Monday, December 29, 2008

peas and knees-- the source of fear

Sue Williams is a 37-year-old woman who has an unusual and debilitating phobia: Sue is terrified of knees.

Knees. The bendy part at the middle of your leg.

Sue is so terrified of knees that she has not touched her own knees in the past 16 years. She cannot utter the word "kneecap" without crying. She cannot look at her husband's knees. Until recently (after therapy sessions), she was unable to wash her knees.

"I don't like my own. I can't touch them. I certainly can't touch anyone else's,... I know it's strange. People tease me about it and they have got every right to. But I think I'm the normal one and everyone else is weird." said Sue (notably omitting the use of the word "knees" in her explanation).

Another woman, Louise Arnold, has an irrational fear of peas.

Louise explains her pea phobia: "They (the peas) tend to just look at me – ganging up on me. All the hairs on the back of my neck go up. I have to know where they are in the supermarket before I go in. It's just controlling my life now. I would like to be a dinner lady at my daughter's school, but I'm not even able to be in the same room as someone eating them."

For a previous post about a woman who has koumpounophobia (fear of buttons) and other phobias, see


Anonymous said...

Although this seems an uncommon phobia you will find many unusual phobias on Ofear the Fear & Phobia Forum This site is dedicated to helping people with phobias and has specialists online offering help and support too.

Gerry Hatrić said...

Doctor: So what do you need from me?

Woman with knee phobia runs off screaming.

Adullamite said...

I have come across a man scared of dust! This was a real problem for him. Good job he never entered this house!

Anonymous said...

I'm another person with a fear of peas, I don't know what it is, but there's so many of them, taunting me. My house mates are forever making fun of me. Another phobia I have is that, no matter where I am, there is a cat watching me. It's getting really annoying. I have to check my curtains and around my room before I sleep, but I can still feel them outside, almost like they're waiting to get in to my room. Anything that reflects light in my room scares me, because I think that they're a set of cats eyes.