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Face Your Fears

Lynda Moyo is scared of spiders but at least she doesn’t have to eat alone

Written by . Published on September 27th 2011.

Face Your Fears

BACK in my high school days, a friend of mine got the words ‘No Fear’ tattooed on his arm.

Sadly, he wasn’t making any kind of political statement at the age of 16. It was simply the slogan for an extreme sports clothing brand that was popular in the mid-1990s. I’ve since heard he’s had ‘No Regrets’ tattooed underneath it, but I digress...

"If you like walking and you’re afraid of cows, it’s not a very easy combination. I tend to stick to the walls.

This week is ‘Face Your Fears Week’ and given that one in six UK adults live with anxiety and an estimated 37 per cent are more anxious than they used to be, it’s turning out to be a worrying week.

Take the Confidential office for example. Over on our news desk, cotton wool and sponges appear to be a sore point with our news editor and our copywriter (a lover of the great outdoors) admits she has an irrational fear of cows.

She said: “If you like walking, like I do, and you’re afraid of cows, it’s not a very easy combination. I tend to stick to the walls.”

Taurophobia- Fear Of CowsTaurophobia - Fear Of Cows

We’ve also got a receptionist who gets a sweat on at the thought of wooden cutlery. In fact, cutlery in general seems to be a cause for concern for her.

“I can’t make my mouth fully touch a spoon, if you know what I mean” she said. Not really, no. But it's the wide variety of fears that makes the anxiety statistics so high.

While there are many common phobias such as spiders and heights (those two are mine), people can literally be scared of anything from deipnophobia (a fear of dinner conversations) to sciophobia (a fear of your own shadow). I’ll take a few spider scares over a life of solitary dining any day.  

Despite the high number of people affected by it, anxiety remains something of a taboo subject, according to Anxiety UK, the largest anxiety disorders charity in the UK, with many sufferers living in fear of people knowing of their anxiety.

Admittedly, there are some strange phobias out there and new ones are cropping up all the time (for example, nomophobia: a fear of being out of mobile phone contact) but what makes them all the same is the fact that the fear is illogical.

Nomophobia - Fear Of Being Out oF Mobile Phone ContactNomophobia - Fear Of Being Out Of Mobile Phone Contact

During Face Your Fears Week (25 September – 1 October 2011) people all over the country are being encouraged to challenge their fears and phobias. The charity is running a programme of challenge events during the week, including an abseil at the Trafford Centre’s bell tower, treetop adventures, skydives and mountain treks – all designed to help end the restrictions that phobias have placed on individual’s lives and raise awareness of anxiety.

Anxiety UK chief executive Nicky Lidbetter said: “Facing your fears, especially if it is something that gives you great anxiety, is a well documented way to overcome them. Face Your Fears Week also gives participants who are not affected by anxiety a chance to experience a tiny percentage of the fear that many live with on a daily basis.”

Anyone can take part in Face Your Fears Week by taking part in organised challenges or creating a challenge that is personal to them.

To find out more and register your challenge, email faceyourfears@anxietyuk.org.uk, ring 08444 775 774 or visit www.anxietyuk.org.uk/face-your-fears

Nomophobia: fear of being out of mobile phone contact

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AnonymousSeptember 27th 2011.

Dont want to say (or thnk) the actual word but its known as podophobia.

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