Can’t even remember where I started, but this is where I wound up.
From the Wikipedia: List of Phobias.
The suffix -phobia, in psychiatry, is used to construct a word meaning a crippling, irrational fear of something. In common usage, it just means a strong dislike or hatred of something. The Wikipedia separates its list of phobias into five categories: Psychological phobias, non-psychological phobias, biological phobias, prejudices, and fictional phobias. Obviously a lot of the psychological phobias are serious conditions that we’ve all heard of, so I’ll skip most of them.
I don’t mean to make light of anyone’s mental-health condition, but several of the other psychological phobias seem eminently reasonable. For example: Algophobia, the fear of pain; atychiophobia, the fear of failure; hoplophobia, the fear of weapons or firearms; and necrophobia, the fear of death. Probably all of those seem rather tragic in their extreme forms, but certainly we all stand to benefit a bit from fearing pain, firearms, failure and death.
Other phobias seem alarmingly specific, like omphalophobia, the fear of belly buttons, and papaphobia, the fear of the Pope. The big difference between papaphobia and omphalophobia is that you kind of have to go out of your way to see the Pope, so if you fear him you’re pretty much in the clear unless you happen to live in the Vatican — a very awful place to be a papaphobe. But if you’re an omphalophobe and you were born of woman you’re more or less screwed.
Some terrifying-sounding self-perpetuating meta-phobias include chronophobia, the fear of time moving forward, panphobia, the fear of everything, and phobophobia, the fear of having a phobia.
Also of note is nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. C’mon, guy. Do you not remember, like, 1999?
Few of the biological phobias are interesting and all of the prejudices are just, you know, bigotry. Some of the fictional phobias are pretty funny but most aren’t as creative as you’d hope. Keanuphobia is exactly what it sounds like. Luposlipaphobia, coined by Gary Larson — perhaps the first person I ever recognized as funny — refers to the “fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor.”