What is Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13?
Triskaidekaphobia is an unusual phobia in which a person develops fear of the numeric number 13. The person suffering from this type of fear tends to associate number 13 with something evil or threatening. People who develop triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 are referred as Triskaidekaphobes. A mere sight of this number is enough to trigger panic in a person suffering from Triskaidekaphobia. Some people can even develop anxiety by just thinking about this number. The people suffering from this phobia try to avoid going out of the house to school or office on every 13th day of the month as they fear that something bad may happen.
There is another severe form of this fear where triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 combines with the fear of Friday. It makes the fear worse. This type of fear is termed as Paraskevidekatriaphobia and the people facing this phobia are called as Paraskevidekatriaphobic. Any Friday with a date of 13 can develop an intense fear and panic in such people. The fear seems to have derived from the event of October 13th 1307 which was a Friday. On this day, King Philip IV carried out raids and arrested templar knights on charges of homosexuality and blasphemy. Several urban legends are also associated with the Friday that falls on 13th.
Some people also associate the fear of Friday with superstition as they believe that certain evils come out specifically on Friday as Lord Jesus’ crucifixion happened on the same day. People try to avoid activities such as buying lottery and gambling on this day as they believe that it is an unlucky day. The facts and figures suggest that the triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 is absurd as there are numerous incidents of people winning millions of dollars in lottery and gambling on the same day.
Moreover, there are some cultures in the world where children born on 13th are considered to have good fortune. Moreover, there are many festivals and celebrations associated with same day in various cultures. Brazil is probably the only country where Friday the 13th is thought to be unlucky and harmful for some reasons. Thus, we have seen that there are all types of thoughts (positive as well as negative) are popular among the world about the triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13.
Causes of Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13
Although, there is a large segment of people who are very well aware of their condition but still finds in very difficult to overcome their triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13. Experts have proved that systematic and logical thinking is limited and sometimes it is not enough to overcome this unusual fear.
- One of the main causes of people developing triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 is the events mentioned in bible that occurred on this specific date. One such event is the betrayal of Judas to Lord Jesus that led to his death.
- In the modern world, some airlines and hotels seem to increase the triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 in the minds of the people by avoiding this number while assigning numbers to rooms or floors.
- Any traumatic event occurred on 13th day of the month can also cause a permanent fear of this number in the mind.
- Watching news on television or reading in newspapers about any traumatic event on 13th day of the month can also trigger this change in the normal behavior.
- People suffering from some other phobias such as Thanatophobia, Agoraphobia etc… can also gradually develop this fear of number 13.
Symptoms of Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13
Triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 can result into all types of symptoms including physical, mental and emotional. The thoughts of the event keep repeating in the mind of the person.
- Tendency to avoid anything and everything that is associated to number 13 in any way.
- Feeling of anxiety or fear when exposed to a sight or even thought of number 13.
- Abnormal behavior surrounded by fear all the time without any reason.
- Some other symptoms of triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 include pain in chest, increased heart rate, trembling, shaking, nervousness etc…
Treatment for Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13
The triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 basically resides in the mind of the person. Thus, all the treatment options focus on getting rid of the fear from the mind of the person.
- Some counselors use hypnotism to get into the subconscious mind of the person to find out about any event that possibly resulted into triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13. This gives him a chance to get rid of the negative memories of that event.
- Another way to treat triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 is by asking the patients to confront their fear by discussing about it and writing the same.
- There are certain effective techniques such as Yoga, deep breathing and meditation that are very helpful is getting rid of the beliefs of triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13.
- Drugs and other medications can also be used to suppress the symptoms of triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 temporarily but does not serve as the permanent solution. Also, the use of medications on long term can cause certain side-effects.
- Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is an advanced way of treating triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13. In this method, some new neural pathways are created in the brain to manipulate the ugly memories of an event that has triggered the fear of number 13. Thus, when the person is exposed to the same situation in the future, there are no memories to trigger any fear or trauma.
Risk Factors for Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13
The following factors can increase the risk of developing triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13:
- Children who are less than 10 years old have higher risk of developing triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13.
- If you watch someone behaving abnormally to a situation of object again and again, there are chances that you can also develop the same fear in your behavior. Thus, there is a high risk of developing triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 if you have someone in the family suffering from this phobia.
- Your attitude and your sensitivity to situations can also make you an easy candidate of triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13.
- Confronting a traumatic situation can sometimes result into the fear to those situations or objects involved in the scene.
Prevention of Triskaidekaphobia or Fear of Number 13
If there are children in your home, they can easily develop the same fear of triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 by looking at your behavior. Thus, it becomes essential to get treated for your fears as soon as possible to prevent the fear from spreading into your child’s belief. You can seek psychological help from a counselor to get rid of the fear out of your mind and learn to face your fears. However, triskaidekaphobia or fear of number 13 is not transferred genetically from parents into the children.