At Bourke Accounting, we don’t really exhibit any exotic phobias. While we may be a little quirky over here, we’re not going to keep any psychologists riveted. While I suspect that Bookkeeper Christina might be suffering from atychiphobia (fear of failure), that’s kind of a good thing, as she’s a perfectionist in a specialized career. Also, her (alleged and Sue-diagnosed) phobia doesn’t seem to negatively affect her life.
Some phobias make sense. Vaguely fearing things that can actually harm us, like heights (acrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia) and disease (nosophobia), are simply primitive self-preservation skills with fancy names. The problem arises, obviously, when these phobias take over and disrupt one’s capabilities to live life. While some phobias have been normalized in our culture, there are some that just have me bumfuzzled:
1. Omphalophobia. This is the deep-seated fear of belly buttons – one’s own and everyone else’s. Many sufferers live in constant fear that there’s a possibility of belly buttons coming “unraveled” and dumping internal organs on the sidewalk. While, logically, they are aware that this can’t happen, it doesn’t stop the dread. These people will avoid places where navels are likely to be displayed and, if they happen to be surprised by an outie, they are overwhelmed with “panic, horror or terror” (Healthline.com).
2. Arachibutyrophobia. This one is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. It doesn’t really have anything to do with peanuts themselves, but more the weird feeling of having to scrape something out of one’s mouth. In addition, psychologists believe that it’s closely related to pseudodysphagia (fear of choking) and, generally, is caused by either an unfortunate incident with a PB&J sandwich or possibly even an early experience with food allergies (Verywellmind.com).
3. Ergophobia. Fear of work. No, really. Okay, I’m sensitive, but let me call BS on this one for cause: I had a friend who was on disability benefits because she suffered from ergophobia. She couldn’t work because getting up early, being told what to do, showing up every single day, being on time and being around people caused anxiety and depression. Oddly, she had no problem going to crowded bars or being punctual for concerts. Maybe this is a legitimate diagnosis for some people, but I haven’t met them and I remain skeptical.
4. Amaxophobia. The fear of driving. This one is real! For people with amaxophobia, like my good self, a quick jaunt to the grocery store fills us with pure, unadulterated terror. What if I get lost? What if I hit another car? What if I hit a squirrel? I have been in one accident and it was so minor that it wasn’t even lightly traumatic. I have no idea when or why I developed this phobia. Bookkeeper Christina is trying to help me in her no-nonsense way, though. When an errand must be run, she sweetly requests my assistance, provides an address and very specific directions. She knows my pride will generally overrule my fear.
Anyone living with a phobia knows how truly awful they can be. Thankfully, there are a lot of treatment options available. Some therapists will help the sufferer to discover and come to terms with the early traumas that might have caused the phobia. Other therapists use exposure therapy, where they gently and gradually introduce the phobia causing object to the patient (this is pretty much what Christina is attempting with me). If you have a phobia, there is help out there and we can get through this.
If you have arithmophobia (fear of math), Bourke Accounting is the place to be. Your Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer will keep all those bad numbers away and do all the work for you! No matter what esoteric phobia you live with, your Bourke Accounting pro can make your life easier and better. And remember to ask Bookkeeper Christina for an exposure therapy plan to fit your needs!
Written by Sue H.