A Condition Without A Name

When I went to medical school it wasn’t a clear cut decision for me. For the first two years I also did an extra maths subject on the side, to keep up my interest in the subject.

By this stage I’ve probably turned quite a few people off, and I’m only past the second sentence.

People know maths isn’t meant to be fun or relevant, unless of course it is applied to sporting statistics, finances or weight-loss (not fun there, but it is relevant when sorting out calorie-counters and reading BMI charts.)

There doesn’t seem to be a word for maths phobia.

There really should be a word for it, because people seem to have to the condition.

Out of more than 500 phobias on The Phobia List none matched. Arithmophobia was the closest I found, and that is a fear of numbers, not maths.

Or maybe it’s classified elsewhere – it’s really a fear of blackboards and chalk, or school and teachers, or homework, or mixed up in the phobia of public speaking when people were asked a maths question in class and were humiliated when they didn’t know the answer.

Whatever the real cause I don’t mind.

You can get some great self help tips from a few maths tricks.

For financial self-help I’d suggest using the techniques of multi-billionaire Warren Buffet, who had applied Einstein’s comment that “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”.

For perfectionists, take a look at chaos theory. Watch the perfection become equally imperfect no matter how far you go deeper and deeper in. Then when you reel back in shock and horror, notice how still beautiful it all is anyway.

However, don’t bother explaining probability mathematics to gambling addicts. I’ve tried that – once. It got me less than nowhere. Help yourself, and save your breath.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

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