People who have phobias often feel that their fears are reasonable, not irrational at all, especially if they don't interfere too much with life.
Like, I have two: spiders (arachnophobia) and edges (*not* the same as fear of heights). And they are absolutely reasonable!
Ever notice that if you see a spider walking past, and you think, "I should kill that spider", the damn thing will stop, turn, and look at you? Spiders can read minds!
Edges are treacherous. You can't convince me otherwise. If you are standing at the edge of a roof, or cliff, or balcony, or if you've just stepped out of an elevator on the highest part of the Eiffel Tower and discover that the floor you're supposed to step out onto is an open grid (ok, I'm getting a little carried away here, let me get my breathing back under control), well, you never know if a strong wind is going to come up and blow you over, or if you might have a dizzy spell, or step on something slippery, or if someone might bump you, or if the guy who tightened those bolts was maybe drunk, or too many other things. Edges are very dangerous.
Oh my yes. Phobias are absolutely based on real dangers. Not silly at all. (I can control mine by breathing and being careful, but if I am surprised by an edge, I can panic and I stop breathing and freeze, I can't move. I don't mind spiders in my house because they eat other more destructive bugs, but they'd better not come close to me, and being mind readers, they mostly don't. I can climb a ladder and get onto my roof, but then I can't get off the roof unless the end of the ladder extends well above the roof, so I can climb down past the edge, not have to go over it.)
Well, I found these little videos by accident the other day. I don't know for sure who made them, but Disney has selected them as "Disney Shorts". They are about a little fellow named Figaro Pho who has phobias, and what can happen, or what he imagines can happen. There's one for each letter of the alphabet (except for some reason there's no "R", and Disney skipped the "fear of poo" one).
You can watch them all right here, or go to the link after the video and watch them at your leisure. (Toward the end, there are some duplicates, and the "poo" one is tacked on at the end.)
I love Figaro's house!
Math is treacherous, too.
In the post on menopause, I had said I stopped taking HRT when the medical community got all het up about it up to doubling the incidence of certain cancers. Well, the link for the report that explained what it really means explains the numbers (and now makes me wish I had stayed on HRT).
Doubling isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds.
Let's say the incidence of cancer A is 30%, or that 30 in 100 people can expect to get it if they live long enough. Doubling the incidence, doubling your chances to get it, means that you now have 60 chances in 100. Yikes!
Let's say the incidence of cancer B is .001%, or 1 in 100,000. Doubling the incidence of cancer B means that now 2 people in 100,000 can expect to get it. Um, weighed against the benefits, that's a chance I'm willing to take.
It turns out that the cancers that might be increased by HRT are of the very rare variety.
My doctors were freaking about the word "double", without, apparently, asking "doubling from what to what?"