Friday The 13th: Strange Phobias And What They Mean

The Huffington Post Canada   Posted: 01/13/2012 10:26 am

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For the superstitious, Friday the 13th -- the first of three this year -- could be one of the most sensitive days of the year. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do," says Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina told National Geographic.

Fearful of ladders, black cats and breaking mirrors, people with friggatriskaidekaphobia -- the fear of the Friday 13 -- should consider taking it a little easier today. We talked to clinical hypnotherapist Kathy Welter-Nichols, on the difference between phobias and anxiety.

Why It Happens:

"People will go around saying they have phobias, but usually that's anxiety. Anxiety often sets up unnecessary fears in us as children. As children, we can't cope with feelings and we tell ourselves, 'Avoid all situations where this could happen.'"

How To Overcome Fears:
"People don't know why they have these experiences. They get embarrassed by them, but they can't stop them -- even if everyone is laughing at them and the silliness of what their behaviour is like. We use neuro linguistic programming -- a form of communication without the use of drugs -- to remove these kinds of conditions. Whether it's a phobia or anxiety, people can recover fully."

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Any time this date falls, some people get really sensitive about bad things that could happen, Welter-Nichols says.
Check out these other 10 unusual phobias.

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  • Zoophobia

    Does this kitty scare you? Zoophobia is the fear of animals. Even though there are specific fears of reptiles, cats or dogs, you will never find a zoophobic with a pet -- and if you have a kitty, forget about being friends.

  • Caligynephobia

    No, this isn't the fear of Salma Hayek, it's the fear of beautiful women in general. Caligynephobia often has phobics feeling anxious, stressed and experiencing panic attacks. Like most phobias, it's assumed to be caused by a correlation between beautiful women and a negative event -- so gorgeous gals, make sure to let potential suitors down easy.

  • Agyrophobia

    If you're an agyrophobic, the idea of jaywalking is probably your worst case scenario. Agyrophobia is the fear of crossing streets, highways and other roads.

  • Gymnophobia

    This is just half of the fear. Gymnophobia is the fear of nudity that can leave people often worried about being naked and seeing others naked.

  • Arachibutyrophobia

    One PB and J sandwich, hold the peanut butter. Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth -- usually leading to panic.

  • Ephebiphobia

    If the thought of Justin Bieber makes you want to hide under your covers -- you're not alone. Ephebiphobia, a social phobia, is the fear and prejudice against teenagers or underage adolescents.

  • Autodysomophobia

    Autodysomophobia isn't just a phobia for bad smells -- it's the fear of people who smell bad in general. From poor hygiene, disgusting odours and rotting foods, this fear often leaves people avoiding cramped spaces like subways and buses.

  • Ancraophobia

    Hold on to your hats, ancraophobia is the fear of wind. People who have this fear tend to panic during weather changes like storms or hurricanes and is a sister to aerophobia, the fear of air.

  • Pteronophobia

    Everybody gets annoyed by being tickled by feathers, but pteronophobics really hate it. The fear of being tickled by feathers -- and feathers in general -- results in rapid breathing, irregular heartbeats, excessive sweating and nausea.

  • Chorophobia

    So the next time you don't want to hit the dance floor, you could just say you have chorophobia. The fear of dancing (Beyonce should be a mentor to overcome this fear) leaves people anxious and in some cases, even fearful of losing their lives if they dance.


Tom Barnett
going to smash a mirror while walking under a ladder after seeing a black cat today. all that bad luck will cancel everything out

Stove? Knives? Sockets? Stairs? As a parent, you may often have phobias when it comes to kids' safety. Here are some tips to stay safe.

Are you superstitious? Let us know on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv or in the comments below.