14th September 2010
Anatidaephobia is defined as a pervasive, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck.
The anatidaephobic individual fears that no matter where they are or what they are doing, a duck watches. Anatidaephobia is derived from the Greek word “anatidae”, meaning ducks, geese or swans and “phobos” meaning fear.
What Causes Anatidaephobia?
As with all phobias, the person coping with Anatidaephobia has experienced a real-life trauma. For the anatidaephobic individual, this trauma most likely occurred during childhood.
Perhaps the individual was intensely frightened by some species of water fowl. Geese and swans are relatively well known for their aggressive tendencies and perhaps the anatidaephobic person was actually bitten or flapped at. Of course, the Far Side comics did little to minimize the fear of being watched by a duck.
While we may be tempted to smile at the memory of those comics or at the mental image of being watched by a duck, for the anatidaephobic person that fear is uncontrollable. Whatever the cause, the anatidaephobic person can experience emotional turmoil and anxiety that is completely disruptive to daily functioning.