Irrational Fears

Every one of us have fears.  Some people are afraid of snakes, spiders, heights, the dark, small places.  Those make sense to me.

  1.  I have a healthy respect for snakes, was bitten as a child by a Copperhead on my ankle and was very ill as a result.  the chances of being bitten by a black mamba or cobra is pretty slim as they don’t live in the area I live, but Copperheads, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and cotton mouths do.  I’m not terrified of them but you won’t catch me on Fear Factor climbing into anything that contains any type of snake.
  2. I have a healthy dislike for spiders.  Arachnids may exist outside, but when they come inside my house they must die.  I have a scar on my forearm from a brown recluse bite.  What can I say? I grew up in the country.
  3. Heights – well some people are, and I won’t lean way out over an edge, but not really an issue for me.
  4. The dark – well all things evil exist in the dark don’t they?  Things go bump in the night, not in the day.  the only dark I”m afraid of is complete darkness, like when you’re in a cave and they shut the lights off and you can’t see your hand in front of your face.  I prayed fervently at that point thanking God that I was sighted!
  5. Small places.  I can understand this one, but other than the time I was completely stuck in a small tunnel while spelunking, it’s not really an issue.

These are all statistics from the US.  More people are afraid of public speaking than of dying.

Chances of dying from a snake bite is 1 in 50 million. Chances of dying from a dog bite are 1 in 120,864.

Most people are afraid of snakes, yet the deadliest animal in the US is the deer.  Chances of dying in an auto accident by hitting a deer is 1 in 28,8331.

Many are afraid to fly. The odds of death by plane crash are 1 in 11 million yet the odds of dying in an auto accident is 1 in 88.

These fears have sound reasoning behind them. Others I have trouble seeing a basis for.

Alien abduction, having your hand severed, killer asteroid, cloning,  . . . seriously people worry about these things.

My biggest fears are parasites and octopus.  Parasites are just so disgusting to me, and I watched this National Geographic show on octopus – a full-grown octopus can squeeze inside a 2 inch pipe and hide completely.  That’s just freaky! I had nightmares for a week!

Fears over the economy, our mortality, over relationships; these I can understand as all of us worry sometimes and wonder ‘what if’.   Being able to pay the mortgage when you’ve been laid off for 18 months is a real fear.  Worrying about what now when you are graduating from high school or college in the current economy can be scary.

Letting our worries become irrational fears is harmful to our well-being.  What are your fears?  What things freak you out, cause you heart palpitations? Is there anything you can do to work through your fears?  Example, if you are afraid of getting diabetes are you doing anything to prevent it?

If you have multiple phobias, maybe you shouldn’t be watching scary movies, just saying.  Prometheus is opening tonight  but I’ve got other plans. Maybe for a Sunday matinée, during daylight hours we’ll go see it.

Write on my friends, write on!



7 comments on “Irrational Fears

  1. Snakes. Oh gosh – I came face-to-face with a Rattlesnake when I was about four or five and have never liked them since.

    But the worst – for me – are birds. I can. not. do. BIRDS.

    Except to eat them. I love turkey & chicken. Tee-hee.


  2. Spiders. When I lived in China, I killed at least 3 a day in my apartment. I mean, if they’re outside, then fine, but the moment they cross inside, they’re dead meat. I’m not as bad as some people, as I can actually kill them myself, and I usually only squeak and jump if they surprise me somewhere.

    I also hate scorpions. In Arizona, we had them in the house more often than I would have liked.

    Otherwise, not scared of much of that stuff. I’ve been bitten by so many dogs it’s not even funny. You just kind of get used to it and come to expect it, although that’s not to say I don’t do my best to avoid it.


  3. Much like your fear of snakes, I have been afraid of ants since being bitten by a (yes one, luckiest trauma ever) fire ant when on a family trip to Arizona when I was a kid. And I also agree with the fear of heights, even an outside stair to the third-floor apartment a friend once lived in was a terrifying journey.


  4. What an excellent post! I don’t have one specific fear. I get anxiety attacks and according to the therapist this comes from multiple fears all piled into one. So I must sally forth and slay them one by one.

    Oh about the alien abductions and stuff, I occasionally listen to Coast To Coast Radio and yep, there be a lot of people out there who believe that stuff!


  5. I have a powerful fear of heights. Someone I know thought it would be a great idea to get me to the top of a cliff, to an observation platform/pier made of glass, and said, “Hey, look down!” I was abjectly terrified; I could not get out to that platform. I just could NOT. But at the same time, I love flying, and have no problem with sitting windowside, which I do just for the views. I just cannot go up to an observation deck.


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