Fear of cats: An abnormal and persistent fear of cats which produces an undue anxiety reaction even though sufferers realize their fear is irrational. Sufferers of this phobia may fear not only the scratch or bite of a cat, but also the “evil mystique” of cats as depicted in Halloween folklore and such literary works as Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat.”
Fear of cats is termed “ailurophobia,” a word derived from the Greek “ailouros” (cat) and “phobos” (fear). Alternate spellings: “Aelurophobia,” “elurophobia.” The Greek word “ailourous” has also given us the English word “Ailuroidea,” a zoological term for a group of carnivorous animals including cats, hyenas and civets.
An alternate name for fear of cats: “Galeophobia.”
- Fear of children
Fear of children: An abnormal and persistent fear of babies and children. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is groundless. Rearing a child or being around active children can both produce anxiety. Fear of children is termed “pedophobia,” a word derived from the Greek “pais” (child) and “phobos” (fear). Related terms include: […]
- Fear of closed spaces
Fear of closed spaces: Fear of closed spaces, of being closed in or being shut in as in elevators, tunnels, or any other small confined space is termed claustrophobia. The word “claustrophobia” is derived from the Latin “claudere”, to shut + the Greek “phobis”, fear.
- Fear of cold
Fear of cold: An abnormal and persistent fear of cold, including cold weather and cold objects. Sufferers of this fear experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. To avoid cold, they may live in a warm climate, dress more warmly than necessary, stay indoors on cold days, and avoid cold foods […]
- Fear of crossing bridges
Fear of crossing bridges: An abnormal and persistent fear of crossing bridges. Sufferers of this phobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may result partly from the fear of enclosure (claustrophobia) or the fear of heights (acrophobia). Phobic drivers may worry about being in an accident in busy […]
- Fear of crossing streets
Fear of crossing streets: Abnormal and persistent fear of crossing streets, highways and other thoroughfares; fear of thoroughfares themselves. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize that streets, highways and other thoroughfares pose no threat commensurate with their fear. Fear of crossing streets is termed “agyrophobia,” a word derived from the Greek “gyrus” (turning or […]