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Tell us about your unusual fears

Do you have an unusual fear? With 61% of the population admitting to having some sort of uncommon phobia, you wouldn’t be alone. But what is it that has the nation running scared? We ran a poll for two weeks, during which 771 people responded sharing their unusual fears with us.

Although you may think that modern living leaves no room for unusual phobias, a surprising 57% of people avoid situations where they could be faced with their fear, giving us an idea of just how restrictive these fears can be. 

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How does it affect us?

While you may think that these worries can be dealt with unnoticed, over 40% experience a physical reaction to their fear; such as nausea, sweaty palms or even panic attacks. What’s more, only 2% of people who suffer from an unusual fear aren’t plagued by their anxieties, which shows that in the most common instances, these fears can have a crushing effect on people’s day-to-day lives, regardless of how ‘irrational’ the fear may seem.

Which fears are most common?

The list of the nation’s fears was vast and wide-ranging, with plants, foods and scaffolding being amongst the phobias disclosed. Of those with a phobia, 18% of them listed clowns as their unusual fear, and an alarming 8% were afraid of being without phone coverage – a potential reflection of the modern-day reliance we have on mobile technology.  

Moving down the list, 6% listed holes as their unusual fear and for another 6%, it was feet that made them uneasy. Feet weren’t the only body parts people had qualms about – belly buttons also featured on the list, accounting for 3% of the nation’s fears. Other body parts listed included wrists, ankles, collar bones and even nails.

Fear of moths (3%) and phobias linked to darkness (4%) were also quite prevalent on the list.  It was also revealed that the same amount of people who are afraid of confined spaces – a phobia we are all familiar with – are scared of being on their own (1%). The same amount of people were afraid of beards (1%) and 4% of people were afraid of cotton wool.

There were several creatures – particularly creepy crawlies – present on the list of common phobias, but birds, frogs, cows, hippos and even cockatoos were some of the more unusual fears. Foodstuffs were also rather prevalent, with phobias linked to lettuce, beetroot, sliced cheese, baked beans, peas and cold sauces accounting for some of the nation’s food phobias.

How do we deal with it?

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Unfortunately, an overwhelming 84% believe they will never get rid of their unusual fear, but with 89% having never sought treatment, there is still hope yet for those that are ready to overcome their initial inhibitions. It’s clear that there is a lot more awareness around some phobias than there is around others, suggesting that some of the nation’s fears are a lot easier to talk about. According to our survey, 18% of people hide their fear; half of which are too embarrassed to discuss it.

Although so many of us are unaware of the treatments on offer, the help is available.  There are a wealth of options for those who want to conquer their fears.

 

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