fine with asymmetriphobes and not so fine with symmetrophobes.

Peladophobia is the fear of bald people.

But he’s so adorable!
(Photo found on

Amathophobia is the fear of dust. If my apartment could talk, it would tell you this is a fear I do not have.

Philemaphobia is the fear of kissing.

Stop it, you two. (Found at

The fear of speed is called tachophobia. No one would fear the movie “Speed” because it stars Keanu Reeves (if you pay attention, you’ll see that many things eventually come back to Keanu Reeves) and Sandra Bullock, two completely comforting people. “Speed 2“, maybe, but again, it has Sandra Bullock and the bonus that is Jason Patric.

If you’d like to overcome your phobias, here are some titles that might help:

Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You- Robert L. Leahy

Coping with Fears and Phobias: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Facing Your Anxieties- Warren Mansell

Face Your Fears: A Proven Plan to Beat Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, and Obsessions- David Tolin

Overcoming Fear of Heights: How to Conquer Acrophobia & Live a Life Without Limits- Martin M. Antony

Spiders: Learning to Love Them- Lynne Kelly

If you wouldn’t like to get over your phobias and instead want to stand next to me when the mega sharks fight the giant octupi, I’ll be around, fearfully crossing bridges and running away from butterflies.



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10 responses to “We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And bugs. And heights. And large bodies of water.

  1. I have a fear of flying – which isn’t really a fear go flying but claustrophobia. I think if I could just roll down a window or pull over and hop out when I want, I’d be fine.

  2. lectorconstans

    Then there’s phobophobia…..

    All of a sudden I wonder if there’s a difference between fear (the first half of “flight or fight”) and an aversion. I don’t like spiders (not little ones nor big ones), but I’m not sure it’s fear or aversion.

    PS: One of the words in your post reminded me of this old physics student’s joke? “What’s big and gray and goes faster than light?” (Response next time.)

  3. lightheartedlibrarian

    Best post ever!


  4. Ugh. Bridges are the worst.
    PS this post was greatly amusing to read on a slow Tuesday night, thanks!

    • Yes, they are. And there are times when I remember earthquakes exist and I’m on a bridge and I’m convinced the earthquake will collapse the bridge and if I’m over water, I’ll end up with the giant octopi. It’s a wonder I leave my apartment. And thanks for liking the post.

  5. Ohhh! What an interesting article. Thanks for sharing. I have a phobia of sprouting potatoes which has been extending to anything with roots and also worms.

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