Keep calm and carry on

Posted on Mar 03 2017 in From the Editor

By Emily Schilling

Screaming. shaking. weeping. hiding. It could be another Monday morning.

Or perhaps it’s something more. One million Americans suffer from panic attacks each month. One in 75 Americans experience a panic disorder sometime in their lifetime.

Although debilitating fear is not something I would choose to celebrate, someone decided to do just that. Not only is March 9 National Panic Day; June 18 is International Panic Day. Two days devoted to ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and whatever else gets us hyperventilating!

We all have fears — some quite rational while some don’t make sense at all. Mine generally involve heights: gephyrophobia (fear of crossing bridges), batophobia (fear of heights or being close to high buildings), and aeroacrophobia (fear of open high places). Oh, there’s also katsaridaphobia (fear of cockroaches) which was intensified in college when I shared an apartment with several thousand of the little critters who preferred traveling en masse across the kitchen floor.

If I thought my problems were bad, I need look no further than The Phobia List, an online compilation of over 500 phobias, most very specific and unpronounceable. For instance, arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Sesquipedalophobia and Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia are two long words that mean the fear of long words. Nyctohylophobia is the fear of dark wooded areas at night. That one makes a lot of sense to me. I’ll add that to my list of fears!

Seems there’s a yin and yang to fears: A fear of things to the left side of your body (levophobia) and a fear of those to your right (dextrophobia). Some fear marriage (gamophobia), some fear staying single (anuptaphobia). Others are afraid of standing (stasibasiphobia), and some fear sitting (thaasophobia).

In FDR’s first inaugural speech, given March 4, 1933, he proclaimed, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fearing fear? That’s phobophobia.

My advice to you on March 9: Keep calm and carry on. My advice to me: Stay away from tall buildings!

EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Electric Consumer