Quintaphobia – Fear of the Number Five

  • Time to read: 8 min.

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Have you ever felt a sense of unease when presented with the number five? If so, you may suffer from quintaphobia, an uncommon but very real fear of the number five. This phobia is characterized by feelings of anxiety and distress when presented with or confronted by anything related to the number five. It can be a minor annoyance for some people, while others experience extreme panic attacks in response to it happening.

Quintaphobia has its roots in superstition and numerology, as many cultures believe that certain numbers are lucky or unlucky – particularly the number 5. In fact, some ancient societies even believed that evil spirits were associated with this particular numeral!

But regardless of why someone might have developed quintaphobia, it’s important to understand how this disorder affects their daily lives and what steps they can take to manage their symptoms more effectively.

What is Quintaphobia?

Have you ever heard of a thing as quintaphobia? It may sound bizarre, but there are a number of individuals who experience a downright fear of the number five! The word “quintaphobia” stems from the Greek word “penta,” meaning “five,” and “phobia,” meaning “fear.”

As it turns out, those struggling with quintaphobia can experience different degrees of the fear. While some may experience anxiety at the mere mention of the number five, others may feel it only when they come across it in specific contexts, such as in hotel room numbers or street addresses.

Interestingly, quintaphobia is not an officially recognized phobia by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Despite this, quintaphobia has gained some recognition in popular culture, with references to it made in various books, movies, and TV shows.

Some believe that the fear of the number five may have roots in ancient beliefs and superstitions surrounding the number, while others speculate that it could be a result of cultural associations and personal experiences. Whatever the case may be, quintaphobia is a unique example of a specific phobia that deserves attention and understanding.

Symptoms of Quintaphobia

For those who experience quintaphobia, even the mere thought of the number five can cause a range of symptoms that can affect their daily life. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the symptoms of quintaphobia.

Physical Symptoms 

One of the most common symptoms of quintaphobia is the feeling of nausea or dizziness whenever the number five is mentioned or appears. Those who suffer from this phobia might also experience shortness of breath, sweating, and rapid heart rate. Additionally, some may feel like they are going crazy when they see the number five, and this can cause them to feel disoriented and unable to concentrate.

Psychological Symptoms

Quintaphobia can also cause a person suffering a wide range of psychological symptoms. Some people who suffer from this phobia might become hyper-vigilant, obsessively avoiding anything that has to do with the number five. They might also experience panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. Others may become preoccupied with the number five, constantly counting, and obsessing over it.

Behavioral Symptoms

Finally, quintaphobia can also cause behavioral symptoms. People who are afraid of the number five may avoid anything that involves the number, including dates, addresses, phone numbers, and more. They may also have trouble sleeping or experience insomnia due to their anxiety and fear. Furthermore, some people may even resort to extreme measures such as quitting their jobs or avoiding social events where the number five may come up.

Causes of Quintaphobia

For some people suffering with quintaphobia, the mere thought or sight of the number five can cause intense anxiety or panic attacks. But why do some people develop this unusual fear? Let’s take a closer look at some possible causes.

Cultural and Superstitious Beliefs

Some cultures and religious traditions associate the number five with bad luck, misfortune, or even death. For example, in Chinese culture, the number five sounds similar to the word “no,” which is considered unlucky.

In some Islamic beliefs, the number five is associated with the five pillars of Islam, and not adhering to them is perceived as sinful. In some forms of African spirituality, the number five represents death or punishment, as it symbolizes the five fingers of a hand that can harm or hurt.

Traumatic or Negative Experiences

Like other phobias, quintaphobia can develop after a person experiences a traumatic or negative event related to the number five. For instance, someone might have witnessed a tragedy involving the number five, such as a car crash on Route 5, and then associate the number with danger and fear.

Alternatively, some people might have experienced bullying or exclusion involving the number five, such as always being the fifth person picked for a team or being the fifth wheel in a group, which can lead to anxiety and avoidance.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD)

Quintaphobia can also be a symptom of OCD, a mental health condition characterized by persistent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

Some people with OCD might have an irrational fear of the number five, believing that something terrible will happen if they encounter it or do not perform certain rituals involving the number. For example, they might avoid places or objects that have five letters, count things in multiples of five, or wash their hands five times.

