Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
Ichthyophobia and Other Fears
Phobias are constant, irrational fears that afflict some people. Their fear should be taken seriously. The person should never be made fun of or belittled because of their fear. But, as writers, we can bless (or curse) our characters with phobias and make the story so much more interesting.
What happens if someone encounters the object of their fear? They could feel dread, nausea, or breathlessness. They could sweat excessively or lose the ability to think or speak clearly. They could lose control and become angry. Detachment from reality is a possibility, as is a full-blown anxiety attack.
Pick out one of the following phobias – ichthyophobia, myrmecophobia, or pediculophobia – and see if you can create a character that is afflicted with one or more of them.
Ichthyophobia is the irrational fear of fish. Not only do those with this phobia fear eating fish or being around fish, pictures of fish could potentially make them throw up or pass out. Don't even think of trying to talk a person with ichthyophobia into going fishing with you or swimming in a lake or ocean. That would be out of the question.
What causes this fear? I don't know. Maybe bad dreams? Maybe reading a book or watching a movie about killer fish? I'm not sure any of those exist, but it could be a reason. Or it could all just be in the person's imagination.
Myrmecophobia is the fear of ants. A person could fear ants crawling all over his or her body and being bitten by them. I can understand that. Or the fear could be that his or her food supply will be contaminated by ants. I can even kind of understand that one. Some people with this phobia can't even look at pictures of ant without freaking out really bad. And there is no way that one afflicted with myrmecophobia could watch a movie about ants or a show in which ants are featured.
I'm not exactly sure what would cause one to have this fear, either. But I'm sure you could create a really great reason for one of your characters to have myrmecophobia.
Pediculophobia is the fear of lice or the fear of an infestation of lice. I will be honest now. Lice scare me. I don't walk around afraid of them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though, so I don't really think I have pediculophobia. I never was the least bit afraid of lice until I had them. For a while after I banished them from existence around me, just the mere thought of them crawling around on my head would freak me out and give me nightmares. Now it is all just a bad memory. A person with pediculophobia will walk around with an irrational fear of lice all the time, even when there is no threat of a lice infestation. Do you think this person would insist on always keeping his or her hair shaved off?
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Binion. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Binion for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.