“You have to turn your phobias into a strength”. This is the advice given by Alexandra Sénéchal, a former great phobic, to her readers in her book “Les phobias, c’est fini!”.

Transcribed in Elle magazine, the author explains in her book that the best way to overcome them is: “to learn self-control, the art of gaining the upper hand”. “Phobics are very sensitive, very creative people, you have to divert the phobia in favor of something more positive to get rid of it,” she continues.

Which is no small feat, especially for those who suffer from it.

In France, there would be a little more than 6 million phobics. A figure that still represents 10% of the population. As RTL reports, these fears are recognized by health insurance.

Once confirmed by the medical authorities, the status of disabled worker can be granted, provided that the incapacity is real. These are in particular agoraphobia (fear of crowds) and claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) most often admitted.

Social phobia, emetophobia (fear of blood), hypochondria (fear of being sick)… Are “common” fears according to a survey by the association Anxiety UK, available on the British government site of the National Health Services.

On the other hand, others are much less so. In the slideshow below, Planet has compiled a list of the 20 most unusual but very real phobias, based on data collected on Femmes d’Aujourd’hui, Marie France and Passeport Santé.