Phobias and Manias

Phobias, fears, anxieties, dreads, terrors, panics, and angst all contribute to our abhorrence of certain situations and things. See what conditions cause you to abhor (excessively fear) what is usually considered by most people to be a “normal situation”.

“Thanks for sending me a copy of your fine book. This thoughtful, comprehensive, and genuinely useful guide to our phobias and manias helps us to feel less fear about our fears and to learn a lot about the power of language to name everything.”
—Richard Lederer

Author of Anguished English; More Anguished English; Fractural English; The Bride of Anguished English; Get Thee To a Punnery; Nothing Risqué, Nothing Gained; Crazy English; The Miracle of Language; The Play of Words; plus, believe it or not, additional titles.

“John Robertson’s An Excess of Phobias and Manias is a gem! The comprehensive array of angst terms is attractively presented: the illustrations and quotations are laced with humor and these elements help the reader to grasp the concepts of terrors and obsessions; indeed, the format augments an understanding of the concepts of the many phobias and manias that are presented in this book. Robertson is an educator who knows how to attract and to hold the attention of his readers from cover to cover.”
—Monroe Coburn, college teacher and author

Humans have a host of phobias, or irrational fears, and there is a name for just about all of them. The names for our deepest dreads (phobias) include the Greek root phobia, meaning “fear, terror, or hatred,” affixed to another root, usually either Greek or Latin, and sometimes even non-Greek or non-Latin elements are used with the phobia elements.

The book, An Excess of Phobias and Manias, has a particular question that everyone should consider about phobias:

Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the adult afraid of the light?
—Maurice Freehill

An Excess of Phobias and Manias is dedicated to presenting LIGHT about phobias and manias with both extended information and humor so you can learn about and enjoy these various phobia presentations.

Psychologists and psychiatrists say that a fear becomes a phobia when it starts affecting one’s daily life, when it becomes more and more difficult to cope with life because of the problem.

In other words, there are irrational terrors or unreasonable fears that can be easily avoided and there are fears that make good sense. One psychologists said, “If I told you to imagine there was a snake on this floor and you started to panic thinking of it, that’s phobic. If you looked down and saw a rattlesnake and said ‘Let’s get the hell out of here,’ that’s common sense.”

There are millions of phobic Americans who suffer from anxieties that are not understood, fears that can be totally debilitating, fears that overtake their rational minds, terrors that paralyze the limbs and make the heart race and the stomach twitch with nausea—these are the characteristics of excessive or abnormal fears and loathings; in other words, genuine phobias!

Phobias include the following characteristics: dreads, horrors, terrors, hatreds, anxieties, repulsions, abnormal fears, strong aversions, panics, extreme frights, excessive antipathies, repulsions, revulsions, and angst.

In addition to the many phobias, An Excess of Phobias and Manias contains hundreds of manias which are characterized by compulsions, excessive cravings, passions, obsessions, frenzies, insanities, madness, and even dementia.

There was a young metrophobic
Who hated to hear any verse.
He took a job as a poetry critic
Which made matters even worse.


There are only two forces that unite men: fear and self-interest.

—Napoleon Bonparte

Is it possible that this quotation refers not only to fears, but also to manias (forms of self-interest) or obsessions? As you examine the lists of manias in the book, note how some of them are expressive of personal interests and even obsessions or excessive desires.

Phobias A-B

Phobias C-G

Phobias H-K

Phobias L-N

Phobias O-Z

True fears present signals in the presence of dangers; whereas unwarranted fears, phobias, are a waste of time. True fears are based on perceptions from your environment.

Unwarranted fears, phobias, are based on your imaginations or memories. Your survival instincts are gifts from nature. What causes true fears, probably should. Always listen to them; however, you should also strive to distinguish true fears from the phobias.

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