Being afraid of fear itself … and worse yet, being afraid of being afraid of fear itself. I could go on and on but I won’t and aren’t you glad?

I just discovered that Wikipedia, my favorite source, lists phobophobia as a fear of phobias — the fear of fear itself. I made it up on the spur of the moment yesterday thinking I was terribly clever. Now I feel cheated. Somebody made it up before me. How unjust can life and literature be? Is there a phobia for that? Can I make one up? Will Wikipedia include it on their master list of phobias?

Fear According to Savage Chickens

I am afraid of being afraid … and afraid of being afraid of being afraid. Or is it fear of being thought to be afraid? Anyway, that would be phobophobophobia.

My fear of being afraid of fear ignites my courage, so to prove that I am not really afraid of fear or the fear of fear, I will do anything and everything, including incredibly dangerous and stupid stuff.

Does that mean I’m brave?

I’m not sure. I’m confused. I will not really do anything and everything to prove I’m fearless. Unless it’s a double-dog-dare. That changes everything. Beside, my personal history of bad decisions speaks for itself.

Okay, maybe I would. Under the right (whatever they are) circumstances.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. One of my life’s mottos is try it to see if it works. If it doesn’t they forget it. At the last phase of my existence I have decided that my main fright is to fall, because I know getting up is becoming a problem. Otherwise what is the point. I am not afraid of maggots, they are just my big insect problem and nauseate me. Thank goodness I do not see them often. Am I afraid of one day being on my own – no, not really. Even that will be overcome somehow.


    1. Falling is getting to be a big issue for me, too. I trip over my own feet. I don’t wear shoes in the house. I wear socks with little rubbery things on the bottom to keep me from slipping. Outside, I wear flats … but sometimes I fall over them, too. I have to be REALLY careful how I walk. I was wearing my boots which have heels on them. Big blocky heels — nothing pointy. Walking in them absolutely KILLED me. Going out isn’t a whole lot of fun these days.


  2. For any trivia enthusiast, a study of a list of “official” names of strange and bizarre phobias is one of the basics. My question always is….. who makes up these strange phobia prefixes? Is there some official governing body of phobia experts who have the authority to create new words to describe fears of just about anything? Does this panel also work with the Collective Noun Consortium to invent those stupid names for bunches of a certain animal? How do I find work like this, and does it pay well? And speaking of… why has the pane apparently not come up with a word yet for the fear of asking questions? Slackers…


    1. The word I’ve found is “phrontistery” which is essentially “a place for thinking.” But there are a couple of blogs that are full listings of the various phobias, all 562 of them including But who defined the phobias? I have to think it’s the same people who put together those books where we can look up what mental disease from which we are suffering. You know, so you can discover you’ve got “borderline personality disorder,” but for sure your mom was a narcissist.

      As far as I can tell, there’s no official name for the definer of phobias, so the job is available to anyone. Even you! You could make one up every week. Imagine that.


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