Sometimes with fear, the little things get to us.
Troy students and faculty were interviewed on Troy’s campus this week exposing their illogical fears. Of the students interviewed the responses varied including: couch cushions, the word “moist,” snakes, cotton balls, the dark, the color orange, homelessness and others.
Jade DoBynes, a freshman athletic training major from Hoover said that although she tries, she just couldn’t get over her fear.
“I’m severely afraid of sleeping with the closet door open,” DeBoynes said. “I will sit there and stare at it all night until it gets closed.”
Having an illogical fear means that you are afraid or disturbed by something that, quite possibly, would never happen or something that doesn’t affect you at all.
Michael Jennings, a psychology major from Sylacauga, said that he had a friend who had a “purely illogical” fear.
“He was afraid of the color orange,” Jennings said. “Not only was he afraid of the color, he was afraid of orange fruits as well.”
Jennings said that he did not understand his friends fear saying that the color orange really does not have the power to hurt anyone. He said that he probed trying to understand “something that was orange triggered this unconscious fear.”
“A lot of fears come from past experiences or it could be biological. It could be social. We actually get a lot of our fears psychologically. We see our parents afraid of something and we also become afraid of something.”
He said that sometime we see others fearing, and follow along.
Jennings mentioned that he fears suffocation. He said that his asthma is the main source of that fear and that he would classify it as a psychological fear.
Many irrational fears derive from past experiences while some fears arise from places that we are unable to trace. Some people truly have a fear of something that will never happen to them, and has never happened to anyone before.
“I’m afraid of the monsters and villains from horror films,” said Kelsey Barcomb, a sophomore journalism major from Southside.
“Like the Saw movies. I feel like I’ll be walking down the street and they are going to attack me.”
James Sherry, a professor of French studies in the Foreign Languages department described his fear could be classified as Technophobia.
“I’m afraid of new technology,” Sherry said “I see a cell phone or try to use these new computers, and I get so nervous I freeze up.”
Some of the more modern day phobias include Selfiephobia, fear of taking a photograph of oneself otherwise known as a “selfie”; Expiraphobia, fear of forgetting to renew a domain name; Stretchophobia, fear of doing yoga; Phobicphobia, fear of people with phobias and Threadaphobia, fear of commenting on a story.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, it is estimated that between 5-12 percent of all Americans have some type of phobia.
In an article on psychologytoday.com, Fredric Neuman, M.D. gives six principles that can be used to overcome fears.
The first principle is to practice your phobia in a public place, where you can observe people doing or being around your phobia without struggling.
The second principle is to realize that overcoming a phobia takes a lot of time and repetition. Continuing to stare your phobia in the face can help you to get comfortable with it.
The third principle is to actually realize your fear. Most fears are not as bad as expected when they actually occur.
The fourth principle is to determine your progress by how far you can go in or with your phobia, not by how you feel.
The fifth principle is to have an accountability partner who will push you to continue when you get stuck or cannot force yourself to go further in facing your phobia.
The six, and last, principle is to see that sometimes the very thing that you fear, will give you the most satisfaction when actually accomplished.
It seems that there is a little something for everyone when it comes to phobias. Out of all of these things it seems reasonable to think that the only phobia most should have is Phobophobia – a fear of fear itself.