10 Famous People with Really Weird Phobias


August 9th, 2010

No doubt your time in nursing school has introduced you to lots of weird conditions and diseases. But how many idiosyncrasies and phobias are you familiar with? Keep reading for 10 famous people who suffer from really weird phobias, and you may be able to more quickly diagnose some of your patients, or treat your own irrational fears.

  1. Christina Ricci: Little Christina Ricci was the cool chick from the ’90s, thanks to parts in The Addams Family, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Casper as a kid and teenager, and then she grew up to work on films like Prozac Nation and Penelope. We expect child stars to have issues, but Christina seems to have things mostly straightened out (barring an eating disorder she battled as a teenager). We were surprised, then, to learn about her botanophobia, or intense fear of houseplants. She thinks they’re dirty, and they “freak [her] out.”
  2. Pamela Anderson: She was discovered because of her outrageous hotness, but Pamela Anderson has eisoptrophobia, or a fear of mirrors. Anderson’s phobia is probably really a fear of seeing her own reflection of herself, since she can’t stand watching herself on TV, and even leaves the room if the channel isn’t changed. Maybe all that plastic surgery is just too much to handle?
  3. Kelly Osbourne: As a young reality TV star growing up with parents like Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, you know Kelly has some things she’d like to take up with her therapist, perhaps including her haphophobia. Haphophobia is the fear of being touched, and her brother Jack once said in an interview, “All you have to do is just touch her collarbone. It’s awesome, she starts dry-retching.”
  4. Billy Bob Thornton: We all know that Billy Bob Thornton is a pretty eccentric character who does what he wants. But he’s also plagued by numerous phobias, including two very weird ones: chromophobia and a fear of antique furniture. Thornton admitted that he’s “creeped out by old furniture,” and while it may not reduce him to a panic attack, he also has chromophobia, or the fear of bright colors. Maybe that’s why he and the monochromatic Angie stuck together for so long?
  5. David Beckham: David Beckham is a terrific athlete, a great dresser, and well, quite perfect-looking physically. Perhaps that can all be attributed to his ataxophobia, or fear of disorder. He’s said to line up soda cans a certain way in the refrigerator, and while we don’t wish him any obsessive compulsive anxiety, if that’s what’s behind his well-kempt appearance, it works for us.
  6. Madonna: Madonna’s always been a fearless femme fatale in our eyes, taking on everyone from the Catholic Church to Alex Rodriguez. But even kickboxing, leather corset-wearing megastars are afraid of thunderstorms: Madge is apparently a sufferer of brontophobia, the fear of thunder.
  7. Orlando Bloom: Orlando Bloom is just too cute for words, but the green-living British actor has a strange phobia: swinophobia. It’s the fear of pigs, and rumor has it that Orlando’s participation in the Animal Farm remake could be compromised because of it.
  8. Nicole Kidman: Lovely Nicole Kidman has admitted to suffering panic attacks when she steps out onto the red carpet, but she has another, ironic phobia: she’s afraid of butterflies. Who knew that something so delicate and ethereal could freak out, well, someone so delicate and ethereal?
  9. Matthew McConaughey: Come on, Matthew McConaughey isn’t afraid of anything, is he? Turns out, the outdoorsy guy is petrified of tunnels and revolving doors, saying that he gets anxious as soon as he sees the spinning doors.
  10. Kim Basinger: Actress Kim Basinger has put up with Alec Baldwin and Eminem, both of whom may have made her feel a little on the vulnerable side. Basinger has agoraphobia, which is the fear of open spaces, and, as People.com reports, “has twice confined her to home for six-month stints.” Side effects of agoraphobia include extreme shyness and a fierce need for privacy.

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