Lifestyle General Having Phun with Phobias
Having Phun with Phobias


You doctors clearly have to deal with some very strange people coming into your rooms or wards. Heaven knows, the apartment I live in is small, but even I wouldn’t consider a personal orifice to be suitable storage for a domestic appliance or kitchen utensil.

Wardell-Wendy-Ms-cropped Mar14130x110 Wendy Wardell

It illustrates the point that what some of us consider completely bizarre is for others simply a viable way to pass the time in between seasons of Downton Abbey.

To psychaiatrists (who have mortgages to pay and kids to educate) we all have a few crayons missing from our colouring-in boxes because the pressures of modern life make us a little bit scared, paranoid, obsessive or just plain flaky in so many colourful ways. Phobias are just another thing that makes other people seem completely weird.

Is there some sort of definitive line between stuff we don’t like and a phobia? If, for instance you get sweaty palms and a panic attack at the sight of a Kraft cheese slice, have you got a) turophobia b) acute lactose intolerance or c) the capacity to read ingredients lists?

Much like party political broadcasts, avoidance is the easiest option to deal with phobias. I’m not that keen on sharks, but as long as they don’t start frequenting coffee shops, I can live with it. A short sharp reality check may cure other irrational fears. Some people have a ‘phobia’ of not having a partner.

An introduction to internet dating will bring them to a rapid realisation that there are worse options. Oh, so much worse.

Technology has introduced a whole new range of things over which we can get our knickers in a knot. I’m as guilty as the next person of panicking if I don’t have my mobile phone with me.

Shark300x210The catastrophising starts with the inability to contact my daughter and goes right through to mourning all the eggs those damn pigs will eat if I can’t unleash an animated angry avian at them.

Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a phobia from just an irritating personality trait.

Do you get a bit wild-eyed and twitchy if the lane of traffic you’re in moves more slowly than the one next to it? It could either be the precursor to a paralyzing fear of orange cones or a normal state of mind for a BMW driver.

Phobias come and go with fashion trends and social movements of course.

There has been an upsurge in omphalophobia – a fear of belly buttons, and I’m guessing that this is linked to both the trend for low rise jeans and the increase in obesity.

I predict a western suburbs spike in what I will term lactiscalefactophobia; a dread that the barista will misjudge the milk temperature for the perfect maceration of coffee in the creation of a double shot cappuccino.

I’m certainly not immune. One of my personal phobias is of failure to meet deadlines. I manage it though by ensuring that I submit something, even if it’s not entirely fi