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People can have phobias for anything, you’ve heard of people having a phobia of cotton wool (might seem strange to you, but it’s a real phobia), and there are people out there who are afraid of mirrors. The phobia is called Spectrophobia.
I know what you’re thinking, that sounds really daft. How can someone be scared of a mirror? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Spectrophobia, sometimes called Catoptrophobia, is known as a fear of mirrors BUT it can also involve dealing with minimal lighting, wooded areas, dark rooms and hearing loud or unexpected noises.
Still don’t get it?
A person’s phobia of mirrors can also be linked to the fear of ghosts or spirits, catching one’s own reflection, seeing others in a mirror or the fear of the unknown behind that mirror.
You might think of it as a stupid phobia or irrational fear but if it’s not treated, like a lot of phobias, it can lead to mental and physical health issues.
People who suffer from Spectrophobia, looking in a mirror can commonly trigger panic attacks, they may cry, their heartbeat may increase and their eyes might dilate.
Think of something that you’re really scared of, something you might have a phobia of, then imagine how you would feel facing your biggest fear.
A person suffering from Spectrophobia may feel stressed out when they’re near a mirror, they might run away from that situation, feel dizzy or even be sick.
But where does this phobia come from?
A fear of mirrors can often stem from a person not liking what they see in the mirror, they’re often displeased by their own appearance. It’s very often linked to self-esteem issues and the person may be afraid to see what they look like.
The word Catophobia comes from the Greek word Catropto, which means mirrors and Spectrobia comes from the Latin word for Ghosts, Spectro.
So whats the connection between mirrors, spirits and negativity?
Well, it may stem from mankind’s fear of still waters. It’s often thought that your reflection is actually your soul and a distorted reflection in a film usually leads to negativity.
In old folks tales, a person’s reflection often led to impending doom which could be what leads to the fear or shattered mirrors.
In other cultures, reflections in dark still water mean bad luck or death (WTF), so some people avoid looking into water for the fear that something with snatch their soul away. Children are also not shown their own reflection before they turn one, for the fear that they’ll die and won’t make their first birthday.
A bride is also not supposed to see her own reflection in her wedding attire until the couple have been married and during a funeral, the mirrors are veiled so family members don’t have to see their own reflections and die.
You might find these ideas strange, but a lot of cultures do fear mirrors/reflections.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered what you’d do if someone appeared behind you? I know I have. It’s an irrational fear but it’s definitely run through my mind a few times before.
Remember bloody Mary? That folks tale was enough to put any kid off ever looking in the mirror.
So how do you cure someone of Spectrophobia?
The individual should start gradually looking at images of mirrors, thinking about them, holding them and finally looking inside one. Going slow is very important and some people like to take homoeopathic remedies such as herbs, teas and oils to help them.
Here are some others phobias you might not have known you have:
Every one of us has a phobia that we are all too familiar with. Whether it’s a phobia of spiders, the dark or the inconvenient phobia of heights, these are the things we can always guarantee will get our pulses racing. But it seems that you may, in fact, be harbouring secret phobias. Take a look at this list of 20 phobias you never knew you had.
Deipnophobia is a phobia of dinner parties. So if you ever wondered why you get excessively nervous when you’re on hosting duties, this could be why.
For all those maths hating people that feel a little flushed when they have to count their change, this is why. Arithmophobia, phobia of numbers is actually fairly common.
Now, this might sound unusual but selenophobia, fear of a full moon, is actually a genuine phobia that’s not just limited to werewolves.
If you don’t have this phobia now then believe me, it is yet to come. Ephebiphobia is an adult phobia of young people.
We all know one person with this, Allodoxaphobia is a fear of hearing an opinion.
Now this one is understandable. Genuphobia is a fear of knees. Did you ever wonder why you always feel slightly queasy when you see certain people in shorts during the summer months?
This could be a common one for young boys because Oneirogmophobia is a fear of wet dreams.
Now for some people it’s a lucky number but not if you have Octophobia, a fear of the number 8.
We’ve all had feared from this at one point in our lives for some reason or another. Scriptophobia is a phobia of writing in public.
We could all name a fair few people with this. Anuptaphobia, fear of being single.
If you’ve ever watched the movie ‘The Omen’ then you can be sure to relate to this. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, fear of the number 666.
If you’re a lover of Amsterdam you’ll be safe from this one because Dutchphobia is a fear of Dutch culture.
And the same goes for Paris. If you’ve got a fear of French people a trip to the Eiffel tour shouldn’t be on the cards for you.
If you prefer to keep things simple then you can relate to this. Sesquipedalophobia is a fear of long words.
If your high school music lessons were anything to go by then we won’t judge you for this one. Aulophobia is a fear of flutes.
This is a very reasonable phobia is you’ve had some bad encounters. Omphalophobia is a phobia of belly buttons.
There will be many females who can relate to this one so take note men. Pogonophobia, phobia of beards.
If you’re not a fan of massages then you might have Chirophobia, fear of hands.
Believe it or not but Peladophobia is very real, it’s a fear of bald people. So if your partners’ hair is showing signs of thinning already, you might want to start working on this phobia.
Now, this is particularly ironic, but Phobophobia is a fear of phobias.
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