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Six unusual phobias mind over matter with Dr Ellie Milby.

A PHOBIA is an extreme fear of a particular object or situation. Phobias affect around 10 million people in the UK with the most common phobias include agoraphobia (fear of open/public places), social phobia (fear of social situations), claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) and arachnophobia (fear of spiders).

People can develop a phobia of almost anything, as this list of unusual phobias shows: PORPHYROPHOBIA Fear of the colour purple EVEN hearing the word "purple" could trigger anxiety for sufferers. As with many phobias, it's thought that this irrational fear could stem from a traumatic childhood experience involving a purple object.

| Terrifying... a TUROPHOBIA Fear of cheese SOME sufferers may fear a particular type of cheese while others will avoid cheese altogether.

SOMNIPHOBIA Fear of falling asleep THERE are several reasons that people may fear falling asleep including anxiety about having nightmares, losing precious time or fear of dying whilst asleep.

OMPHALOPHOBIA Fear of belly buttons.

SUFFERERS of this phobia may avoid anywhere where there is a risk of seeing exposed midriffs (like the gym or swimming baths) or may be afraid of having their navel touched or having to touch another person's navel.

NOMOPHOBIA A sign of the times, nomophobia is the fear of being without mobile phone contact.

A RECENT study suggests that this may actually be very common with more than half of participants reporting that they experience anxiety when they can't get a signal.

for POGONOPHOBIA Fear of beards THE hipster trend for big beards is a pogonophobe's worst nightmare. It's thought the fear might stem from the potential for beards to harbour germs, bacteria and lice.

| | For a list of different phobias visit phobialist.com. For more information about, diagnosis and treatment of phobias visit nhs.uk/conditions/ phobias or ask your GP. | Dr Ellie Milby is a counselling psychologist.

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| Terrifying... for a pogonophobe

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 30, 2016
Words:311
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