Posted by: Rae Michele Pritchett | 2019/09/27


What is his phobia ?

I have searched all over the internet and can' find he name of he phobia of being in the shower, with soap in my eyes, and someone sneaking in to kill me.

Expert's Reply


Depression expert
- 2019/09/30

Hello Rae,
What an interesting question.  Firstly, perhaps, I should that no phobia needs any fancy name in order to be real, respectable, and treatable. The basic problem is a Phobic Anxiety Disorder, a variety of anxiety disorder in which a person experiences severe, unreasonable, anxiety linked to some specific situation or trigger. 
It's not phobic anxiety if you got anxious when you opened your front door and found a growling man-eating tiger there : it'd be ridiculous and abnormal NOT to feel anxious then.  If you felt just as anxious on finding a small mewing kitten, that's be a phobia.  You'd realize that the degree of anxiety you felt was excessive and unreasonable, but that wouldn't really make you feel better.  The fear is often related to small things really unlikely to be dangerous.  I had a patient in London, for instance, who was terrified of feathers, and was much troubled around Christmas when butcher's shops in Europe often hang un-plucked feathery birds like Turkeys, outside their shops.
It's a very treatable condition, responding both to medicines also used to treat depression, and to psychological treatments like CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ).
There was a time, many years ago,  when some psychiatrists, almost as a hobby, started collecting and giving fancy Latin/Greek names to all sorts of phobias. They were like fanatics who collected butterflies and moths, and gave them exotic names, too.  It was a useless activity, but generally harmless.
The internet likes to collect such things, so there are all sorts of lists if you look around for them. Most are never ever used in practice, because it's not at all useful.  A few names for very common varieties are used, like Claustrophobia for fear of enclosed spaces ( usually, in my experience, more a fear of being in a space you can't easily get out of, like sitting in a pew in a large church, but against a pillar, so you couldn't get out without having to squeeze past many other people ) ; and agoraphobia ( named from the Greek word for large market place ) which I find usually actually applies to finding yourself out of home base and a long way from your familiar resources.
I have come across the sort of fears you describe, usually related to a person having seen the great horror movie Psycho, or some imitation of it, in which the heroine is attacked and stabbed while in a shower.  In large lectures in different parts of the world, I have asked  the audience if they had no such fear before seeing that film on TV, and many hands would go up.  Some people just felt uneasy, some really phobic.  I remember a woman who said she'd trained her 2 large fierce guard dogs, to sit in the bathroom while she showered. 

If you see a psychologist providing CBT or some similar therapy, this should easily com under control.

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