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A discussion on phobias

We’re all afraid of something. While most of us are satisfied fearing everything in proportion and fearing “normal” things like death, the dark, and spiders, that’s not the case for everyone. In fact, many people have incredibly interesting fears, which are often at the same time quite tragic, since they can keep people from living their lives to the fullest.

There is, for instance, ablutophobia, which is the fear of cleaning oneself or taking a bath. The implications of such a fear are obvious. To struggle with the simple act of doing daily ablutions (the Latin word for the act of washing, which is where the -phobia term comes from), could leave people embarrassed and struggling to succeed in simply getting jobs or making friends.

Another incredible phobia is amaxophobia. “Amaxo” in Greek means “vehicle,” and so, amaxophobia is the fear of riding in a car.

Unlike ablutophobia, many can probably sympathize with those who suffer from amaxophobia. Cars can be scary things, after all. There are car accidents to worry about, pollution, carbon monoxide. There’s also the less obvious but just as deadly possibility of car defects, and that truly is a scary thought to consider.

That thought, though, may hold the key to understanding how the phobia develops. With the idea of mechanical defects, we can immediately understand the horror of the loss of control. We’ve all seen movies in which someone is in a car where the breaks down work. What if the car won’t accelerate? Or won’t stop accelerating?

Such thoughts truly as terrifying, and those who suffer from amaxophobia struggling with them nonstop. It is this powerlessness that terrifies. Crucially, amaxophobia revolves around being a passenger. As a passenger, a person is required to trust completely not just in the car or in other drivers, but in a personal sense, in the one driving the specific car they are in. That is simply a step too far for such people, and any attempt to ride as a passenger leads to great fits of anxiety or worse.

The results of amaxophobia are no less than those for ablutophobia. In countries like America, there are often no other ways to get around than by car. Should such a person life in such an area, they would effectively be marooned at their home, unable to get further than the edge of their neighborhood. In such a situation, work, shopping, and socializing would become almost impossible. The person is trapped.

It is important to remember that phobias are not due to choice. They are the result of previous traumas or else, sometimes, chemical issues in the brain. The person, then, who suffers from ablutophobia, amaxophobia, or some other phobia, has no real choice in the matter.

Thankfully, there are methods of treatment that help people overcome at least partially these handicaps. All the same, they deserve our sympathy, our concern, and our help when we can give it.

Car recall notices

This is my first post on what I hope to make a regular series: car recalls.

I know this information is available elsewhere. I’ll be using cars.com for this post, for instance, and you could just go there. But I think this sort of information is important enough to spread it around. And since I know a few people who will read this and would never think to go to a place like cars.com, I think it’s a useful service.

I’m passionate about this because I had a vehicle defect issue in the past. The seat belts weren’t installed properly, and it very nearly led to a serious problem. I was with my wife, and we stopped suddenly and the seat belt on her side of the car started to come apart. Thankfully, we weren’t going very fast and we were able to sort of slide to a stop instead of breaking hard or stopping instantly in an accident. Still, it was scary. And I still have nightmares about what might have happened.

So, the recalls:

There’s been a recall on the 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer for an airbag problem. If you’ve got a Lancer from those years, make sure to get that checked out.

Lexus HS 250h sedans from 2010 also have a problem. The transaxle assembly can lead to parts of your car wearing down.

Several different versions of a very popular car, the Porsche Cayenne, from 2003-2006, are being recalled because of a fuel filter problem that can lead to fuel leaking out. That could actually lead to a fire, so get your Porsche in right away, folks.

Finally, my last recall notice for this first post, the Volkswagen Touareg, years 2004-2007: there’s a recall out for the same reason as the Porsche Cayenne directly above. This stuff is serious, so don’t put this off.

Trust me, you may not think these recalls are important and that nothing can happen to your good, dependable vehicle, but you’d be wrong. I’m not the only one to experience the results of a car that came broken. There are whole areas of law dedicated to suing car companies that don’t recall these things fast enough.

And keep in mind, any recall means someone else complained about it—and either sued or threatened to sue—loud enough that the car company felt it was in their interest to recall.

If the message of a recall is getting to you from me, who got it from cars.com, who got it from the manufacturers, there’s already been serious enough problems with your type of car that very serious people are willing to lose money fixing the problem for free.

Yeah, and it’s free to get these things fixed. So, you really have no excuse. Otherwise, you may end up with a problem like I had. And you may need one of those lawyers.

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