I grew up with a somewhat irrational and misunderstood phobia which affected social situations for me from as young as I can remember; that phobia being Globophobia.
Globaphobia is the fear of balloons or the fear of balloons popping, some people can’t even look, smell or touch a balloon without feeling anxious. Birthday parties were a little traumatic for me and what I hated the most was balloon modelling – the noise of latex being twisted and scraped was like fingernails down a chalkboard for me. It still makes me recoil thinking of those noises to be honest.
I can’t pinpoint a specific event to result in this phobia but according to my mum I was really sensitive to loud noises from birth. Dogs barking, buses driving past and police car sirens would result in a lot of tears. Fast forward to starting school and the inevitable birthday parties every other weekend. If I arrived at the party and there were balloons I clung onto my parents for dear life – I did not want them near me for fear of them popping. Other children would be queuing excitedly for their balloon dog whereas I would be on the other side of the room to get away from the noise.
Growing up a lot of people didn’t understand which was hard for me, especially being a child and not really knowing how to express yourself. The symptoms of my phobia included sweating, trembling and a risen heartbeat, not dissimilar to other phobias. I was ok if I was the one in control and handling the balloons, but put me in a room of children hitting each other with them and I would panic.
Where am I now? Luckily I seem to have mostly grown out of this phobia, however I can still feel a little on edge now and then if I see a loose balloon bouncing down the gravel pavement just waiting to burst. Do you have a lesser-known phobia? Share your story below 🙂