Many are afraid of heights, darkness and spiders. But there are also phobias that are very bizarre. And don’t stop at top Swiss chefs or Hollywood stars. Meta Hiltebrand (38) is terrified of bananas. The Zurich restaurateur goes so far that she gets an oppressive feeling when someone peels one in her presence. “I’m getting sick, I’m completely dazed and can no longer speak.” I just can’t stand that smell,” she said in a recent interview. “If things go badly, I’ll even collapse.” That happened to her a few years ago in a TV production.
Talking about it is not difficult for the stars. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (54) is terrified of butterflies. This started in her childhood. “When I came home from school and there was a butterfly on our front gate, I would crawl over the fence or slink along the side of the house just to avoid encountering it.”
Nicole Kidman walked into a cage full of butterflies
“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp (58) scares clowns. “I’ve been scared of them for years because I associate a lot of evil with them and I can’t read anything on their faces,” he says.
Typical of a phobia is the inappropriate fear and physical reaction evoked by the situation or the mere idea of it. In Switzerland, about every tenth person is affected by an anxiety disorder. There is no scientific evidence as to the origin of this. Some say it’s innate, others talk about childhood experiences or parental fears. Recommended is the confrontation, which Kidman did. “I went into a cage full of butterflies, it didn’t help.”
Oprah Winfrey is afraid of gum
When Hugh Jackman (53) sees puppets come to life in a movie, he panics. “They drive me totally crazy,” says the “Wolverine” actor. He attributes this to an experience as a child when he saw “Chucky – the killer doll”.
Talkmaster Oprah Winfrey (68) also knows the reason for her chewing gum panic. “My grandmother chewed them, then stuck them in the closet. I’ve been scared of them ever since.”
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