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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Memo to Christian Psychologists
By Jan Ackerson


Christian clinical psychologists and counselors should note this addendum to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Listed below are some common Christian phobias, along with brief descriptions and, in some cases, the prognosis.

Boredboardophobia—This extreme fear of boredom at board meetings manifests most frequently at home in the minutes immediately preceding the meeting. Patients demonstrate a reluctance to leave the house, accompanied by whimpering, pouting, and stamping of the feet.

Campfirophobia—Most clinicians will be sympathetic toward this fear, which is characterized by an adverse reaction to the song “Kumbaya.” Symptoms range from mild nausea to the urge to run screaming from the room.

Codaphobia—This is seen most often in people with personality types that are resistant to change. Codaphobics are afraid of contemporary Christian music, particularly those songs with several repeats. They may exhibit pursed lips, furrowed brows, and clenched hands. (See also pitsophobia and wesleycrosbyphobia, below.)

Dropinophobia—Fear of unannounced pastoral visits. Sufferers of this condition may be seen tossing magazines under throw pillows and frantically scooping music and movies of dubious spiritual value into closets at the approach of visiting clergy.

Globophobia—Pronounced with a long “o”, globophobia is the all-consuming fear that one may be called to missions. As epitomized by the song “Please Don’t Send Me To Africa,” some who are afflicted by this condition have been known to doodle through entire missionary slideshows, and to attempt to alleviate their symptoms by means of substantial monetary contributions.

Jellophobia—Interestingly, this fear of potluck dinners has a companion condition known as jellomania (love of same). Sufferers of jellophobia have been known to attend fellowship dinners to which they contribute only a bag of potato chips, and to leave the buffet line with only a plate of those chips and a cup of red Kool-aid. Despite the name, may also be triggered by repeated exposure to meatloaf or broccoli casserole.

Mahlimushiphobia—Taken from Numbers 3:20, this phobia is defined by a fear of reading complicated passages of Scripture aloud. Of particular concern are passages such as the tribal lists in Numbers (hence the name) and the genealogies in Matthew.

Malachiphobia—Also known as tenthophobia, this is the fear of tithing one’s income. Persons with this condition are extremely gifted at rationalization. This phobia is exceptionally resistant to therapy.

Nivophobia—Fear of using any translation of the Bible other than the one most familiar to the phobic. Patients manifest a sense of unease, sometimes leading to extreme agitation when hearing familiar verses in unfamiliar versions.

Olordophobia—Patients with this malady fear being asked to pray aloud in public. Symptoms include mumbling, stammering, rapid heartbeat, and clammy hands. This is a minor phobia which often resolves with repeated exposure to the phobia-inducing stimulus.

Pewnophobia—Perhaps the most common phobia on this list, pewnophobia is the fear of having to sit in the front pew. A closely related condition is the fear of arriving at church to find someone else sitting in one’s usual seat. Symptoms include anxiety and irritability, and in extreme cases the phobic person will simply leave the premises.

Pitsophobia—Seen most often in members of liturgical denominations, this is the fear of raising one’s hands or arms in worship. Sufferers may be seen with their arms pressed closely to their sides, glancing around uneasily, clearly uncomfortable at the attitudes of worship in non-pitsophobics. Those undergoing therapy may occasionally lift one hand briefly to waist level.

Savophobia—This may be the most seriously debilitating phobia on the list. Patients with this phobia are afraid of witnessing, and they may be recognized by their uncanny similarity to non-Christians. Avoidance, rationalization, and conformity are common manifestations of savophobia.

Vibsophobia—Although the name of this condition is derived from VBS, it is an umbrella term encompassing those with the fear of working with children in any church setting. Patients cite many contributing sub-fears: runny noses and dirty diapers top the list, which also includes questions I don’t know the answer to.

Wesleycrosbyphobia—The fear of singing hymns. Ironically, this condition is often found in families where codaphobia (300.29.03) is also present, most frequently in persons of different generations. In such a family, the prospect for resolution of both phobias is extremely grim.

Christian clinicians are advised to familiarize themselves with this list so as to recognize the symptoms in their clients, always remembering the most effective and proven therapy—perfect love casts out fear.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2000) is published by the American Psychological Association. This addendum is entirely fictional.

