Various Phobias that You Could Have Passed Over
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Various Phobias that You Could Have Passed Over
  • 김태연 기자
  • 승인 2005.10.05 00:00
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In History:
Many people have prejudices against people suffering from various phobias, thinking that they are naive or mentally weak. However, throughout history, there have been several renowned people who suffered from various types of phobia, including great leaders, warriors and writers. Looking at these people, we can see that phobia sometimes cannot be explained logically and that it does not depend on individual will power.

Did You Know?
1. Demosthenes (384 - 322 B.C.), Greek orator and politician, suffered from Bathmophobia, the fear of stairs or steep slopes.
2. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), world famous playwright, suffered from Felinophobia, the fear of cats. Felinophobia is also known by different names such as Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, and Gatophobia.
3. Julius Ceasar (100 - 44 B.C.), the last dictator of Rome, suffered from Scotophobia, the fear of darkness. Scotophobia is also known as Achluophobia, Ligyrophobia, and Myctophobia.
4. Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662), mathematician, chemist, and inventor of the first digital calculator, suffered from Agoraphobia, fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Pascal refused to join scholar meetings in public areas, but invited other mathematicians into his own room to share his knowledge and listen to their opinions. Maybe this is how he was able to concentrate on his mathematics-based work and other inventions.

In Media:
Although people often neglect the seriousness of phobias, they are not a foreign topic to most people. People know they exist because of exposure in the mass media. These days many movies and TV dramas portray phobias on screen and sometimes a phobia even carries out a crucial role in a story's plot.

Have You Seen?
1. In the movie "Panic Room"(2002), the main character Meg Altman (played by Jodie Foster) suffers from Claustrophobia, the fear of confined space. Overcoming this fear becomes the key to survival in the movie when she is locked in a small panic room in her new home.
2. In the Korean movie "Blood Tears"(2005), the villain (played by Park Yong-woo) suffers from Thalassophobia, fear of the sea. He has physical reactions such as asthma when confronting the phobia-provoking object. Therefore, he cannot leave the island he lives on.
3. In the movie "Coyote Ugly"(2000), Violet Sanford (played by Piper Perabo) suffers from Topophobia. Topophobia is the fear of certain specific places or situations. In this case, the character has stage fright. She fears singing or talking on stage, and in front of a crowd. However after numerous practices, she overcomes her stage phobia.
4. In the movie "As Good as it Gets"(1997), Melvin Udall (played by Jack Nicholson) suffers from Misophobia, the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs. He always sterilizes his utensils with his own hot, boiling water in restaurants and other public areas. He even burns his hand doing so.
5. In the movie "If Only"(2004), the female lead Samantha Andrews (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) suffers from Acrophobia, which is the fear of heights. Acrophobia is also known as Altophobia, and Hypsiphobia. When riding in an elevator in an open space with her boyfriend, Andrews is terrified by the height that she sees through the window.


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