Triskaidekaphobia: The Fear of Number 13
I remember that afternoon when I was a young girl and my mother forced me and my siblings to go to sleep. She told us not to be noisy and not to create any noise. I asked her why and she said “, because today is Friday the 13th and today is the day that Jesus died. Bad things and bad people (or not) will take advantage of this day because our savior is dead.” I was scared. I went to sleep.
Triskaidekaphobia, the superstitious fear of number 13 came from the Greek words: “ tris” which means ‘three’; “kai” which means ‘and’; “deka” that means ‘ten’. It originates from the medieval time. There are many explanations regarding this phobia. According to some Christian traditions triskaidekaphobia, is linked to the Last Supper. There were thirteen people who had the Last Supper: the twelve apostles and Jesus. Judas was the no. thirteenth and they linked him with evil. Some Christians say that the notion of the fear of number thirteen is somewhat related to the death of Jesus on Friday the 13th. According to the Vikings mythology, Loki the mischievous 13th god who was related to fire and magic had crashed the god Odin’s party for his 11 friends. He then became the 13th guest. He engineered the death of one of the most beloved god, Balder. He was also the 13th guest who arrived in the funeral. Moreover, the Ancient Persians identify thirteen with chaos. They believed that the months of the year are controlled by the twelve zodiac signs and each zodiac signs controls the earth for thousands of year. In the end of their rule the earth and sky collapse. This belief is the reason why the Persians, during the thirteenth day of their calendar they leave their houses so to avoid bad luck.
Thus, from these beliefs the thirteenth day is related to bad luck and if thirteen people gather together one will die. This is the reason why buildings do not have thirteenth floors. Some skip thirteenth as a street number.
Triskaidekaphobia starts the moment a person hears the story or the superstitious belief regarding the number 13 or keeps on watching movies that relates the thirteen with bad luck or death and his subconscious attaches it with negative things and emotions. It could also be caused by a bad experience from the past or simply a product of the subconscious; Fear and anxiety then builds and the other symptoms.
Many people now developed triskaidekaphobia and its increasing cases have caught the attention of specialist. Some develop programs to help these people get over their irrational fear of the number thirteen because it has negative impact on one’s life. Treatment of triskaidekaphobia specifically involves overcoming the fear that involves reprogramming your mind. Some treatments includes hypnotherapy, Neuro-linguistic programming, energy psychology, and others. A specialist in psychology or psychiatry must be consulted to aid you through breaking the cycle of fear.
If you know you have this fear of the number thirteen or whenever you see or think of 13 you become nauseous, you have dry mouth, sweating, you feel cold and clammy, palpitate; your feet are weak that you have the need to take a seat or hold for support then my dear friend you better seek a professional’s help. Overcoming this won’t be easy but you have to and you must to for it will forever affect your life negatively.