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A phobia is defined as an irrational, intense fear of an object or situation that poses little or no actual danger. The degree in which the person is affected determines whether they suffer from a fear or a phobia. There are many common phobias such as acrophobia, the fear of heights, or arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. However, many people suffer from extremely unusual phobias that are not well known.
This is a sampling of some of the more extremely unusual phobias and their symptoms.
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Bacteriophobia is a fear of bacteria and microorganisms. Those suffering from this phobia are afraid of the microbes that are found everywhere in food, clothes, water and that we happily coexist with. Some fear more deadly bacteria that cause epidemics.
Symptoms of people suffering from bacteriophobia include excess washing of plates and utensils before using them. They also wash their clothes multiple times before feeling safe to wear them. They are fastidiously tidy in cleaning their homes and are compulsive about washing their hands. They suffer from shortness of breath, anxiety, dry mouth, nausea, and sweating when having a phobic attack.
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Cacophobia is the fear of ugliness and things that are ugly. This phobia is usually manifested in people who are perfectionists. Symptoms of this phobia are queasiness, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, breathlessness, and sweating when they are around things they perceive to be ugly. The ugliness can be in someone’s appearance, in writing, in a situation, or an object.
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Megalophobia is defined as the fear of large objects. Sometimes the fear is related to objects that are larger than they should be (such as a clown's false nose), but most of the time it is a fear of something larger than one’s self. Most people who suffer from megalophobia fear manmade objects, rather than something natural like mountains. Symptoms include panic attacks, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweaty palms, and nausea.
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Ombrophobia is the fear of rain, or being rained on. Those who suffer from this generally have a negative association in their past with rain. Symptoms include breathlessness, anxiety, heart palpitations, nausea, or a feeling of dread.
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Leukophobia is the fear of the color white. Those who suffer from this phobia fear anything that is white. They may even fear white people which can keep them from having success in their families, jobs, or school. Symptoms include shortness of breath, anxiety, sweating, nausea, and irregular heartbeat.
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Verminophobia is the fear of germs. This phobia generally starts as a mild fear of germs and eventually escalates into a full blown phobia. Life is difficult for those suffering from verminophobia because they fear germs in everything around them. Those with verminophobia exhibit symptoms of sweating, irregular heart beat, a feeling of doom, shortness of breath, and rapid breathing.
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Venustraphobia is the fear of beautiful women. This phobia may result from lack of confidence, a poor self image, or a bad experience with a beautiful woman. Symptoms include sweating, dry mouth, nausea, inability to think clearly, anxiety, and fear of losing control.
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This collection of extremely unusual phobias may appear strange, but to those who suffer from them they are very real and problematic.
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