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Phobia Words: “ablutophobia” to “agoraphobia”,
Part 1 of 13

Words that include: phobo-, phob-, -phobia, -phobias,
-phobe, -phobiac, -phobist, -phobic, -phobism, -phobous
(Greek: fear, extreme fear of; morbid, excessive, irrational fear, or terror of something or someone; however, sometimes this Greek element means a strong dislike or hatred for something or someone)

The fear of washing or bathing.

This term also relates to incessant preoccupation with washing or bathing.

Individuals who have obsessive-compulsive disorder may be preoccupied with frequent handwashing or an obsession against washing or bathing.

Manifestations of this fear may include avoidance (long periods with out washing), excessive anxiety when contemplating washing or when actually attempting to wash, and anxiety and dread when seeing others wash.

Some who have this abnormal fear also fear water. Some even fear being seen in the nude. Some fear that their bodies will be criticized or compared with those of others. Some fear that harm will come to their skin from the water while others fear warm water or cold water.

This phobia extends to taking baths, taking showers, and swimming.

1. Excessive fear of skin infestation by mites or ticks; fear of itching.
2. Fear of small objects; such as, insects, worms, mites, and non-living things such as needles and pins. Some people are so afraid of insects and mites that they seal off their windows, vacuum and sweep several times a day; and feel anxiety outside their “cleansed” residences.
acerbophobia, acerophobia:
Excessive fear of sourness. Such fears may lead to avoidance of acerbic (sour) foods or other products.
An abnormal fear of darkness. Such a fear includes not going out at night, increased anxiety as evening approaches, not wanting to look out at the darkness by closing the window shades to avoid looking out, avoidance of looking into dark rooms, and always having some kind of light available. On the other hand, many agoraphobics seem to feel more comfortable in the dark than in the light.
In plants, an inability to tolerate acid soils.
acousticophobia [also spelled akousticophobia]: An abnormal fear of hearing noises in general or specific noises or sounds. This phobia goes beyond just being startled by sudden loud noises. Some people fear specific noises, such as whistling, balloons popping, or sonic booms.

Excessive fear of heights, elevators, climbing ladders, pinnacles, etc.; fear of sharp points. This is one of the most common phobias in the general population. People who have acrophobia are afraid of being on high floors of buildings or on the tops of hills or mountains. They often feel anxious when they approach the edge of bridges, rooftops, stairwells, and railings. Sometimes individuals fear and feel an uncontrollable urge to jump. They may have fantasies and physical sensations of falling even when standing on firm ground.

Those fears of being in elevators or on escalators, balconies, and stairways are probably related to the fear of heights; as is the fear of flying or falling.

An abnormal fear of being fat.
aelurophobia, elurophobia:
An abnormal fear of cats; usually, this fear is one of being injured or scratched by them. Some people react with shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or feelings of panic just at the sight of a cat; while for others, the fear is induced only if the cat comes very close or touches them. Some individuals get anxious about cats staring at them.
Intolerant of high atmospheric humidity.
An intensive fear of airplanes or the fear of vomiting due to airsickness. People who fear vomiting, or seeing others vomit, may also be anxious about being airsick themselves or of seeing others afflicted with the resultant vomiting.
An excessive fear of wind, air, or an intensive hatred of drafts; as in cases of hydrophobia, hysteria, and other nervous ailments. There are times when this term is used to identify the fear of flying in aircraft.
agoraphobia, agorophobia:
An excessive fear of crowded, public places (like markets), or of the necessity of leaving the sheltering protection of home, parents, friends, etc.; considered the most common phobia known.

The agoraphobic syndrome is a complex phobic disorder that usually occurs in adults. The major features are a variable combination of characteristic fears and the avoidance of public places, such as streets, stores, public transportation, crowds, and tunnels.

The original definition meant “fear of going out into open spaces such as streets or isolated areas”. Now it is applied to many disabling fears, usually involving a group of fears centering around a distance from a safe place. As a result, agoraphobics usually fear leaving home, going into the street, into stores, occupying center seats in churches, theaters, or public transportation, crowded places, large rooms where many people are gathered, or being far from help.

In 1871, Alexander Karl Otto Westphal (1863-1941), a German neurologist, coined the term “agoraphobia”, because the most distinctive symptom of the condition was anxiety that appeared when a phobic individual walked across open spaces or through empty streets. He described this as the “impossibility of walking through certain streets or squares, or possibility of so doing only with resultant dread of anxiety.”

A common characteristic of agoraphobia is a history of panic attacks in which the individual experiences symptoms of extreme excitement, distortion of perceptions, and an overwhelming sense of imminent catastrophe, loss of control, or fear of public humiliation. As a result, the fear then develops to such a degree that the individual begins experiencing anxiety in anticipation of panic reaction. One’s reaction is the avoidance of the feared situation.