Feeds

Why can't we agree on the names for phobias?

Automysophobia, Coprophobia, Misophobia...

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Also in this week's column:

Why can't we agree on the names for phobias?

Asked by Anka Saarinen of Helsinki, Finland

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association is the main diagnostic reference book for mental health professionals in the US and in much of the rest of the world.

According to the DSM-IV, a phobia is a persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation (the phobic stimulus) that results in a compelling desire to avoid it. This often leads either to avoidance of the phobic stimulus or to enduring it with dread.

A study by the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland found that between 8.7 and 18.1 per cent of Americans suffer from at least one phobia. Yet for reasons unknown, the mental health profession cannot agree on the term to be used for many of the most common phobias. There are 11 names for the persistent and irrational fear of being dirty - Automysophobia, Coprophobia, Misophobia, Molysmophobia, Molysomophobia, Mysophobia, Rupophobia, Rypophobia, Scatophobia, Spermophobia, and Verminophobia.

There are eight names for the persistent and irrational fear of water - Aquaphobia, Caninophobia, Cynophobia, Hydrophobia, Hydrophobophobia, Kynophobia, Lyssophobia, and Nautophobia. There are seven names for the persistent and irrational fear of anything new - Cainophobia, Cainotophobia, Centophobia, Kainolophobia, Kainophobia, Kainotophobia, and Neophobi; being alone - Autophobia, Eremiophobia, Eremophobia, Ermitophibia, Isolophobia, and Monophobia; Odours - Autodysosmophobia, Automysophobia, Bromidrophobia, Bromidrosiphobia, Olfactophobia, Osmophobia, and Osphresiophobia; and pain -Agliophobia, Algophobia, Ergasiophobia, Ergophobia, Odynephobia, Odynophobia, and Ponophobia.

There are six names for the persistent and irrational fear of being touched - Aphenphosmphobia, Aphephobia, Chiraptophobia, Haphephobia, Haptephobia, and Haptophobia; cats - Aclurophobia, Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Felinophobia, Galeophobia, and Gatophobia; cold - Cheimaphobia, Cheimatophobia, Cryophobia, Frigophobia, Pagophobia, and Psychrophobia; Heights - Acrophobia, Altophobia, Bathophobia, Batophobia, Hypsiphobia, and Hypsophobia; night - Achluophobia, Lygophobia, Myctophobia, Noctiphobia, Nyctophobia, and Scotophobia; red (colour or word) - Ereuthophobia, Ereuthrophobia, Erythrophobia, Erthyrophobia, Erytophobia, and Rhodophobia); thunder - Astraphobia, Astrapophobia, Brontophobia, Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia, and Tonitrophobia; and walking - Ambulophobia, Basiphobia, Basophobia, Basostasophobia, Stasibasiphobia, and Stasiphobia.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.