Agyrophobics have a fear of crossing streets, highways and other thoroughfares. This, of course, makes it very difficult to live comfortably in a city. The word comes from the Greek gyrus which means turning or whirling. The phobia covers several categories, wherein sufferers may fear wide roads specifically down to suburban single lane streets or crossing anywhere on a street, even a designated intersection. This phobia is considered independent from the fear of cars.
The bizarre fear of cooking is called mageirocophobia which comes from the Greek word mageirokos which means a person skilled in cooking. This disorder can be debilitating and potentially lead to unhealthy eating if one lives alone. Sufferers of mageirokos can feel extremely intimidated by people with skills in cooking, and this intimidation and feeling of inadequacy is probably the root cause of the disorder for many
Pediophobia is the irrational fear of dolls. Not just scary dolls – ALL dolls. Strictly speaking. It also usually includes robots and mannequins, which can make it decidedly difficult to go shopping. This phobia should not be confused with pedophobia or pediaphobia which is the fear of children. Sigmund Freud believed the disorder may spring from a fear of the doll coming to life.
Now admittedly some dinner conversations can be very awkward, but some people are so terrified of the idea of speaking to another person over dinner that they avoid dining out situations. In times gone by there were strict rules of etiquette that helped a person to deal with these situations. In today’s society in which rules and formality are out the window, it is possible that the more controlled nature of a dinner party may lie partly behind this phobia.
Eisoptrophobia is a fear of mirrors or more specifically the fear of being put into contact with the spiritual world through a mirror. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Because their fear often is grounded in superstitions, they may worry that breaking a mirror will bring bad luck or that looking into a mirror will put them in contact with a supernatural world inside the glass.
Demonophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of evil supernatural beings in persons who believe such beings exist and roam freely to cause harm. Those who suffer from this phobia realize their fear is excessive or irrational. Nevertheless, they become unduly anxious when discussing demons, when venturing alone into woods or a dark house.
Of all the phobias on this list, pentheraphobia is probably the most common. It is, as stated above, the fear of one’s mother-in-law. I am sure that most married people have, at one time or another, suffered from this terrible fear. This fear is one that is so common in Western society that it frequently appears in movies and other forms of entertainment. Of the many available therapies for this illness of the mind, divorce seems to be the most popular. A related phobia to pentheraphobia is novercaphobia which is a fear of your stepmother.
Arachibutyrophobia is definitely bizarre and fairly well known so it seems to deserve a place here. This disorder seems to be a fear that is quite easily worked around: don’t buy peanut butter. However, for a child who is forced to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, one can see how it might cause severe trauma in later life. Here is the testimony of one alleged sufferer: “Whenever I’m around peanut butter I start to sweat excessively and my body starts convulsing. The roof of my mouth becomes coarse and itchy."
Cathisophobia is a terror of sitting down. This disorder can be sparked off by a particularly nasty case of hemorrhoids but in some serious cases it can be due to physical abuse relating to sitting on sharp or painful objects. Sometimes, the sitting fear is due to some punishment in the school days, or it may be an indication of some other phobia like sitting in front of elite and influential people. Cathisophobia is characterized by sweating, heavy or short breathe, and anxiety.
Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, humanoid robots, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nerves when confronting these figures. It is currently unknown precisely what causes this phobia. It may be, however, partly due to our own innate expectations of human behavior.