Fear of mirrors: An abnormal and persistent fear of mirrors. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Because their fear often is grounded in superstitions, they may worry that breaking a mirror will bring bad luck or that looking into a mirror will put them in contact with a supernatural world inside the glass.
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces have long been associated with the strange or the bizarre. For example, in Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in the water of a fountain. He thought he was seeing the image of a beautiful nymph. Unable to embrace or call forth the image, he pined away and was eventually transformed into a flower. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel by Oscar Wilde, a portrait of a handsome young man begins to deteriorate, reflecting the corruption of the man’s inner being. The portrait becomes a mirror reflecting the state of the young man’s soul. The man eventually commits murder and suicide.
Fear of mirrors is termed “Eisoptrophobia,” a word derived from the Greek “eis” (into) and “optikos” (vision, image, sight). Other English words derived from “optikos” include “optic” (relating to vision) and “optician,” a technician who designs eyeglasses according to a prescription.
- Fear of money
Fear of money: An abnormal and persistent fear of money. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. They worry that they might mismanage money or that money might live up to its reputation as “the root of all evil.” Perhaps they remember well the ill fortune that befell the mythical […]
- Fear of new things
Fear of new things: An irrational fear of anything new, of innovation, of new situations, places, or things. Also called neophobia. In animal behavior, neophobia refers to the tendency of an animal to avoid or retreat from an unfamiliar object or situation. All phobias are unreasonable sorts of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. […]
- Fear of nudity
Fear of nudity: An abnormal and persistent fear of nudity is called gymnophobia. Sufferers of this phobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. They may worry about seeing others naked or being seen naked, or both. Their fear may stem from anxiety about sexuality in general, from a fear that […]
- Fear of oneself
Fear of oneself: An irrational fear of oneself, an intense self-fear that is groundless. Fear of oneself is termed “autophobia” which comes from two Greek words: “autos” (self) and “phobos” (fear) = literally, self-fear, fear of oneself. “Autos” has given us many English words such as “automatic” and “automotive” (self-moving) and “autonomy” (self-governing). And “phobos” […]
- Fear of pain
Fear of pain: An abnormal and persistent fear of pain. The fear is excessive, beyond that which is expected under the circumstances, producing an anxiety reaction. Fear of pain is termed “algophobia,” a word derived from the Greek “algos” (pain) and “phobos” (fear). Note that an “algometer” is an instrument for measuring pain (it does […]