(NEW YORK) -- Whatever the origin, religious or secular, Friday, the 13th equals a paralyzing, debilitating fear for millions of Americans.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia, as coined by psychotherapist Donald Dossey of the Stress Management Center-Phobia Institute in Ashville, N.C., bedevils “people with blind, unreasoning fear of this day and date, as opposed to those who have a clear, reasonable fear of not being able to say that word,” according to the institute’s website.
Dossey tells patients, “Paraskevidekatriaphobia -- when you learn to pronounce it, you’re cured.”
Good luck with that feat of verbal dexterity, or with several other phobias that are as unpronounceable as the next. Here are a few:
-- Friday, the 13th scares up plenty of fodder by itself. Besides the aforementioned paraskevidekatriaphobia, there’s also an alternate spelling, paraskavedekatriaphobia. The same end-of-the-week anxiety is also called friggatriskaidekaphobia.
-- The abbreviated triskaidekaphobia might roll off the tongue with less twisting but is no easier to bear for people whose fears include the number 13, every day of the week.
-- Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is fear of “666.”
-- Gephyrophobia is the fear of bridges.
-- Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
-- Psellismophobia is the fear of stuttering.
-- Aichmophobia is the morbid fear of sharp objects.
-- Spheksophobia is the fear of wasps.
-- Sesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words, which has morphed into the contrived hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio