One of my highlights for 2010 was watching Gillian McKeith on I’m a Celebrity. Since the show, phobia’s have become a definite talking point. I have to admit some of the pests and situations she has had to deal with have left me freaked. But whether her reaction is genuine I cannot be sure. It is difficult to distinguish between a genuine phobia, and a person behaving particularly dramatically as a result of something they don’t like.
For me I hate rats! The thought of a rat absolutely terrifies me… but is it a phobia? I really don’t know.
A phobia is described as an anxiety disorder characterized by an extreme and irrational fear in regards to a particular object, situation, animal etc. I am terrified of rats so maybe my phobia is official.
There are a number of specific pest phobias as referred to in Ben’s blog ‘Phobias: pest fears and their scientific names’. I also found a phobia called Agrizoophobia which is a fear of wild animals as a result of the victims overestimating the danger of the creature. This is interesting, as I don’t think I over estimate the danger of a rat, nor is the danger factor really why I am terrified (although it probably adds to it). I just don’t like what they are, what they stand for, the way they look and the way they behave. Musophobia is the phobia of rodents; I would say I fit into this category. Although I have to admit, I still haven’t seen a rat close up. If I ever came across one, I do think my behaviour would be irrational, probably quite ridiculous and to be completely honest, very dramatic.
Lets put it this way, if I was sent blindfolded into a cave infested with rats and everything else; (like Gillian was) I am pretty sure I would flat out refuse to participate. If forced to do it, let’s face it I would scream, hyperventilate and possibly even faint. Despite the fact that I am definitely no celebrity, I wouldn’t stand a chance on ‘I’m a celebrity’. In fact I think I would possibly be even less popular than Gillian: I mean at least she had the smuggled garlic going for her.