Castleton students share their phobias

With their red puffy hair, pale face and mischievous grin, it’s no wonder clowns can be terrifying to some. To fear is human nature; we’re all afraid of something whether it be clowns, spiders, snakes or even the dark.

But imagine a fear so strong that it actually has an everlasting impact on your life? That kid you just walked by on the way to geology, well he’s secretly afraid of chopsticks. Crazy, right?

Every day you walk by someone with a head full of secrets, but what if you could expose the phobias of everyone around you? The students and staff of Castleton University gave insight on the weird phobias that have affected their lives.

Sam Green, video broadcast technician for Media Services and communication department, mentioned her phobia and how it culminated.

“I have a very deep fear of being choked. I watch a lot of Law and Order and if somebody has gotten their throat cut…I’m getting chills thinking about it. It’s so bad that there was an incident when I was in high school, we were doing archery on the front lawn for gym class and one of my friends jokingly came up behind me and fake choked me. I did karate all through high school, I literally blacked out, I don’t know what happened but I did break his nose,” she said.

Sophomore Maddison Baldwin admitted how television has intertwined with her phobia and made it more prominent.

“I’m deathly afraid of being tased. I think I just watch too much television and movies. It’s something I’ve seen way too much of. I don’t believe I’ll ever get over it just because it’s pretty traumatic,” she said.

She continued to mention another phobia that triggered from an unsettling experience that she had during her childhood.

“I’m very terrified of birds, which happened because I’ve been attacked by a number of birds including a turkey. It landed on me and stuck its talons into my back. It’s just something I’ll never get over,” Baldwin said.

Freshman Rachel Scuderi also mentioned a phobia that came to life during her childhood.

 “I’m afraid of thunder storms. I was caught in a hurricane in Florida when I when I was a baby and ended up giving my mom a black eye because I head butted her. I even had to go to therapy because my fear was so strong,” Scuderi said.

But senior Audrey Wostal has a phobia that most would probably consider really abnormal.

“I have a phobia of ketchup. I’ve had this phobia my whole life; I don’t think there’s one specific event that triggered me to be afraid of ketchup. I think I’ve definitely gotten better, especially since I’ve been at college I’ve gotten a lot better with it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally over it, or at the point where I want to eat it or something like that,” she said.

Senior Nate Marden has a distaste that tops all.

“I don’t like belly buttons because they’re gross and it’s weird when someone gets touched in the belly button. It makes me jump, it’s a nasty feeling,” he said as his shoulders cringed.

He continued to talk about his utter dislike towards belly buttons.

“When someone pokes me in the belly button I feel like they’re going to poke into my stomach. My mom didn’t like them so I ended up not liking them either. My dislike isn’t nearly as bad now; I don’t mind if I see them now, I just don’t want anyone poking me in the belly button. I don’t consider it a phobia, it’s just gross,” Marden said.

Phobias, by definition, are strong fears that pose little or no danger.  They’re considered an anxiety disorder. According to Psych Central, Dr. John Grohol’s mental health website that includes treatment information and symptoms, approximately 4 to 5 percent of the U.S. population has one or more clinically significant phobias in a given year.

What are you afraid of?

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