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Misophonia and 14 other real conditions you never knew had names

Our bodies are capable of doing some pretty strange things, and sometimes, it’s hard to describe what’s going on to other people. But that’s why we have scientists — to come up with crazy words to describe the indescribable. 

Take the word misophonia for example. No, it has nothing to do with hating miso soup. It actual means the hatred of sound, or the condition of having negative reactions to certain sounds. My fiancé has misophonia specifically with the sounds people make when they eat. Even when I think I’m chewing really quietly, he looks like someone is scratching on a chalkboard. Although it may seem silly, it’s a real condition over which he has little to no control.

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There are many more unusual conditions like misophonia that you probably didn’t realize had such cool words to describe them. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Onychophagia

This is the scientific word for the everyday habit of nail-biting. Although it is one of the most common conditions in the world, if you do it obsessively, you might want to see a doctor about it. Aversion therapy, such as applying nasty-tasting nail polish, is sometimes implemented as a form of treatment.

2. Paruresis

Simply put, paruresis means pee stage fright. If you have trouble peeing in public restrooms, you might suffer from it. It tends to affect men more than women (urinals are less private after all). Treatment usually involves therapy and graduated exposure to peeing in public restrooms.

3. Katagelasticism

This is the impossible-to-say term used to describe schadenfreude, or getting pleasure out of other’s misfortune. If you want a less difficult descriptor, you could just call the person with the condition a jerk.

4. Alexithymia

Ever get really frustrated with your significant other because they’re not communicating with you during an emotional time? Well, it turns out that may not just be a “guy thing.” There’s actually a condition called alexithymia, which makes it difficult for people to express or understand emotions. Eight out of 10 people suffer from it, and not surprisingly, the vast majority of them are men.

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5. Rhinotillexomania

Obsessive nose-picking. If this becomes a body-focused repetitive behavior, it’s best to seek therapy because you may end up doing damage to your nose.

6. Mucophagy

Eating the mucus or boogers you pick. This one often goes hand in hand with the condition above.

7. Arachibutyrophobia

Absolute best one on this list — it means fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

8. Paresthesia

That itching or tingling sensation you get when your foot falls asleep.

9. Crapulous

I will be using this word this weekend. It means the nasty, nauseated feeling you get when you eat or drink too much. Believe it or not, it dates back to the 1530s.

10. Peladophobia

Peladophobia is the fear of bald people, and it is, not surprisingly, suffered most by bald people or people going bald.

11. Dentophobia

Fear of dentists. This one’s for my dad (who’s an oral surgeon).

12. Coulrophobia

That’s right. There’s actually a word for the fear most everyone feels: the fear of clowns.

13. Lockiophobia

Fear of childbirth. This one has become increasingly common.

14. Medomalacuphobia

The fear of losing an erection. I don’t know one guy who hasn’t experienced this at one time or another.

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