I believe i have 2 big irrational fears i'm dealing with in my life: the fear of big birds and the fear of dead animals. Which are called Ornithophobia and Necrophobia.
Technically speaking, an irrational fear is called a phobia. Except that in my situation, phobia seems always a bit too extreme considering what i feel.
As you all know already, i have had this fear of birds since i was about 15 years old when a pheasant attacked me. Since then, i am dreading big colourful birds, pheasants of course topping the list but closely followed by peacocks, parrots and roosters. You can say whatever you want about these birds, that they have beautiful colors and stuff, it doesnt make them any less dreadful to me. If they are in their natural environment, i am ok. Seeing a parrot in a tree doesnt bother me (even though i will most likely keep an eye on it, just in case). But seeing a parrot swagging on the floor, or a rooster perched on a tree, i seriously start to freak out. Same if i have to walk pass in front of a parrot's cage. I dont mind pigeons, sparrows, crows or swallows as long as they're flying or in the trees. If they dare to get inside my house, it's panick attack.
Ornithophobia can cause the following symptoms: breathlessness, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control or a full blown anxiety attack.
As i said, it's not THAT bad but yeah, sweaty hands and heart palpitations, inability to think clearly if i have to get a bird out of my house or losing control are some of MY symptoms.
Now about necrophobia. This is what the dictionary says about it:
Necrophobia is the abnormal fear of dead things (e.g., corpses) as well as things associated with death (e.g., coffins, tombstones).
Symptoms include: shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth and shaking, feeling sick and uneasy, psychological instability, and an altogether feeling of dread and trepidation. The sufferer may feel this phobia all the time, or only when something triggers the fear, like a close encounter with a dead animal or the funeral of a loved one or friend. The fear may have developed when a person witnessed a death, or was forced to attend a funeral as a child. Some people experience this after viewing frightening media.
To clear things up a little, i don't mind coffins, or tombstones or dead people. I am not scared of dying or scared of death either. I just truly mind dead animals. And i only feel it when something triggers the fear i.e. seeing a dead animal body.
Now my big question is, considering that a phobia only develops after a traumatizing event (the attack of the pheasant for my ornithophobia), what on earth did trigger my necrophobia? I havent witnessed an animal getting killed. I have had pets dying in my hands or arms but not been grossed out or scared and even digged a grave for them. So what has?
What i do know though, is that i can't stand watching an animal being abused or one that has been beaten to a pulp or one that is more than obviously unhealthy. I just cant. And that's what happened with that puppy dog i found in front of my house some time last summer. I just couldnt deal with it.
My "phobias" are not as bad as it could be. I once met a girl who's arachnophobia (fear of spiders) was so severe that she couldnt even touch or look at a picture of a spider. And my trypanophobia (fear of needles) never prevented me from getting blood samples or tattoes.
Needless to say that "Birds" is for me the ultimate scary movie. And maybe i'm just understanding now why i've been so uneasy during the entire movie of "Black Swan"...
I guess we're all screwed up in our own peculiar ways ...