Today Friday the 13th.
According to Dr. Donald Dossey, folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, NC, this strikes terror in the hearts of 17 to 21 million people in the United States!
As with virtually all fears, this one, too, has a name: friggatriskaidekaphobia.
It comes from a combination of Friday, which in Old English is Frīġedæġ, meaning the day of Frige, and triskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of the number 13.
In 2009 there were 9 Friday the 13ths! This is the only one in 2011. In addition to being a great relief to those millions suffering from friggatriskaidekaphobia, having only one Friday the 13th this year should help our economy.
According to Dossey: It’s been estimated that in the U.S. $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day (Friday the 13th) because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.
Wow! If you’re not wild about crowds, this would probably be a great day to fly or buy!
I’m not superstitious. I attribute this mostly to my lack of imagination.
That doesn’t mean I’m without phobias. I have:
Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders. I’m also not keen on millipedes, centipedes or any other muti-legged bug
Alektorophobia – The fear of chickens. I’m not afraid of chicken per say, just of flapping headless chickens (bad childhood experience)
Allodoxaphobia – The fear of opinions. I’m not afraid of mine but I used to be afraid of everyone else’s. I’m in recovery.
Barophobia – The fear of gravity. I’m a 54-year-old woman. I also fall down a lot. I think this is a legitimate fear, not just phobia.
Cyberphobia – The fear of computers or working on a computer. I’m afraid I’ll accidentally hit the invisible permanently delete button.
I’m also afraid of being a disappointment to my dog (you can’t get much more disappointing than that) but I seem to stand alone with this one since it doesn’t have an official phobic label.
Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ~German Proverb
The spider thing is occasionally inconvenient. I will kill them if they’re smaller than an S.O.S. pad, bigger than that and I seek shelter. Other phobias make friggatriskaidekaphobia and arachnophobia look painless. Imagine how tough it would be to cope with any of these:
Chronophobia- The fear of time
Ambulophobia – The fear of walking
Genuphobia – The fear of knees
Cibophobia- The fear of food
Geniophobia- The fear of chins
Clinophobia- The fear of going to bed
Dextrophobia- The fear of objects at the right side of the body
Levophobia- The fear of things to the left side of the body
Cathisophobia- The fear of sitting
Stasibasiphobia – The fear of standing
Omphalophobia- The fear of belly buttons
Optophobia- The fear of opening one’s eyes
Somniphobia – The fear of sleep
Panophobia – The fear of everything
If it were only that simple. Maybe Friday the 13th is a good day to take a look at our fears, take a hold someone’s hand and tackle one.
There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~Andre Gide