Fear of Cotton Balls = Sidonglobophopia

jenniferlreimerAcademia is Nuts!, Laughter = Survival, Mad Society19 Comments

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I’ve now known two separate “sufferers” of this phobia, one that I’ve known for a long while but never knew this fact about him (he had probably only “talked to his doctor about it” :p)!  Should I alert these folks at answers.com?* As stated in the last paragraph of their “answer”, the claim that a handful of celebrities have been known to have the disorder.  Could this earn me money?  Guinness Book of Records Style?

In addition, read this as you would an official definition of depression, and realize the ridiculousness.  My new roommate happens to have the “rare mental condition” that my first boss also did – I once had to open a bottle of Tylenol pills for him.  I didn’t do well enough the first time, I had to remove more of the cotton that lingered around the edges.  I now understand how, indeed, this is not something to laugh at, but the causation of much suffering.  Though I do not fear cotton, I cannot touch a wooden spoon or a corrugated cardboard paper plate without feeling an unpleasant shiver overcome my body.  There is no definition for my odd phobia, but science has laid claim to the fear of cotton balls:


What is cotton ball phobia?


“Cotton Ball phobia, or sidonglobophobia, is a rare mental condition prevalent in developed countries and on the islands of the south pacific (Oceania). While it is unknown exactly which part of the brain is defective in this case, the problem likely stems from a type of crosswiring between the amygdala and the cerebral cortex, which itself resembles fluffy cotton.

Sufferers of sidonglobophobia will flee uncontrollably when confronted with cotton balls or any image or accurate representation thereof. There is as yet no cure, though it has been speculated that – as in all cases of phobia – brain surgery could provide corrective influence.

Unfortunately for sufferers, there is no longer a single square kilometer in the world free of cotton balls. Globalism and the popularity of products from America have ensured that cotton balls may crop up anywhere. Regions of greatest risk of cotton ball exposure include DR of Congo, Ottawa, and the entire southern United States.

Note: forced exposure to cotton balls will not relieve the patient, and will almost certainly cause an intensifying of the phobia, fresh trauma, and even newfound loathing for erstwhile loved ones.

Michelle Jackson, Andy Fedigan, Jojo Riffle, and Francesca Shoemaker include famous names that are said to have a case of this phobia.”* (source :takut )

…dare I say a little hyperbolic for, “What?  I just don’t like cotton balls. We don’t need all this razzle-dazzle language, but I guess this is the ‘new way’.  Sign of the times, way of the industry”.

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jenniferlreimerFear of Cotton Balls = Sidonglobophopia

19 Comments on “Fear of Cotton Balls = Sidonglobophopia”

  1. Pingback: Practice of Madness » Fear of Cotton Balls is Called Sidlongophobia, et cetera

  2. jeannie

    Have the same issue…. It's very real for the people who suffer from it. Nothing to be laughed at but looking at it from an outside perspective I can see why there is humor in those who don't share this horriffic sensitiveity.

  3. Bridgett

    I've tried over and over again to explain this to my friends I can't stand cotton balls!! They make me cry!!!! And my friends just think its funny and throw them at me :/

  4. kay

    i have this phobia i have had it my whole life when i was a kid i couldnt do the little projects in school like the picture above making santa or the clouds project where you use cotton balls to make the diffrent types of clouds.to this day i wont use them to get polish off my fingers or take a cotton ball out of med bottles.i dont go under the bathroom counter because i know there are cotton balls under there if i aboulenly have to touch them i wear rubber gloves.like the guy above i find they are more tolerable when they are wet like when i need to clean my ears i only do it after a shower because the q-tip gets wet in my ear.when i think about touching them or i have to explain why i dont like them to somebody it gives me the chills and makes me cringe.

    1. storiesandscars

      Damn, I can feel that same cringing when I think of certain textures…it sends a shiver down my whole body when I think of what I can only describe as "corrugated cardboard", as well as certain kinds of wood. At my aunt's house there are bowls made out of that wood so I've been reminded of this recently. Thinking about having to touch them alone does all but make me have to put lotion all over my hands, yuck!! I think my fingers get twitchy when I think of my own texture-phobia!

