Phobias: rare or common?


Curtis Brashaw

SLHS student appears to be in a stage of fear.

Curtis Brashaw, Staff Writer

A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of something specific. Fear is a natural human response meant to protect humans from danger, but when some people find danger in irrational things it creates a phobia. Phobias can be caused after having a negative experience relating to an object or experience. 

Weird phobias include: hexakosioihexekkontahexapho, phobophobia, bagelphobia, or hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia more than often seem absolutely insane. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, ironically, is the fear of long words. Even more interestingly, phobophobia is the fear of fears.

More common phobias like acrophobia, aerophobia, autophobia and hemophobia can be seen in students from St. Louis High School. Kayla Vine, a junior with Submechanophobia(the fear of drains), said “It is normal to dislike drains but I just get discomfort when I look down a drain or get close to one; it freaks me out.” Vine continues, “I feel like I am going to fall down it, even though I know I am bigger than the drain and can’t possibly fall down.” Phobias normally come from somewhere, and Vine thinks her phobia comes from her other phobia of small spaces.

Acrophobia, or better known as the fear of heights, is very common in SLHS and the entire world for that matter. It is estimated that one in 15 people have this fear. Some of the students who have this fear are Lexie Thayer, Allison Onstott, Caytlynn Downs, and KC Beard. Thayer shared, “Whenever someone has to go up in the bleachers in the gym to retrieve a ball I freak out because I think they might die. I also limit myself from doing certain things because of my fear like being on a stage or going down stairs.”

Ironically Gustave Eiffel, the designer of one of Europe’s most famed attractions, the Eiffel Tower, was afraid of heights. Certain Phobias go back centuries ago. Ghengis Khan was supposedly afraid of dogs which is called Cynophobia. Augustus Caesar was also afraid of thunder and lightning, or astrapophobia.