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Omphalophobia and Other Phobias
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.
Some people are phobic about all the different creepy crawlies that exist. Some are phobic about things that could potentially hurt them. Some are phobic about certain events or things that surround them. Then there are those who are phobic about different parts of the human body. In this article, we will see how phobias like this can be used to enhance your fiction story and make the life of your character afflicted with one or more of them really interesting, difficult, and humorous.
Create a character afflicted with one of more of the following body part phobias. How does it affect the way your character lives his/her daily life? Does it enhance or interfere with his/her career choice? How do those who interact with your character feel about this phobia? Is it taken seriously, or is he/she belittled and made fun of for it? What would it feel like to be afraid of part of your body?
Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. People with this phobia don't like to have their belly buttons touched. As a matter of fact, not only does it stress them when their own belly button being touched, they also are stressed if they see anyone else's belly button being touched. Some with this phobia don't even like talking or thinking about belly buttons. You can avoid looking at your own belly button, but a person wiith this phobia probably wouldn't be very comfortable at a swimming pool or at the beach.
Geniophobia is the fear of chins. This phobia would be a bit more difficult to live with. One can avoid looking at one's own belly button, but chins just aren't covered up very often. Well, unless you are a guy with a beard. When you speak with another person, it is really hard to completely avoid looking at his/her chin, even if it is just in your peripheral vision.
Ommetaphobia or ommataophobia is fear of eyes. If you never look another person in the eyes, then your will probably get a reputation as someone who isn't very truthful. The eyes are said to be the windows of a person's soul. Are those with this phobia afraid of what they might see if they gaze into the depths of another person's eyes? Would people with this phobia wear sunglasses all the time?
Chaetophobia is the fear of hair. I guess people with this fear could just elect to be bald, but it isn't just their own hair that they are phobic about. They don't like the hair of other people or the hair of animals, either.
Chirophobia is the fear of hands. Since we use our hands to do even the simplest of tasks with, how would a person with this phobia function in daily life? Hands are used in loving ways (hugging, rubbing, caressing), but hands are also used in violent ways (stabbing, slapping, strangling). Maybe something traumatic that a person has seen would give him/her this fear.
Genuphobia is a fear of the knees. People with this phobia don't want their knees touched. They don't want to look at their own knees or at the knees of others. They may be afraid of kneeling. A person with this phobia would not want to be on a swim team or participate in a sport where the knees would have to be bared.
Odontophobia is fear of teeth. It is also a fear of going to the dentist. I would be more afraid of the teeth of a bear coming at me than I would be of a dentist working on my teeth, but there have been stories and movies about some pretty bad things being done by dentists or those posing as dentists.
Phalangophobia is the fear of injuring one's fingers. Since toes are also phalanges, I guess I should include them in this phobia that I named myself in honor of my husband and his finger phobia. Fingers in general do not bother my husband, but he will get sick if he sees a finger injury, even if it is in a movie or on a TV show.
Create a character with one or more of the above phobias, then write a story around it. For example, a person with ommataophobia, or fear of eyes, could wake up one day in a land where there are no sunglasses. In this land, when you make a purchase, you pay the merchant by looking into his or her eyes in order for your financial information to be read. How would a person with ommataophobia survive in a land such as this?
Are you aware of any more body part phobias? If so, please share them with me and the rest of the people who visit my forum. Maybe the phobia you know about is just what someone needs to finish their story.
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.
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