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Friday The 13th: Strange Phobias And What They Mean

01/13/2012 11:26 EST | Updated 01/13/2012 11:29 EST

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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.

10 Strange Phobias


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