I’m a big fan of FDR, but in this particular instance a multitude of folks have fears that go way beyond fear itself.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”-Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I’m a big fan of FDR, but in this particular instance a multitude of folks have fears that go way beyond fear itself.


An estimated 8.7 percent of Americans or roughly 19.2 million people have a specific phobia and many people have more than one specific phobia.


I asked my FB friends what fears/phobias they have and the answers were definitely thought provoking.


Before I delve into that, the most common phobia of all time is Mysophobia or the fear
of germs.


Claustrophobia-fear of small spaces is something I can relate to. I get nervous in an elevator. A few years ago the elevator I was in stopped for a good 10 minutes. Let’s just say I did not handle it well.


Claustrophobia is the number two phobia of all time.


Prior to posting the query to my FB peeps, I seriously thought I was the only one who had Sidonglobophobia, or the fear of cotton balls.


I know, right?


Even as I type this I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about cotton. I cannot take cotton out of medicine bottles and I don’t like cotton balls. Q-Tips don’t bother me, but the thought of touching cotton makes my skin crawl.


My friend, Carman, said she thought she was the only one on the planet who can’t cope with cotton balls, “The very thought of them makes me squeamish!”


Carman said she can’t watch videos of cheese pulls either, as it grosses her out.


Like me, she is also claustrophobic. She can’t even stand to have a blanket on her head.


I understand that. If I have a shirt that is too tight I get very claustrophobic and inevitably start to panic I won’t be able to get it off.


Co-worker, Hank, shared she hates driving on hills, “I’ve always been scared of rolling backwards. There’s a steep hill right next to WIU, whenever I would leave campus I would have to drive on it. There’s a stoplight there so sometimes I would have to brake on the hill and it would always freak me out. Whenever I park on any kind of inclined surface, I have to use my parking brake (even if it’s a small incline) or I worry about my car going backwards.”


I get super jittery driving over huge bridges so I understand where she is coming from.


Another co-worker, Stacey, also has an aversion to cotton and bridges!


We often joke with one another that we are each others’ ‘Spirit Animal’ because we have so much in common. This tidbit of information certainly cemented that notion
for me.


Ashley G. said her daughter can’t touch clean glass dishes out of the dishwasher, “She can’t tell me exactly why, but something about the smoothness, the heat. She flinches and shakes whenever she gets that for her chore. I’ve Googled it and nothing!”


I had never heard anything like that and I couldn’t find any documentation of it being a specific phobia, but as far as I’m concerned if it’s something that freaks a person out, it doesn’t have to be documented or validated.


Kate is terrified of monkeys and apes, “I can’t see them on tv without feeling anxious and if I get near the monkey house at the zoo I get panicky and breathe heavily, they totally freak me out! I also have recurring nightmares since I was a kid of tornadoes coming for me.”


Becca can’t handle orange sunsets, “Like that very vibrant orange glow. It sets off an anxiety attack every time. I’ve had to pull over to let my husband drive because
of it.”


Additionally, she has vivid dreams about nuclear bombs, “The orange glow sends me into a panic I can’t control; full on shaking and crying while saying I know it’s ridiculous….got to love anxiety! I have huge issues with the nuclear destruction and tornadoes because the dreams I have I always lose a kid in them. Tornado warnings are horrible for me, too.”


Said Karen Y., “I cannot even fathom the idea of touching sugar or flour without gloves. Getting zipped in a sleeping bag has always been a fear too.”


Rebecca shared she strongly dislikes marshmallows, “That mushy texture grosses me out. Angel food cake is the same texture and it grosses me out, too.”


Madi hates the sound of someone ripping tape off of boxes, “The sound has literally made me throw up before and it gives me bad anxiety when there’s condensation left on the inside of a water bottle. I have to shake it up so it won’t be there anymore!”


Chris said metal utensils scraping on pans or plates bother him as does the sound a thick cut of meat makes when a large knife cuts through it.


Ashley L. said she won’t drink out of stainless steel mugs because she fears her teeth will touch it and feel/sound weird, “I also quickly touch metal doorknobs in the winter because I hate static.”


She avoids touching balloons, too, “Always. I’m always scared they can pop easily. Anything involving sudden loud noises, I’m a baby. I’m worse than my kids (she is a grade school teacher) when I’m expecting a fire drill!”


My Kid can’t handle dead things, “I physically cannot touch them. Squirrel hunting? Nope, I can’t touch the squirrel once it’s dead. Dead mouse? Nope, I cannot touch it even with a paper towel or something. If freaks me out too much.”


Lisa T. said she hates lights in the morning, “I have to take my shower in very, very dim light or sometimes even in total darkness.”


Co-worker Terri, said she dislikes aggravating tags in shirts, “They all have to be cut out.”


Honestly, I never expected the response I received from my friends. Most said they thought they were the only one with such-and-such phobia/aversion. I think it helps to know there are others who share similar feelings regarding a specific topic.


FDR was correct as far as fearing fear, we just need to add about a million other things to the list!