Friday the 13th. It’s considered to be one of the unluckiest days of the year and also one of the most feared. While it can seem relatively harmless to believe in superstitions, there are many people throughout America who take Friday the 13th to a whole new level.
Friggatriskaidekaphobia is a long tongue-twister word that means a phobia of Friday the 13th. People who suffer from this phobia are not just superstitious; they have a morbid, intense, excessive and irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Superstition is more prevalent throughout America then some might think. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, approximately 17 to 21 million Americans suffer from this phobia.
People who suffer from this phobia strongly believe in all the superstitious beliefs about Friday the 13th. They have a sense of dread and anxiety leading up to the month that holds a Friday the 13th. The fear and anxiety from this phobia can be so great that people can even suffer physical symptoms by the time Friday the 13th rolls around.
Physical symptoms of Friggatriskaidekaphobia
- High anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Dry mouth
- Loss of control
Common Facts About Friggatriskaidekaphobia
There are many different beliefs as to why Friday the 13th has become such a feared day. For example, traditionally 12 is considered to be the number of completeness. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours in a day, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel and even 12 days of Christmas. So, the number 13 is considered a transgression, or going beyond completeness.
Also, Friday has been considered to be the unluckiest day of the week for numerous reasons. From a religious viewpoint, it’s considered unlucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. From a financial viewpoint, it’s unlucky because “Black Friday” has been associated with many stock market crashes.
People with Friggatriskaidekaphobia suffer feelings of panic, anxiety, fear and dread every time Friday the 13th rolls around. On the actual day, many people with Friggatriskaidekaphobia won’t do anything, not even leave their house. This results in an estimated $800 to $900 million that is lost in business each Friday the 13th due to cancelled appointments and absenteeism.
Treatment of Friggatriskaidekaphobia
There are treatments for this phobia and it’s possible to overcome this fear. One form of treatment is removing the mystery surrounding the date. Many people who suffer from this phobia are afraid of this day but don’t really know why. Learning more about the origins of the superstitions and dispelling the mysteries can help ease the fear.
Medication can be prescribed to help reduce anxiety. Another type of treatment is therapy. There are many different types of therapies that can help reduce the fear and phobia, and these therapies range from psychotherapy to meditation and relaxation techniques.
If you think you may suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia, then it’s time to seek help. This phobia can negatively affect a person’s life and can prevent them from doing everyday activities. Seeking help from a professional psychologist or psychiatrist can help you better understand yourself and this phobia. Getting help from a professional can help you overcome your fears and this phobia, and help you start living your life again.
- ABC news – 2. Information and statistics
- Fear of Stuff.com – What the treatment options are for this phobia and also what the physical symptoms are.