    2. ashley

      I, thought I was the only one with this phobia a few years back. The sound,.the texture, the look, it sticks to things, ugh its just gross and creepy. My friends like to make fun of me by chasing me with them. Definitely not funny to me. I can be a safe distance from them now, but ask me to touch them, use them or bring them close to me, nope! I don't know why they terrify me but they do. Talking about them, looking at them, anything! It bothers me so much I start to sweat, get chills, weird feelings in my spine and teeth (ya my teeth I know, odd), and hyperventilate.

  5. Bre

    The sight of cotton balls doesn't bother me, but the texture of them does. It makes me want to scream and puke and burn all things cotton. I've always likened it to that cringing moment when *your* the one dragging your nails across the chalkboard, feeling the texture vibrate through your finger nails.

    I used to have to use tissue for getting my nail polish off, or wait for someone to get the cotton out of pill bottles for me (which I'll still do if someone is readily available) but I can suck it up and bare it now if I feel I'm being ridiculous. For some reason cotton balls are a lot less offensive to the touch when they're wet, that helps. o.O on the flip side, I'm fine with wool until it gets wet.

    I actually had to suffer through some pretty relentless teasing about it as a preteen because my friend's sister found out… eventually I decided to steal her thunder by throwing it into the pile of random facts about myself I use to amuse others. For some reason letting go of the shame I felt for fearing something so benign seemed to help me to better control that fear.

    1. jessica mensch

      I have also had this fear all my life and thought i was alone. so many people thought it was a joke and the would chase me with them and taunt me with them. when people get near me with them i get ready to fight and if someone touches me with it i literaly trub the spot raw trying to get the feel off of me.

      1. Alysha

        I too have had the same feelings all my life. yes it is nice to know their are others out there like myself. I have broken a toe from running from my ex taunting me with a cotton ball & almost lost my job cuz i had to touch cotton balls that were in a see thru bag. It isnt much fun being afraid of cotton balls.. :(

    2. Miles

      OMG!! i can relate much with you. i had this fear, phobia since my childhood. Most of my friends find it ridiculous and crazy, sometimes they franked me which totally makes me mad.

  6. Clara

    Same but with corrugated cardboard and polystyrene and dry towels/short carpets etc

  7. Pingback: Phobia Mania – Amaxophobia = Fear of Riding in a Car… | Practice of Madness

  8. Jennie

    I do not appreciate your smart ass comments! I actually do suffer from this and have for years! I can assure you it is a real fear! As real as someone being afraid of clowns, the dark, or even the fear of death!

    1. storiesandscars

      Excuse me? I was laughing at myself for being afraid, as my boss was of cotton balls, of the texture of corrugated cardboard. Please read the WHOLE article before reacting. I was so afraid of fire that I did not light a match until age 16 when I started smoking cigarettes. The other reason for posting this was because there is no other webpage that defines this phobia, and I wanted to increase my SEO. Indeed, I am straight up – one might say I am afraid of dishonesty…now I wonder if there is a name for that…or one for being afraid of reading an article in its 500 word totality before reacting…

    2. Cheryl

      i agree !!! im terrified of cotton/ any fluffy fiber resemblence … My fear of a storm is what will I do if the roof falls in and I have insulation all over me?? Id die of a heart attack… If I had a choice of being thrown in a pool of cotton or take a gun shot ..Id take the shot .. It seems strange but if I touch it by mistake I will SCREAM

      1. storiesandscars

        :) My sister and I both have variations on this…not with cotton, but there are some textures, glances from others, smells, that just send us REELING. Nails on a chalkboard x 10 million. And then there's my poor dad, who can only say, "you girls both have some weird…things…."

    3. melissa

      Im Actually truly Afraid of Clowns and cottonballs Majorly so i knoW where Ur coming from

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