Do you consider Friday the 13th to be an unlucky day? If so, you might be mildly superstitious, just like many of us. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, millions of Americans are more or less afraid of Friday the 13th.
However, you need to feel more than a little uneasy about the date to be diagnosed with friggatriskaidekaphobia, an actual psychological condition marked by a disabling fear of Friday the 13th. Some people who have this disorder are even too afraid to say the words “Friday the 13th.” Others avoid flying on a plane, going to work, or even getting out of bed. Symptoms of this phobia range from mild anxiety and a nagging sense of doom to full-blown panic attacks.
The name of the phobia derives from Frigg, the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after, and triskaidekaphobia, which is Greek for the fear of 13. It’s also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, which is based on paraskevi, the Greek word for Friday.