Fears and Phobias


Photo Source: Mark Tan Art, Pixel Images

Zoe Dunn, Writer

Everyone has something they fear. Spiders, clowns, dogs, heights. We all have something. But what does it mean when we have a phobia? What does it take for someone to have an absurd fear of something so seemingly harmless?  

What is a phobia?

 A Phobia is an immense fear of an object, place, situation, or feeling. For instance, Some Phobias are more common than others. Acrophobia (fear of heights), Aerophobia (fear of flying), or even Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) are all frequent phobias. 

Although these are the most common phobias people have, there are some phobias that leave people scratching their heads in confusion. How do these things scare them? How did they become uneasy around this phobia? So many questions yet so many are unanswered, until now.


My secret phobia

I’ll start with myself, I also have a phobia. You may be wondering what the phobia is, snakes? Clowns? The ocean? It’s none of those things, in fact, it is far beyond that. I have Mortuusequusphobia, also known as fear of ketchup. Ketchup has always grossed me out. The look, taste, the smell, the way it sounds when it squirts out of the bottle, everything about it, I hate. I can’t even be near it without gagging or feeling squeamish. The way it looks makes me feel uncomfortable and

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uneasy. You may be wondering, Zoe, how did you even get this weird phobia? The only negative interaction I can remember having with ketchup was when someone squirted the gross condiment on my arm. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t breathe. I was a deer in headlights. My hands started to shake. And then, tears. It was like a waterfall coming down on my own face. This “traumatic” experience is how I developed the fear of ketchup. While I am well aware that it’s just a condiment, anyone who develops a negative encounter with either a specific object or a situation can understand the feeling of irrational fear. 





Our special guest

Now’s a question you all may be pondering, Is there anyone you may know who also has a

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phobia? To answer that question, yes, I do have someone I know who has a phobia. For this assignment, I interviewed my best friend Emily. Here are the ten questions asked and answered during the interview:


 “Do you have a phobia, if so, what is it?”

 “I have a phobia of spiders.” 

“Anyone you know who has a phobia?”

  “My sister Alley is afraid of the deep sea.” 

“How do you feel about your fears?” 

“I hate them, they hate me.”

 “What are some weird phobias you know?”

 “I know of homophobia.”

 “Does your family have a phobia?” 

“My family is a phobia.”

 “Did you have an extreme fear of anything from your childhood?”

 “I feared the dark.” 

“What are you actually afraid of?”

 “Loneliness, and losing loved ones.” 

“How do you face your phobia?”

 “I don’t.”

 “How long have you had this phobia?” 

“Since I can remember.” 

“How did your phobia start?”

 “I don’t remember how it started, I’ve just always hated them.” 

In general, anyone can have a phobia, that being normal ones or ones that other people never heard of. Writing this article overall was a lot of fun expressing my own phobia and interviewing people.