“Please Don’t Send Me To Africa”, © Scott Wesley Brown, 1995

1 John 4:18 (NIV)

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 1833 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dawn Thomason08/30/07
Your entry is absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, I think I suffer from a few of these maladies. :) Nicely done and thoroughly enjoyable.
Sandra Fischer 08/30/07
Covetophobia - what other Faithwriters may dread when reading such a clever and well-written challenge. Exellent!
Dee Yoder 08/30/07
I know I suffer from a few of these, but I'm afraid to reveal my weaknesses to other Christians, so I won't tell which ones I have. Very clever, right down to the "code" numbers!
Rhonda Clark08/30/07
This is absolutely adorable. Being a psych major, I'm familiar with the DSM. I laughed all the way through this. I have a couple of people I know for sure will get a copy of this--one is my pastor, the other is a Christian therapist.
Kristen Hester08/31/07
I, too,suffer from a few listed but like Dee will not reveal which ones. EXCELLENT, funny, a complete delight!
Lynda Schultz 08/31/07
I thought you were kidding about the "Please Don't Send Me To Africa" song! You should add to that phobia that one of the other symptoms is absenting oneself from missions conferences. Exceptionally good.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/31/07
This hilarious piece is absolutely delightful, a favorite, for sure. I laughed at all of them, well maybe the ones that didn't hit me! When I saw NIVOPHOBIA, I thought of a sermon my daughter heard in which an elderly preacher said that to read anything but the King James was a sin--you know the version Jesus read.
Dianne Janak08/31/07
I loved this piece! Why do I think I know this person? My name is Dianne... I am a fanophobic of this writer's piece, and need a support group, or I may stop trying to write, as there is NO way, I can come up with stuff this good.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/01/07
Brilliant! I absolutely love this.
Joanne Sher 09/01/07
This is absolutely classic. I actually worked with the DSM in a former job, and your wording was just right. And yes, I am a sufferer as well. I loved reading every word.
JoAnne Potter09/01/07
Fabulous! I sent it to my pastor and expect to hear some of these in a sermon soon.
valerie chambers09/01/07
This is ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR---The best I've read so far and strikingly funny.SUPERB!!!!
Tammy Johnson09/03/07
Delightful! I am on my way to share it with my Pastor hubby.

Very creative!
Sherrie Jackson09/03/07
"Olordophobia," right here! See? I admitted it. :-P

Brilliant as always. I actually have to get a copy of the DSM soon so this was a pure delight to read before the heavy stuff comes. Thanks for the laughter. Good luck!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/03/07
Well, hopefully you don't have winnophobia because this one is definitely a contender this week! Absolutely priceless. So creative and well written. Loved it!
Laurie Walker09/03/07
I think I'm in love...with your writing! This was one of the funniest things I've ever read. I hope I can write like you when I grow up.
Jacquelyn Horne09/03/07
You've been reading my mail! You know me so well.
Pat Guy 09/03/07
Oh Jan ... you've done it again. I have my favorites but am afraid to mention them for fear of being labled. Tehe (Labelphobia?)

Priceless! A classic!
Laury Hubrich 09/03/07
Jan -- this is wonderful! I'm sure lots of F.W.'s ministers will be sharing some of your definitions in their sermons all across the U.S. Spectacular!
Patty Wysong09/03/07
'Super' doesn't even begin to describe this! I've gotta share this one! :-) Hugs!
Sheri Gordon09/03/07
I love it! God blessed you with an extra dose of cleverness. Dropinophobia made me laugh out loud -- 'cause you know there are way too many "church" people who fall into that category. (I guess I better look around my house and make sure that's not me.)

Another wonderful, highly original story -- as usual. Great job with the topic.
Tracy Walshaw09/04/07
This was so creative and fun! And it really hit home, too! I think I'm really "sick" and may need professional help! Great job!
George Parler 09/05/07
Hilarious and fearfully true. I loved this. Good job.
Dara Sorensen09/05/07
LOL! I love it!

Personally, I know I am suffering from Vibsophobia--after a few months working in a nursery every other week, I definitely know I have this condition! :-P
Myrna Noyes09/05/07
So very, very imaginative and clever! I thank you for the good laugh with which to begin my day! Excellent job, as always! :)
Pam Carlson-Hetland09/05/07
You always amaze me with your creativity! I laughed hard at this. Been cured of some of these, still working on others. Absolutely excellent!
LaNaye Perkins09/05/07
I love your sense of humor! I also seem to have a couple of these phobias as well! YIKES! Well done!
Betty Castleberry09/05/07
While I was gone the last few days, I had just a few minutes on the computer. I skimmed through entries and read the most interesting ones, but didnt' have time to comment. Now I'm coming back to one of those I really enjoyed. Very well done, and a fun read.
Gregory Kane09/11/07
Excellent, witty and insightful. Surprised you didn’t play around with a FaithWriters submitaphobia or the like! Small niggle in that I would have liked you to develop your end theme on love as the prescribed cure – could make a pleasing contrast to the medical profession’s dependence on mind altering drugs.
David F. Palmieri Sr.09/18/07
Why do you keep using my bio to get ideas for your writing?

Did my little sister sell you my old diary?

Excellent job of describing many of my phobias.

Great writing, timely topic...Dave

Sharon Hillary03/09/08
Thanks for the comments on
Romans 8:28. Also for the warning. Much Appreciated!!!
I wanted to see who the comments came from and chose this one to read! Humorous but oh so true! Keep in touch, PLEASE!!!
Seema Bagai 06/18/09
This is hilarious. :-)