Diaphimisticophobia is the fear of commercials or advertisements. Rather than being afraid of all commercials, most people with the phobia have a fear of one or more specific commercials or a certain type of commercial, such as insurance ads or PSAs[1].

Some people with the phobia are scared of visual aspects of commercials. Some of these people are frightened by advertisements that feature purposefully scary visuals, such as anti-tobacco PSAs[1]. Others are frightened by the audio of commercials. Narrated commercials may trigger this form of the phobia, especially when the narration is fast, abruptly begins or cuts off, or changes unexpectedly between variations of a commercial. Certain phrases that are common in commercials (such as “batteries not included” and “this film is not yet rated”) may also trigger the phobia.

A diaphimisticophobic person shows signs of a panic attack, such as rapid heartbeat and “freezing up”, when they see, hear, and/or think about a commercial that triggers their phobia. This can be somewhat hindering in everyday life, especially for a person who watches television often. Methods for coping with the phobia include avoiding commercials by fast-forwarding or watching commercial-free television and focusing thoughts on other things when a commercial comes to mind.

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