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The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (of Greek origin) occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e.g., agoraphobia) and in biology to descibe organisms that dislike certain conditions (e.g., acidophobia). In common usage they also form words that describe dislike or hatred of a particular thing or subject. more...

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Many people apply the suffix "-phobia" inappropriately to mild or irrational fears with no serious substance; however, earlier senses relate to psychiatry which studies serious phobias which disable a person's life. For more information on the psychiatric side of this, including how psychiatry groups phobias as "agoraphobia", "social phobia", or "simple phobia", see phobia. Treatment for phobias may include desensitization (graduated exposure therapy) or flooding.

The following lists include words ending in -phobia, and include fears that have acquired names. In many cases people have coined these words as neologisms, and only a few of them occur in the medical literature. In many cases, the naming of phobias has become a word game.

Note too that no things, substances, or even concepts exist which someone, somewhere may not fear, sometimes irrationally so. A list of all possible phobias would run into many thousands and it would require a whole book to include them all, certainly more than an encyclopedia would be able to contain. So this article just gives an idea of the kind of phobias which one may encounter, certainly not all.

Most of these terms tack the suffix -phobia onto a Greek word for the object of the fear (some use a combination of a Latin root with the Greek suffix, which many classicists consider linguistically impure).

In some cases (particularly the less medically-oriented usages), a word ending in -phobia may have an antonym ending in -philia - thus: coprophobia / coprophilia, Germanophobia / Germanophilia.

See also the category:Phobias.

Phobia lists

A large number of "-phobia" lists circulate on the Internet, with words collected from indiscriminate sources, often copying each other.

Some regard any attempt to create a list of phobias as an irrational endeavor because, theoretically, a person could become conditioned to have a fear of anything. Also, a significant number of unscrupulous psychiatric websites exist that at the first glance cover a huge number of phobias, but in fact use a standard text (see an example below) to fit any phobia and reuse it for all unusual phobias by merely changing the name. For a couple of striking examples.

"... Poor performance or grades. Promotions that pass you by. moths phobia will likely cost you tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime, let alone the cost to your health and quality of life. Now Moths Phobia can be gone for less than the price of a round-trip airline ticket."
"... The expert phobia team at CTRN's Phobia Clinic is board-certified to help with Russophobia and a variety of related problems. The success rate of our 24 hour program is close to 100%"


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pounds 71m PLAN TO FIGHT PHOBIAS; So stop worrying about the sharks,
From Sunday Mirror, 4/8/01 by CHRIS McLAUGHLIN

TONY Blair wants to calm the nation's worst nightmares.

The Prime Minister has given the go-ahead for pounds 71million to be spent investigating the cause of phobias.

Phobias afflict more than 16 million Britons, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists says one in ten will suffer a debilitating fear at some point in their lives.

Famous phobics include Hollywood hearthrob Brad Pitt, who suffers from ichthyophobia, a severe terror of sharks - even on dry land.

Arsenal football hero Dennis Bergkamp has aviatophobia, a terror of flying. And actor Robert de Niro has had therapy for dentophobia, the fear of dentists.

Millions of working days are lost every year because of phobias and sufferers can undergo acute distress which places a heavy burden on their families. Women are afflicted more than men - but their phobias can often disappear during pregnancy.

The money, from the Trade Department, will fund 14 projects at 12 universities nationwide and pay for scanners, brain simulators, gene research and machines for testing the effects of drugs.

The investigation will also look at conditions such as schizophrenia and autism and is expected to produce spin-off benefits in the fight against diseases such as tuberculosis, heart disease and cancer.

Trade Minister Lord Sainsbury said: "This research will help uncover some of the mysteries of the human mind."

Copyright 2001 MGN LTD
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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