Do you have a phobia?

Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? Yes, that’s a real word! It means fear of Friday the 13th.

Most of us have heard that Friday 13th is considered unlucky, but some people develop an actual phobia of the day.

Million of people in the UK have a phobia of some sort, but most are a bit more well known, like a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) or a fear of heights (acrophobia).

We all remember Gillian McKeith trying to face her phobias on I’m A Celeb!

Gillian fainted several times during trials on the show – and said she is phobic of spiders, insects and water.

A phobia is different to a fear. Phobias can be irrational and have a great impact on your life, while fears have a lesser impact.

In an argument with her fellow I’m A Celebrity contestant, Stacey Soloman, Gillian said: ‘You’re the classic person who doesn’t understand what a fear is versus a phobia. You don’t understand phobia, it’s like taking a person who can’t swim and throwing them in 10 feet of water and saying, “off you go, see if you can swim.”‘

More women than men are affected and nearly a quarter of people with a phobia think it affects their lives.

Phobias usually develop in late childhood and during your teens, although becoming phobic about something can happen at any time in your life.

What’s the difference between a fear and a phobia?

A phobia is a fear that becomes irrational and stops you living a normal life. For example, you might be scared of being stung by a bee because it’s painful but your fear wouldn’t stop you from going out in the garden. The fear becomes a phobia when just thinking about a bee or seeing a picture of a bee makes you feel anxious and you’d do anything to avoid a situation where there may be bees. You may also experience a panic attack.

Find out why we get phobias – but don’t worry, we won’t show any pictures of the things you’re scared of!