Different cultures are afraid of different numbers. Some numbers are considered to be unlucky, the others lucky. Numerophobia is the fear of certain numbers. In the West the number 13 is considered unlucky while in the East it’s all about the number 4.
Tetraphobia is the extreme fear of the number 4. The number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture as the pronunciation of the number 4 (四, sì) is quite close to the pronunciation of the word “death” (死, sǐ). In buildings there are no floors with the number 4, nor is it used on military vehicles. In Mandarin-speaking regions of China, 14 and 74 are considered more unlucky than the number 4. The reason is that 14 sounds like wants/is going to die (要死, yàosǐ) and 74 sounds like will certainly die or will die in anger (氣死, qì sǐ). In South Korea tetraphobia is less extreme, the number 4 sounds like decease and died, by the way the floor number 4, the room number 4 are always skipped in hospitals, funeral halls, public buildings.
Tetraphobia may be the result of superstitions of parenting or lack of parenting altogether. Like other mental disorders, it may cause extreme panic and fear. Some of the symptoms are shortness of breath, trembling, uncontrollable reactions, rapid heartbeat. The treatments include both cognitive based talking therapies as well as therapies based on emotional content.
So, just imagine you got a phone call from some unknown number. That unknown phone number consists of only the number 4. Would you pick up the phone?
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