April 13, 2018:

With the recent passing of the original Bozo the Clown (Frank Avaruch), I came across a few articles about Coulrophobia. the fear of clowns. According to ranker.com is the 13th most common phobia and its victims include Johnny Depp, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Daniel Radcliffe. This led me to research other phobias and we now present the ten most common:

1) Arachnophobia- The fear of spiders affects an estimated one third of women and one quarter of men. But try to get a grip! While there are over 35,000 spider species, only a dozen pose a threat to humans.
2) Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. It’s OK. Indiana Jones fears them as well.
3) Acrophobia- The fear of heights impacts an estimated 23 million adults and is the primary reason I will never be able to perform with the Flying Wallendas. My Uncle Joe had such an extreme case that whenever he encountered a bridge he would flag down passing cars and ask a passenger to drive his car across. One historic figure who was petrified of heights was Gustave Eiffel (yes, the designer of the Eiffel Tower)
4) Agoraphobia is a complex condition where the sufferer worries about being in a situation that he can’t escape. Many teams it’s a fear of open spaces but it can also include crowded rooms. Many agoraphobes won’t take public transportation. The American Psychiatric Association reports that two thirds of agoraphobes are women.
5) Cynophobia- The fear of dogs generally traces back to a childhood dog incident
6) Astraphobia- The fear ot thunder and lightning causes many sufferers to take shelter in a closet or bathroom. This condition may lead to agoraphobia resulting in a person having difficulty leaving home.
7) Claustrophobia – Similar to agoraphobia, claustrophobics have a fear of being enclosed in a small space with no ability to escape. One study indicates that 7% of the world’s population are claustrophobics.
8) Mysophobia- The fear of germs and dirt can lead people to engage in extreme cleaning, compulsive hand washing, and can result in people avoiding physical contact with others.
9) Aerophobia- It is estimated that one out of every three Americans has some level of fear of flying with eight million adults having an extreme fear. Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali and Johnny Cash all overcame their extreme fear but John Madden still takes the bus.
10) Trypanophobia- It is estimated that 10% of the population has an extreme fear of needles, causing them to avoid doctors and dentists.

And then you have these

Honorable mentions go to Thanatophobia, an extreme fear of death which lists at #11 and glossophobia (fear of public speaking) which weighs in at #15. Latrophobia (fear of doctors) lists at #57, placing it behind gynophobia (fear of women), globophobia (fear of balloons), and anatidaephobia (fear of ducks). Dentophobia (fear of dentists) is listed as high as 16 on some websites.

Famous People and Their Phobias

Oprah Winfrey is afflicted by the rare Chiclephobia and bans gum chewing in her studio. Her fear of gum stems from her childhood days when her grandmother would store used gum in kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Ailurophobia- the fear of cats has afflicted many of history’s most notable leaders including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar. Napoleon, and Mussolini.

Today’s 100th most common phobia was once a very common condition. Taphophobia (fear of being buried alive) afflicted Hans Christian Anderson, Frederick Chopin and George Washington. When he slept, Anderson posted a sign indicating that he wasn’t dead. Washington asked that his body be laid out for three days in case he hadn’t passed.

David Beckham suffers from Ataxophobia, the fear of disorder. The contents of Beckham’s refrigerator must be color coded and aligned perfectly in pairs. If Beckham opens the fridge and sees three sodas, he throws one away.

Which brings us to the great, Rafael Nadal. Besides his on-court idiosyncrasies, Raffa suffers from numerous phobias including Arachnaphobia, Astraphobia, Cynophobia, Thalassophobia (fear of the ocean), Corcoranophobia (fear of helicopters), Cyclophobia (fear of bicycles) and Motorcyclophobia. Nadal also suffers from Achluophobia (fear of the dark) and usually sleeps with the lights on.
Ahh, but what I’d give to have his backhand for just one day- not too mention his bank account.

Happy Friday the 13th.

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