written/donated by Todd Gutenberg

Let me put all this in layman's terms. Iíve gone through three hours of tests and exams and the basic answer youíve come up with is that Iím a hypochondriac. Meaning, whenever I hear of a new phobia, I get it. What I want to say is that Iím frustrated and angry on three levels: first is that you think youíre right, second is you think youíre the first one to come up with this hypothesis, and third is you put yourself above me and classify me to make yourself feel better. You think that Iím a hypochondriac and any fear I hear of, I get. Iím telling you that Iím not a hypochondriac, and I fear so much because thatís me.
Do you want to know what Iím afraid of? Of course you do. How Ďbout in alphabetical order? Letís see, Iím Aichmophobic, fear of needles, so I take medication orally. Algophobic, fear of pain, so Iím jumpier than a cat. Iím Basophobic, fear of walking and falling, so I travel by wheelchair. Iím Carcinophobic, fear of cancer, but then again, who isnít? Iím Claustrophobic, fear of confined spaces, but this custom made apartment seems to fix that. Iím Climacophobic, fear of falling downstairs, so this place is as flat as a pancake. Iím Leprophobic, fear of leprosy, but again, who isnít? Iím Misphobic, fear of contamination by germs, so this place has more air filters than a silicon laboratory. Iím Ochophobic, fear of vehicles, so Iíve never been in one. Iím Ophthalmophobic, fear of being stared at, so I only talk to two people at a time through this computer. Some people say, Iím soteriophobic, fear of dependence on others, but being locked in this apartment, Iíve no other choice, have I? Iím Thanatophobic, fear of dying, but so is every adult. And finally, Iím topophobic, fear of stage fright, so you know Iíve rehearsed this.
Iím Agoraphobic, fear of open, crowded places or leaving my apartment, so Iím terrified of going outside; while at the same time Iím Autophobic, fear of being alone, so Iím terrified of the opportunities Iím missing out there. And donít think that because Iím always alone that I donít have dementophobia, fear of insanity, which I canít do anything about. You are now thinking Iím panophobic, fear of everything, but Iím really polyphobic, fear of several things.
Now because Iím agoraphobic, which is afraid of being outside, I havenít been out in eight years. Iíve been in this apartment completely alone and have two umbilicals, my food line which is delivered once a week, care of the second umbilical, the Internet, which is the only proof of my existence.
So far, thatís eighteen fears that I listed, but donít worry thereís a dozen or so more. Now, Iíve wasted three hours of my sorry life in your testing to not only show something Iíve already heard, but something that isnít even right. Iím not a hypochondriac; I really do have these fears. You say I have them because I want problems in my life: I want attention, sympathy, or whatever to just get these problems to have them. Iím telling you that I really do have these fears because I have whatís called Phobophilia, which is the love of fear. I love it. I not only love it, I crave it and I need it and I want it so badly I canít get enough. If youíre saying that I want attention, Iím asking you: whoís attention? No one has been in my apartment for eight years, so Iím not getting anyoneís attention but my own. So to answer your question of why I fear, I fear because I have phobophilia, a love for fear.

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