Students Share Their Phobias

Sophomore+Faith+Poling%2C+who+has+nyctophobia%2C+sitting+in+the+dark+with+only+a+small+flashlight.
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Students Share Their Phobias

Sophomore Faith Poling, who has nyctophobia, sitting in the dark with only a small flashlight.

Sophomore Faith Poling, who has nyctophobia, sitting in the dark with only a small flashlight.

Sophomore Faith Poling, who has nyctophobia, sitting in the dark with only a small flashlight.

Sophomore Faith Poling, who has nyctophobia, sitting in the dark with only a small flashlight.

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A phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear of, or aversion to, something,” but for the people who experience them firsthand, they are much more than just a fear.

Imagine seeing a dark figure out of the corner of your eyes as you walk through a haunted house. Your friends told you it wasn’t very scary, so they were able to convince you to walk through–but you’ve caught a glimpse of something monstrous.

A clown, holding a red balloon.

Your stomach drops like you’re on a roller coaster; your adrenaline starts flowing and you can’t think straight.

How do you get away? Can you get away? You’re frozen until a friend grabs your arm and drags you away from the perceived danger.

This how some people feel when they see their greatest fears. Phobias can come in all shapes and sizes, from feet to cheese. They affect people differently; some phobics are completely unable to control themselves around their fear. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 10 percent of people in the U.S have a specific fear, and the majority of people have multiple fears.

Sophomore Samantha Chandler has podophobia, the fear of feet. “They creep me out,” she said.

Chandler feels violated when she sees feet because she “feels like [she] can’t control [herself] around them.”

Senior Milly Mollica has turophobia, the fear of cheese. “I’m able to be near it, but some days are better than others. The other day, it grosse[d] me out so much I [found] myself moving away,” she said.

Mollica’s phobia started back in elementary school when a classmate she drove home from school with threw a cheese stick at her. Ever since then, she hasn’t been able to look at it the same way. She grew up with this fear, but she is normally able to control herself around cheese. 

Junior Emma Daye has a well-known phobia: coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Daye has been scared of clowns since fifth grade, when she sat next to a boy who decided to dress as a clown for Halloween.

Many people, especially during the spooky season, are scared of clowns popping out to give them a scary surprise.

For Lucas Wade, a freshman, snakes are his greatest fear. This is known as ophidiophobia.

“I have embarrassed myself a lot in front of people because I thought I saw a snake,” said Wades.

However, for sophomore Faith Poling, her greatest fear isn’t an object or a creature, but the dark. This fear is known as nyctophobia.

“I was at a friends house and I mentioned I was afraid of the dark and they put me in a bathroom and someone was there holding down the lights and they put me in the shower and told me to stay there for 10 minutes,” said Poling.

Having a phobia can be challenging, especially phobics are put in a situation where they feel uncomfortable. 

If you are experiencing anxiety due to a phobia or other event, you can go the Wellness Center in A building.

 

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