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British woman suffers from fear of newspapers

Jan. 28, 2014 at 2:33 PM   |   Comments

ROCHESTER, England, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A British woman said her phobia of newspapers is so powerful she finds it difficult even to look at them.

Diane Freelove, 49, of Rochester, England, said she has suffered from chloephobia, the fear of newspapers, for about 25 years and she can't stand the look, smell or touch of a newspaper, the Mirror reported Tuesday.

"When I visit a shop I walk as far away as I can from the newsstand," Freelove said. "I can't go anywhere near someone who has got one, and if they approach me, I freak out. At one time I could touch a newspaper as long as I knew I could wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. But now I can't even look at them.

"I don't like the feel of them -- if I touch a newspaper it feels like my skin is crawling. And I can't stand the smell, which I think is quite strong and distinctive," she said.

Freelove said the fear probably started in her childhood.

"When I was a child, my mother hit my father over the head with a newspaper. She did it in a playful, friendly way, but it worried me," she said. "I became afraid of newspapers over the past 25 years."

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