Written by Merna Abdelsalam

Welcome back to Al Saraya Al Safra. Last time you were the subject and You have successfully survived 5 of the World’s Most Disturbingly Unethical Psychological Experiments. This time we shall experiment a bit on your… parents!

You were at your best friend’s birthday party, you say? Well, I’m sure your mother must’ve had her heart in her mouth by 10 pm because you weren’t home yet! I mean, when was the last time you asked your parents to go on a trip with your friends and they didn’t break out in a cold sweat? And this is especially true for girls. Sleeping over at a friend’s is like a mission impossible because… what if her careless parents forget to turn the stove off and unintentionally set the house on fire, or what if a deadly, magnitude 10.0, earthquake hits? You shouldn’t forget that the street gangsters might hear of the sleepover and decide to break into the house to join in, which is also a possibility, you never know!

If phobias were a person, they’d be parents, I’m sure of that. Yet, even though our parents can be a bundle of nerves at times, we absolutely love them to bits and pieces!

But let’s get to the real talk…

What is Fear?

As humans, we are all equipped with a built-in, survival mechanism called fear, that serves as protection when we sense a threatening danger. Fear is a natural, distressing, emotional reaction that prepares us to handle dangerous situation. This threat, however, does not have to be real for someone to be afraid; it can be just imagined. Fear is a healthy emotion on its own, but when the intensity of this fear is extremely exaggerated, it starts to interfere with your daily functioning, and this is when it becomes unhealthy and an issue of concern.

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is the irrational fear of something that is in fact of little or no actual danger. We can say that a phobia is the perceiving of certain situations, objects or people as extremely dangerous, when in reality they are not. Having a phobia means you realize your fear is perhaps unreasonable, however you cannot control the overwhelming feelings of anxiety that strike you, when exposed to the feared situation/object; or even to the mere thought of it.

Phobias are unlimited and there’s a phobia of almost about everything. However, we’ll focus on only five for now, which seem to give parents the most heebie-jeebies. So, here we go!

*Phobias are a real issue for many people. This article is simply a sarcastic representation of parents and a simplified introduction to phobias in general.*

1. Zoophobia – The fear of animals

This is the irrational fear of all animals. A specific and more popular one is Cynophobia which is the fear of dogs. Admit it! At some point of your life you had asked your parents for a dog and they refused. This is probably why turtles and fish became the only pets allowed in our childhood… Stray dogs are a big redline, there’s no way that you can ever get anywhere near them.

In parent’s logic, you can’t own a dog because what if they suddenly get rabies out of nowhere, even though they’d have taken all of their required vaccinations, and get you infected and die? 

2. Mysophobia – The fear of germs

You’ve just arrived home from school/uni/work, probably around 0.5 seconds ago, and suddenly hear your mother scream? Well, it’s because you still haven’t washed your hands, face, feet, everything. What are you doing there all covered up in germs? Go straight away and soak yourself in some Dettol or, even better, Clorox; otherwise you’ll get E-coli and die!

3. Atychiphobia – The fear of failure

You have only studied 23 hours today and you yourself expect to pass this year? If you don’t get a grip of your studies and work harder you’ll fail, and then you won’t find a job, and then you’ll starve and then you’ll die!

4. Erotophobia – The fear of sex-related topics

In general, erotophobia is a phobia of anything related to sex. With most parents, sex is usually an extremely inappropriate topic to discuss; more of a taboo. As a child you must’ve heard sex-related terms before at some point and ran straight to your parents to ask them what it meant and expected a proper response, which in most cases would be: “Where did you hear this word?”, or “Don’t say this word ever again!”, or even better: “You’ll get to know when you’re older.”

5. Thanatophobia – The fear of death

Thantophobia is the fear of death in general, meaning the sufferer fears to die themselves as well as fears the death of others. Hey! we’re here finally, the phobia of you actually dying! Not much in the way of narrative here, so… 

Here’s a BONUS:

6. Panophobia – The fear of everything or fear that terrible things will happen.

Literally everything is scary and horrifying and will most probably be the reason that you die…

Your thoughts?

Do you agree with this list of phobias? Can you relate to any of which? Let us know what you think in the comments below.