A phobia is an irrational fear. A lot of times the person with the phobia realizes just how irrational the fear is, but that doesn’t take away the fear. You should never make fun of a person afflicted with a phobia, but you can use phobias to create an unforgettable character, one whose fear puts him in amusing situations.
Barophobia is an abnormal fear of gravity. Gravity, according to the dictionary, is the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall towards the center of the earth. How does one get away from that? It’s not like you would be walking down the street and have gravity appear in front of your face and start a fight. If there really is such a fear, how would one live? Maybe one could become an astronaut and live floating around in space?
A person with barophobia could fear that gravity might crush them, that they might fall because of gravity, or that gravity might stop working and allow them to float away. Hmm. I guess floating around in space wouldn’t be an option then.
How would a character deal with this phobia in everyday life? Give your character a form of barophobia, or to make it really challenging, give him all forms of barophobia. Would your character be able to walk outside?
Batrachophobia is the fear of amphibians. People with batrachophobia are afraid of frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. I highly doubt that a person with this phobia would even consider having a frog as a pet. When frogs lay eggs in puddles outside my home, I rejoice. I love frogs and it is a joy to watch the eggs transform into tadpoles. A person with a fear of frogs would most likely have their eggs disposed of.
People with this phobia would probably stay well away from streams or ponds for fear of hearing a leap of frogs singing. The phobia can be so severe those afflicted might not be able to stand to look at photos of any of these animals.
One might expect a little girl to have this phobia as she was growing up, maybe. What would be fun is to create a character—a big strong man—who is afflicted with this fear.
Chaetophobia is an irrational fear of hair. This isn’t so much a fear of the hair on one’s own head as it is the fear of stray hairs from other people and/or animals. You know how clean your hair is, but you don’t know for sure how clean another person’s hair is. For all you know, hair from other people could be infested with lice.
This phobia can affect how you live and where you work. It can affect your daily life. Talking to an extremely hairy person could throw someone with this phobia into a panic attack.
How would a person with this phobia react if trapped inside a beauty salon? This person could just walk out the door, but a killer is chasing him or her and to walk outside would almost certainly mean death. Would your character stay in and face the object of his or her fear? Or would your character go outside to face the killer?
Optophobia is the irrational fear of opening one’s eyes. Obviously, a person can’t walk around all the time with his or her eyes shut, so how would one deal with this? Maybe he will open the eyes for just a few seconds to see what surrounds him but then tightly shut them once again.
This fear could be caused by watching horror movies where the only way he could block out the horrible events taking place on screen was to shut his eyes. It could have been triggered at a sporting event where she witnessed a horrible injury. He could also just be afraid of seeing something that will frighten him or cause him displeasure. Would a person with this phobia need to have a seeing-eye dog to guide her around?
This phobia would obviously be a hindrance to one’s life. Create a character with this phobia and explore how they deal with it. How does he manage to keep a job? How would she manage to clean house or cook dinner?
Phalangophobia is the fear of finger injuries. I am personally acquainted with this one. No, I don’t have a fear of my fingers being hurt, but my husband does. I could not find a name for this phobia, so I gave it one myself. He plays the piano, so maybe that is why he is so afraid of finger wounds. If we are watching a movie and a character gets a finger chopped off or something, he gets nauseous. It makes him sick to hear about other people’s finger injuries. He has such a dislike of them that if I cut my finger, no matter how badly I am injured, he can’t help me out. He won’t even look at it. And, yes, it has happened before.
This phobia would probably be most common in those whose hands are a vital part of their work. I can see a surgeon, a pianist, any type of musician, or even a writer with this phobia. Create a character with this phobia and make them face what they fear.