Unless you are afflicted with one of the following phobias, you will probably find them kind of humorous. It is hard for me to believe that some people really have fears about things that are so much a part of our everyday life, things that are so vital to our way of living. They do make characters interesting, though.
Remember, when someone encounters something they have an excessive fear of the experiences rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, anxiety, panic, terror, and/or dread.
Ablutophobia is the fear of washing or bathing. This phobia ranges from just a fear of showering (possibly from watching Psycho) to a fear of any type of washing or bathing. Obviously, there are social complications that arise from this. These range from being avoided and called names to loneliness and disease.
Your character doesnít have ablutophobia, but meets someone who does. Where and how does he or she meet this individual? How old is this individual? What caused them to suffer from ablutophobia? Have your character feel compassion for this individual and find a way for him to overcome his fear of bathing.
Basophobia is the fear of walking or standing erect. Hmmm. How does a person who has basophobia get around? Jump? Crawl? Wheelchair? What would cause someone to have a phobia such as this? Maybe a bad fall.
Write a story where your character takes all kinds of risks. Then one day he or she takes a bad fall, one where he is injured pretty bad. When he recovers, he is afraid to walk or stand erect again. Is he able to overcome this fear? If so, how does he do it? How understanding are his friends and family members?
Cathisophobia, on the other hand, is the irrational fear of sitting down. Maybe a person who suffers from this phobia sat down on something that hurt really, really bad at one time in his life. Or maybe someone kept pulling the chair out from under him every time this person went to sit down. Anyway, I wonder, is it possible for a person to have both cathisophobia and basophobia? Write a story in which you have a character that suffers from both phobias. How does this person get from one place to another? What happened to cause this person to suffer from both phobias?
Cibophobia is a phobia that I definitely am nowhere close to suffering from. It is a fear of food. Yes, you did read that right, a fear of food. This phobia can worsen over time and get to the point where the person suffering from it endangers his own life.
Sometimes it is confused with anorexia, but there is a pretty major difference. Those suffering from anorexia fear the effects that food will have on their body image, while those with cibophobia fear the food itself. A person might appear to have some of the symptoms, but just want to eat healthy. If the symptoms get continually worse over time, then there could be a problem.
There are a lot of variations with this one. Know someone who is fanatical about expiration dates? What about someone who is overly concerned about making sure his food is well done, even to the point of burning it? Or maybe you know someone who refuses to keep leftovers for more than a day. Possibly a person suffering from this phobia would have very strict rules to govern his eating habits. This phobia has the potential to keep growing worse and worse to the point where an individual suffering from it would rather go hungry than to eat things that he thinks are questionable.
The character and story possibilities seem endless with this phobia. A young ladyís anorexia morphs into cibophobia. Her family is happy because she is eating again. They donít think anything is wrong. What happens to clue them into that one danger has given way to another danger? Who tries to help her? Is she finally cured?