With Halloween on the way, many of us will actively seek an annual scare or two. While you’re jumping at trick o’ treaters, spare a thought for those who live in genuine fear of others, objects, or situations.

In mental health, fear tends to be no laughing matter and can significantly impact day-to-day functioning and cause distress. However, there are some weird and wonderful phobias out there and sufferers often recognise the absurdity of some of their fears. Given the spooky, scary time of year, we thought we’d take  a minute to acknowledge some of the more rare phobias. How many have you heard of?

An appropriate phobia considering the time of year; Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween. Remember to be considerate if you go trick o’ treating and only knock on doors with decorations or porch lights on.

Apparently not just limited to vampires, alliumphobia is the fear of garlic, which goes beyond just disliking the strong taste.

It’s ironic that two of the longest words in the dictionary are used to define a fear of long words –  Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia or sesquipedalophobia. Try saying those three times fast!

Most people have physical attributes they don’t like very much, but sometimes individuals can develop irrational fears about completely harmless body parts. Genuphobia is the fear of knees, omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons, and podophobia is the fear of feet.

Social interactions can be tricky at times but imagine the difficulty you’d have if you were scared of one of the genders. Androphobia is the fear of men and gynophobia is the fear of women.

No bucks’ night is complete without jokes about fear of commitment but there’s a phobia for the genuine fear of commitment and marriage – gamophobia.

Most people enjoy a good belly laugh, unless of course you suffer from a fear of laughter – geliophobia. An unfortunate malady when we know the social and health benefits of having a good giggle.

Whilst these are some of the more uncommon phobias, if you’re suffering from them or any other extreme fears, please don’t be embarrassed about seeking help to manage them. The PsychMed team have heard all sorts of stories over the years and we can help you overcome your concerns without judgement. Call us on (08) 8232 2424 to make an appointment.