Last Friday was a Special Day, Friday the 13th

When the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, there is a certain dread that some people seem to acquire. Superstitiously, it is seen as a day of bad luck and to make sure you avoid situations that are certain to increase your bad luck even more. On Friday the 13th you must never walk under a ladder, open an umbrella indoors, cross paths with a black cat and many others. When it comes to ladders, I think you should probably avoid walking under then as a general rule of safety.  I find it impolite to open umbrellas indoors if you can help it. I’m not sure why black coated animals get such a bad rap, but I have a friend who owns several black cats and they each have completely different personalities. Some might bring bad luck to you any day, but most are super sweet lovable critters.

There are those who experience severe fear and anxiety over this dreadful day, they suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Isn’t that a mouth full, it translates to a phobia of Friday the 13th. People with this type of phobia may have similar symptoms to any other phobia: Panic Attacks, Extreme Anxiety, Difficulty breathing, chest pain, uncontrollable crying, and many others. They may avoid increasing their odds on that day, staying inside their home where they feel it is safest. One possible lucky thing about this particular fear is you would only experience it a few times a year.

Personally, I’m not superstitious about this day, but I know many people who are. I also have my fair share of experience with phobias and anxiety. The causes can be extremely different, but the symptoms tend to be very similar. Essentially it is your body’s response to something that is dangerous or perceived as dangerous. People with Arachnophobia are scared of spiders, that probably the most common one I hear, but spiders don’t bother me a bit, neither do snake, scorpions, or other animals. I, however, get my anxiety around people. This can be pretty common as well; you may know one of the most common ones known as stage fright or fear of public speaking, Glossophobia.

No matter how different your fear is to someone else’s, everyone is afraid of something, no one goes through life completely fearless. Please, take comfort in the fact that everyone has experienced fear on some level and we can do our best to help ease those fears rather than increase them. Let’s support and encourage each other no matter what battles we face each day.

-Karrlita F.