Aibohphobia is a very rare psychological disorder and is characterized by the unusual reaction of fear and rage exhibited by the sufferer upon recognizing a palindrome. It was first discovered by Dr Hans Eresnahrd in 1991 who himself was a chronic sufferer of the disorder. It is now treated with Xanax.
The Discovery of Aibohphobia
Dr. Eresnahrd first became interested in this, as then, unknown disorder at the age of 18 when he suffered an acute attack of fear and rage upon viewing the Todd Solondz film Palindromes. Although his friends simply put this down to the fact that the film was pretty crap, Dr.Eresnahrd was not convinced - he was sure there was a deeper underlying cause. He investigated further, reading swathes of palindromes, and suffering many attacks as a result. His symptoms lead him to make to several misdiagnoses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and being Belgian. His theory that his frequent panic attacks and blackouts were caused by a completely new psychiatric disorder spurred him on to study psychology at the University of Nëmen, Germany. While at university he met other people suffering similar symptoms, and also plagued by misdiagnoses - among them the first love of his life, Danni Innad. Encouraged by finding fellow-sufferers, he decided to embark on a detailed study of the disorder for his PhD. Within a year Eresnahrd had made the link between palindromes and the acute panic attacks that sufferers experienced.
Dr. Eresnahrd made his work available in his dissertation: Number of Iterations of Stress Identification, which he intended to abbreviate as "No. It. Stress ID Dissertation". Unfortunately, although this wasn't quite a palindrome, it was close enough to induce a severe episode, and it was another month before he could finally submit his re-titled work. In his paper he named the disorder "Debilitating Aggravated Palindrome Phobia Precipitating Acute Depression", however this was not deemed a catchy enough title, and his work was consequently not formally published. When Eresnahrd protested to one publisher, he was told that the condition was "simply too silly to publish a serious report about", and for good measure, the publisher mischievously added "Madam, I'm Adam".
This was a major setback for Eresnahrd who had to cope not only with such a gratuitous palindrome, but also with the rejection of a year's work. This put Eresnahrd in a deep despair. Fortunately, or unfortunately for him, his colleagues managed to get hold of a copy of his paper on "Debilitating Palindrome Phobia Precipitating Depression" and thought it would be a hilarious prank to rewrite the paper and fill it with palindromes. After a couple of days' hard work they had produced their master prank and sent it to the respected Journal of Special Psychology, Clinical Psychiatry and Sociology (abbreviated to Journal of SPCPS) of which Eresnahrd was a keen reader.
When the next issue came out, it was clear how fiendishly clever his colleagues had been. Eresnahrd's article had been published and the condition from which he suffered had been dubbed "Aibohphobia". This proved too hilarious to the editors of Journal of SPCPS not to publish, since anybody suffering from this condition would immediately be put into a state of agony every time they tried to discover what they were suffering from. On attempting to read the article Eresnahrd was furious, not only furious but very frightened. After a brief heated argument with his colleagues where he tried his best to avoid the subject of Aibohphobia, which was inevitably brought up, Eresnahrd refused to speak to them ever again and ran out of the room crying.
Eresnahrd continued to work on Aibohphobia alone, but under his original name for the condition, "disposition to acute uneasiness in relation to palindromes", This proved to be a less than satisfactory arrangement, since any correspondence to him on the subject of the disorder referred to it as Aibohphobia and was always accompanied by a panic attack. But by the end of 1990 he had almost completed his PhD despite the continual panic attacks he suffered while researching the disorder. It was in 1991 when his PhD was accepted and he gained the title of Dr. After this a dramatic deterioration was seen in Eresnahrd’s condition. Every time he spoke to anyone he appeared terrified and he had refused, not only to read, but even to look at his mail. These strange actions carried on with no obvious explanation, until his colleagues, who felt quite guilty for worsening his already rather silly condition, sent a letter of apology to the Dr Hans Eresnahrd, who refused to read it. His colleagues, being unable to talk face to face with him, took the strategy of giving their apology to him by yelling into a megaphone (loud hailer) outside his house. This had rather dramatic and unexpected results; here is an extract from an eyewitness statement:
"... and the one them holding the megaphone shouted "Doctor Hans Eresnahrd..." when I heard an terrible scream from inside the house, followed by another, then a large thud followed by several more thuds. I called the police just incase ..."
Eresnahrd did not open his door for the police and they were forced to break it down. Upon entry they noticed a huge pile of unopened mail just inside the door addressed to "Dr Hans Eresnahrd". They found Dr. Eresnahrd lying unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. It seems that immediately after his colleagues began yelling to him he had an attack of terror and fell down the stairs while trying to run away. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he fell into a coma which he has not come out of.
A later investigation into the incident uncovered one last anecdote to the story. It seems that fate had not been kind to Eresnahrd - when he gained the title "Dr" he must have realized the irony that his name, Dr Hans Eresnahrd, was actually a palindrome. This appeared to push the fearful psychologist over the edge, it was no wonder that he didn't dare look at mail addressed to him - or that he tried to flee from his own name, which ended with him inadvertently putting himself in a coma.