I never gave much thought to the fact that I do not like raw cotton or cotton balls until my husband asked me what my issue with them was. I explained that I cannot stand the feeling of them and the sound they make, makes me shudder. My husband kindly brought to my attention that typically cotton balls do not make sounds and it seems that I have an irrational phobia.
I don't know when it started but after some research, I have discovered that there are many people like me and in fact cotton balls do make a sound when you pull them apart.
Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder which stems from an irrational fear of an object or situation which the sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid. Generally phobias can be broken down into three categories: Agoraphobia, Social Phobias and Specific Phobias. The fear of cotton balls falls into the category of Specific Phobia.
Specific Phobias can be further broken down into four categories: animals, medical, natural environment, and situational. Regardless of the source of anxiety, the symptoms are the same:
Fear: a fear, terror or dread when confronting the object or situation.
Panic: dizziness, sweating, tingling, numbness and even shortness of breath when confronting the object or situation.
Avoidance: a willingness to go out of your way to avoid the object or situation, so much so that it interferes with everyday activities.
Worry: stress and/or anxiety surrounding the thought of contact with the object or situation.
I am by no means terrified of cotton balls. The only comparison that describes how I feel about them is; nails on a chalkboard. I get goosebumps thinking about them and I will avoid them but generally it does not cause any interference to my everyday life. When I get a needle, I ask for a BandAid and to remove makeup, I use a tissue. So is this even a true phobia? I guess that would be left up to the DSM-VI-TR.
In my research I found lists and lists of terms that refer to various phobias such as:
A fear of spiders: Arachnophobia
A fear of needles: Trypanophobia etc.
The fear of cotton balls comes up with two terms: Sidonglobophobia and Bambakophobia. I am guessing that somebody made up both terms as they are not listed from any legitimate source or definable by dictionary. The terms both seem to have become viral amongst people suffering with the problem; at least in the online community.