Are you scared yet? Look into her eyes and tell me that you are not scared. Or maybe had I have posted a picture of a spider you would be scared? Either way you look at it, whether you are scared of the dark, spiders, snakes, of in-laws there is a bonafide phobia for you.
So what is a phobia? According to dictionary.com it is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. So what does that mean to you? Let’s say that you have a phobia of heights. Some heights are OK, like going to the second or third floor of an apartment building. But in situations like that you are safe, enclosed by walls and a ceiling. But what if you are about to ride the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. You take off, going over 100 miles an hour in a matter of seconds, head up the 400 foot hill, and are weightless. All of a sudden you realize that you have stopped; the car is no longer moving. You put your trust in the operators of that roller coaster but now you are 400 foot above the ground, stuck with as case of acrophobia, and begin to panic.
There are major differences of when you feel your fear and when you don’t. I am not a big fan of the dark. Not that I have a phobia of it, but there are places that I find myself where I would much rather have light. (This is ironic in itself as I sit in the dark pretty much all day at work. I hate light when I am working. But then again, proving my point about the heights, there are times to be scared and times that you accept your fears due to the comfort level.)
But what makes a fear a phobia? By it’s definition a fear can become a phobia, especially if it fits the keyword, irrational. Is there really a reason to be afraid of the dark? Probably not. What about being afraid of spiders? No, not really. Of course, if you have had a bad experience with a spider, or live in an area that has poisonous and potentially deadly spiders, sure. But if you live in down town Indianapolis and you see an occasional spider crawl across the living room floor, you fit the category of an arachnophobe. But what else out there are people afraid of that fall under the category of a phobia.
When I get up in the morning, take a shower, and put on my face (women say that, so why can’t I) I find myself starring in the mirror. It is a good thing, however, that I do not have eisoptrophobia. Eisoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors. History tells us that it is more the fear of the spirits that might hide themselves in the mirror, not the mirror itself, but a broader terms we as a society have come to accept that it is simply the fear of mirrors.
Let’s say that you have gotten through the fear of the mirror (I should write poetry) and you are headed out to dinner. It is just supposed to be and your other. But you get to the restaurant and find yourself at a table with three of her long long friends from high school. So you sit there, order something to drink (preferably something with alcohol in it to curve this phobia) and fall into your slump. This would be the fear of dinner conversation. Or conversation in general. If you have this fear you have deipnophobia.
I am not sure if I have this phobia, but I do have a fear of this. Mageirocophobia is the fear of cooking. I am not officially afraid of cooking, I just do not enjoy it. I do not enjoy the time it takes to prepare the meal, to cook the meal, and to clean up after the meal. The only part that I truly do enjoy is the eating of said meal. But I can only imagine the things that you can be afraid of in the kitchen whether it be knives, garbage disposals, or the hot hot stove. I mean, shoot, I am afraid of burning myself when I make a frozen pizza.
All-in-all there are endless phobias. The thing you just have to remember about phobias is that they are irrational and meaningless, really. If you have an ounce of belief in God, or any religious figure for that matter, than you know that you are going to go when it is your time and you have no control over that. So jump on the next roller coaster you see, step on the next spider that walks across your floor, and spark up a conversation the next time you find yourself at the dinner table. Who knows, you might just learn something.