Are You Paraskavedekatriapobic?

2009 will be a long year for those who suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th. This year will have Friday the 13th occurring 3 times, once in February, March and again in November. Paraskayedekatriaphobics only have to worry this often, three times a year, every 11 years.

Friday the 13th has long been considered a day of bad luck. Tall buildings often skip the 13th floor, hospitals and apartments often omit room #13, a long running horror flick has adopted Friday the 13th as it’s title, all adding to the belief that a certain day is infused with bad luck. For some of us Friday the thirteen is a convenient rationalization for all that may go wrong that day but for a few it is day that is hard to face all together.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the official diagnosis for those who suffer a certain level of fear of Friday the 13th and the legends of the bad luck it brings. Like many phobias, possible symptoms of paraskavedekatriaphobia may include breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to think clearly, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or a full-blown anxiety attack. Treatment for paraskavedekatriaphobia can start with your doctor or therapist. Like many phobias the fear of Friday the 13th may have varying levels and each individual is unique.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia is sometimes referred to as Friggatriskaidekaphobia, also an irrational fear of Friday the thirteenth. Another phobia that goes hand in hand with paraskavedekatriaphobia is triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13.

Have you ever cancelled plans, called in sick to work, stayed in bed because of the date? Is Friday the 13th truly an unlucky day to be feared? It is if you believe it is. This author has never experienced anything further than my usual and ongoing bad luck on this day. On the flip side there are rebels out there, people who are embracing 13 as a lucky number. I suppose much like Friday the 13th being unlucky for some, number 13 can be lucky… if you believe it is!


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Molly Buckle
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Posted on Feb 17, 2009
Amanda Bradbury
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Posted on Feb 13, 2009