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What is Triskaidekaphobia?

Julie Fratantoni, PhD, appears on WFAA to discuss phobias, specifically a fear of Friday the 13th.


Erin Hunter


On Friday the 13th, Julie Fratantoni, PhD, visited WFAA to meet with Erin Hunter and talk about "Triskaidekaphobia." Pronounced truh·skai·deh·kuh·fow·bee·uh – this term describes an intense fear of Friday the 13th. In this segment, Dr. Fratantoni details the possible origins and causes of triskaidekaphobia, adding that a fear is distinguished from a phobia when the feeling becomes debilitating or negatively impacts your life, causing an "exaggerated and unrealistic sense of danger about an animal, an object, a situation."


"Fear activates the what is known as the sympathetic nervous system. This is also known as "fight or flight" mode, and when you're in this mode, it's much harder to think rationally because your emotional center, your survival mechanisms are kicking in and really taking over. And we know that spending long periods of time in this survival mode can negatively impact brain health." – Julie Fratantoni, PhD
For tips on how to overcome real-life fears, watch the full segment on WFAA

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Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP

Head of Research Integration and Partnerships Center for BrainHealth

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