The Prospector

Who’s Your Boogeyman?

Sirene Blair and Haley Jensen

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From the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “there is really nothing to fear, but fear itself.” But what is fear? In the spirit of Halloween, Bingham students were asked about the existence of any personal phobias. While 41 students were seemingly fearless, the other 82 students had answers ranging from “heat death of the universe” to “being trapped under an iceberg.”

In a recent survey, Forbes.com released “Top 33 Most Common Fears in the US.” Coming in at number one is Aerophobia, the fear of flying (or crashing to their doom). According to the survey, here are the top ten common fears of Americans.

Most Common Fears of Americans:

Fear of Flying Aerophobia
Fear of Public Speaking Glossophobia
Fear of Heights Acrophobia
Fear of the Dark Nyctophobia
Fear of Intimacy
Fear of Death, Dying Necrophobia, Thanatophobia
Fear of Failure Kakorrhaphiophobia
Fear of Rejection
Fear of Spiders Arachnophobia
Fear of Commitment Commitmentphobia

For the rest of the list, go to http://www.selfhelpcollective.com/most-common-fears.html

 

Also in this survey, Forbes.com noted that 15 million Americans have a social phobia like public speaking.Jerry Seinfeld joked that, “Most people would be happier in the casket at a funeral than the one giving the eulogy.”

Data by Haley Jensen and Sirene Blair.

Clearly, the largest specific fear of these Bingham students is spiders. This fear is pretty irrational considering only a small percentage of spiders are actually poisonous. These eight legged creatures have inspired fear through movies, childhood nightmares, and other tragic encounters.

From a professional standpoint, Mr. Clinton Thurgood, Bingham High Psychologist said, “I feel that fears are often caused by early exposure or trauma to the fear and also by social conditioning. People often create their fears early in life due to negative experiences with the fear.”

This is definitely the case for Heidee Talbot, a senior at Bingham. She fears being the first person to bite into an apple. As a child she had extremely sensitive teeth and whenever she would bite into a brand new apple, she would experience a shocking pain. Gradually, her teeth grew out of this extreme case of sensitivity; however, her mind continues to associate un-bitten apples with pain.

Another senior at Bingham, Erin Dority, has a fear of alligators/crocodiles. At the age of four, Erin visited a museum with a hunted and stuffed alligator display. This reptile was ten feet long and had the remains of ten tribal women inside the belly. Other factors of TV shows and dreams have fueled her fear to the highest point.

Senior Jacie Wach is scared of little people. This fear was caused by a few stand-out events. Around the age of seven, she was at a park and started playing catch with a little person, whom she assumed was a girl her age. Later she discovered she was actually twenty and it really freaked her out.  Also, in 7th grade she was stuck in an elevator with a little person, which heightened her fear.

Megan Lueken, another senior at Bingham, might take the cake for interesting fears. She won’t let people touch her wrist, neck, or the back of her knees. These odd fears can all be linked to recurring nightmares she had at a younger age. In one of these nightmares, an Indian hidden in her closet would shoot arrows at her wrist. In another, spiders would crawl over her neck. This caused her to practice extreme measures of covering her neck with a blanket every time she went to sleep, and not sleeping with her wrists exposed.

While Bingham students may have some pretty crazy fears, they’ve got nothing on some people. Did you know that a fear of buttons actually exists? It’s called Kuompounophobia. Some people also have a fear of flowers, peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth, flutes, and clocks. Many of the weirdest fears can be associated with some type of traumatic event in the person’s past. With all of these fears roaming around people’s minds, how are we to live on?

“The best way to overcome a fear is through systematic desensitization. Which is when a person is taught relaxation skills and then gradually introduced to their fear until they can finally confront the actual fear,” said Thurgood. He said an example of overcoming Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) could include showing a person a snake, introducing them to a physical snake, then coming into contact with a snake.

Out of all these crazy fears, senior Jake Berube might have the most unreasonable fear. He claimed his greatest fear is of the school newspaper. His reason is a simple “I don’t want to talk about it.” Hey, you can’t please everybody.

 

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