Tuesday, April 22, 2008


What are you afraid of?

Most people have a minor case of acrophobia (fear of heights) or glossophobia (fear of speaking in public). However, people who deal with true, full-blown phobias often experience sweating, rapid heart rates, fainting, panic, a desire to escape, etc.

This week, a student in Hampshire, England spoke publicly about the fear she wrestles with every day of her life: koumpounophobia.

Never heard of koumpounophobia? It isn't surprising since it is a pretty rare phobia (but clinically real). It is the fear of buttons.

Buttons: those things that keep your clothes closed.

Glillian Linkins, 22, says she can't even bear the sight of a button. She doesn't want to be near people who have them on their clothing. Wearing one would cause her to panic.

"I've had the fear as long as I remember. My mum says I freaked out when it was time to get dressed...

"For me touching a button would be like touching a cockroach. It feels dirty, nasty and wrong. When I was younger my brother used to tease me by opening my mum's button tin. I hid in my bedroom until he put them away," said Gillian

Today, Gillian only wears clothing with zippers. She also requires her boyfriend, Tony, to wear only clothes that zip.

There is no obvious psychological reason for her fear. Gillian has tried hypnotherepy and other methods to cure her it, but has found no success.


ten other strange phobias you probably didn't know existed: (again, these are real, clinical phobias)

  1. osphresiophobia: fear of body odor
  2. consecotaleophobia: fear of chopsticks
  3. xanthophobia: fear of yellow things
  4. optophobia: fear of opening one's eyes
  5. galiphobia: fear of French culture
  6. genuphobia: fear of knees
  7. octophobia: fear of the number 8
  8. doxophobia: fear of others expressing an opinion
  9. pentheraphobia: fear of mother-in-law
  10. phobophobia: the fear of being afraid


Gerry Hatrić said...

Well I never. My favourite is the fear of chopsticks.

Anonymous said...

These phobias are very real. My twin siser and I along with my cousin also have koumpounophobia.