Treatment for Quintaphobia

If you are one of the unfortunate individuals suffering from quintaphobia, you know just how debilitating this fear can be. The fear of the number five can manifest in different ways, but it usually involves experiencing intense anxiety or distress when confronted with anything related to the number five.

This phobia can make everyday activities like using a calculator, watching the clock or even setting the volume on your TV extremely challenging. But don’t despair; fortunately, there are many effective treatments for quintaphobia.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment for phobias, including quintaphobia. This therapy involves working with a trained mental health professional to gradually expose yourself to situations that trigger your fear of the number five.

Your therapist will walk you through relaxation techniques and help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones. As you become more comfortable with exposure, you’ll learn to tolerate the anxiety and eventually overcome your fear of five.


In some cases, medication may be used to treat quintaphobia. Anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines may be helpful in managing the symptoms of anxiety that accompany the phobia. However, it’s important to understand that medication alone is not a cure for phobias. Rather, it’s typically used in close combination with other treatments like CBT to provide maximum benefit.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes may also be helpful in managing quintaphobia. Getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and making and developing strong social connections are all healthy habits that can boost your mental health and reduce anxiety. Additionally, practicing calming techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help you stay calm when confronted with triggers that cause your fear of the number five.

Coping Strategies for Those With Quintaphobia

It is important to remember that although quintaphobia can be a debilitating condition, it can be managed with the right tools and support. Here are some tips to help you cope with your fear of the number five:

  • Understand your triggers. Knowing what situations or objects cause you anxiety can help you plan ahead and prepare for them.
  • Develop relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness are all great ways to manage anxiety.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Talking to a friend, family member or mental health professional can help you better understand your fear and provide you with emotional support.
  • Challenge negative thoughts. Negative thinking can often intensify feelings of fear and anxiety, so it’s important to challenge these thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.
  • Seek professional help. If your fear of the number five is affecting your daily life, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health professional.

It is possible for those with quintaphobia to lead happy and healthy lives. With the right treatment and coping strategies, you can learn to manage your fear of the number five and reclaim control over your life.

How to Help Someone Who Has Quintaphobia

If you know someone who has quintaphobia, it can be challenging to know how to best help them. Here are some tips for helping a loved one who is struggling with this fear.

  • Be an active listener. Show your loved one that you are there to listen and support them without judgement.
  • Show understanding and compassion. Let your loved one know that you understand their fear and are there to help them through it.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help. Mental health professionals can provide tools and treatment options that can help someone with their fear of the number five.
  • Educate yourself. Learning more about quintaphobia can help you understand your loved one’s experience better and provide the support they need.

If someone you know is struggling with quintaphobia, it’s important to remember that support and understanding can go a long way. With the right treatment and coping strategies, it is possible for those with this fear to lead a happy and healthy life.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a doctor or your loved one if you think they may benefit from professional help. Mental health professionals can provide the tools and resources needed to help them manage their fear of the number five.

No one should have to suffer in silence. Show your support, understanding, and compassion for those who are struggling with quintaphobia. With the right tools and support, they can learn to manage their anxiety disorders and fear of the number five and reclaim control over their life.

FAQ – Quintaphobia: Fear of the Number Five

Do all numbers cause fear in those with quintaphobia?

No, people with quintaphobia will only experience fear when confronted with the number five. This fear can manifest itself in various ways and can range from mild to severe.

How common is quintaphobia?

Quintaphobia is a relatively rare phobia, but it affects people from all walks of life. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 10,000 people are affected by this particular fear alone. However, these numbers may be higher due to underreporting and lack of awareness.

How do I know if I have quintaphobia?

If you experience fear, pain or anxiety when confronted with the number five or any associated objects or situations, it is likely that you have quintaphobia. It is best to speak to a mental health professional if you are unsure.