Rational or irrational – what am I or any of us?


Phobias: extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing – Oxford English Dictionary

We have to note the words extreme – irrational.

What is it with phobias – we are a thinking ape aren’t we? Capable of rational thought and reason. I have always thought of myself as such. reason and logic are the mainstays of my life!


It seems.

We all have many things we dislike or fear, I have to confess to a few. However Phobia is more than that. It is a difficulty of reasoning oneself out of the situation, it inhabits the deeper reaches of mind, down where instinct takes over the mental capacity of the individual. They can be eliminated , but the process is difficult, long and desperately unpleasant for the person concerned.

I have a few, none so restricting they blight my life, so far, but I am under no illusion they could take over. They still need a fair amount of will power to keep under control.So many of us do suffer from them, not all observers have the patience for them.

Apart from one, mine have been constant companions since early childhood and so it is not easy to suss out the whys and wherefores.

The hardest for me to manage fear of people – Anthropophobia. Not that I think people will hurt me. I am firmly of the opinion that 99 .9 recurring of humanity are nice, if given the chance – well maybe that is being optimistic but you get the gist. No, my phobia is the touching, -Haphephobia, aphephobia, haptephobia, haptophobia, akaidekaphobia, or triskadekaphobia. – what a handful!

Does this collection of words for this one phobia denote the seriousness of this aberration, in the eyes of a social society? Or maybe the frequency of the complaint or even a long history? This is a common enough aversion with those of us with Dyspraxia, but for a social animal not good.

Too many people gathered together is the worst, touch is impossible to avoid then. Crowds – Ochlophobia, Demophobia, Enochlopia and there is of course Koinoniphobia = room full of people.

Arachnephobia, aracnophobia – I am scared of spiders as well. I think I can trace this back to a film I saw as a child The Incredible Shrinking Man. No-one else in the family have this fear of spiders it was not from them I picked it up. I blame Hollywood:) Aren’t so many of us scared of them. I have blogged about this one before nowadays as long as I meet them outside I can cope, it wasn’t always thus. Inside the house and I’m rushing around for anyone who could remove them for me, there’s me and my sister who is blind! Not many to call upon:). Once, many many decades ago, whilst looking after some children, in Africa, I would get their father to remove the spiders above my bed even though I knew they would stop mosquitoes from biting me. No way could I sleep with them staring down at me.

I had a friend terrified of birds -ornithobia mainly the feathers – pteronophobia. and another of snakes,- ophidiophobia, ophiophobia, ophiciophobia, herpetophobia, snakephobia.

A relative of mine has a fear of flying – aviatophobia.

It appears we can develop a dislike or aversion to anything at any time – for forty years I had no problem with heights. I could scramble up rocks and mountain sides with goat like agility then one day completely out of the blue I was scared. -acrophobia, altophobia, hypsophobia, hypisphobia,

Where did that come from, I had had no previously bad experience. I didn’t believe it at first and retested, but no it was there, more a cautious butterflies in stomach feeling at first, it has over the years developed into a – ‘nothing above the first floor’, in hotels and forget a ladder!

My greatest fear is of darkness. Reasonable from an evolutionary aspect, not being given those wonderful eyes night creatures have. I used to think it was the night, and all its imagined terrors, I was scared of -noctiphobia, nyctophobia but since age has crept up on me and eyesight falters I have come to realize it is darkness I fear – auchluophobia, scotophobia, lygophobia,myctophobia.

What a mess of phobias I am to be sure, I do not feel so, but if stop and watch my daily movements and habits one can see decades of adaptation going on.

I avoid crowds by shopping off piste so to speak, I always choose single chairs or sit at the end of rows.

I have a small light burning in the room at night, or the curtains drawn back to allow moonlight in.

I keep spiders out of the house with fly screens,(spiders do still get in but very few)

I live in a bungalow and rarely climb higher than 1st floor anywhere else.

Friends offer to change light bulbs – I have nice friends:)

I work with and around these irrational thoughts.

Why do we have these fears? Some could be a long instinctive fear, real when we evolved, such as snakes and spiders,they are reasonable rational instinctive fear, after all most of them are in fact a danger to us.

One can understand a fear of flying, such an unnatural state of affairs and mostly indulged in without a parachute! – I know, I know, a parachute isn’t really any protection. I have always thought personally it would be a comfort to me to have one.

A parachute on a commercial flight!
Now that is an irrational desire.

The world of our mind is a dark and murky one but light is coming to all corners and one day, one day, mankind may really know how to chase these demons away.

I tried hard but if I miss-spelt any of these – many apologies:)

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