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Top 10 most common phobias

Top 10 most common phobias

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that can be defined as a strong, unjustified, or intense dread of particular objects or circumstances. People who suffer from phobias frequently go to considerable lengths to keep themselves away from the situation or thing they are afraid of.

According to Baptist Health, some symptoms of phobias may include excessive or unreasonable fear of some triggers, being unable to regulate one’s reaction to terror, fear, panic, or anxiety, an accelerated heart rate, breathing difficulty, and avoidance measures.

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The degree of these symptoms can vary, from moderate to seriously impairing one’s capacity to operate.

Types of Phobias

Phobias fall into three categories.

Simple or specific phobias: As the name implies, these phobias centre on a particular fear or trigger. These phobias are the most prevalent ones. Irrational amounts of fear are produced by specific or basic phobias towards circumstances or items that are not essentially threatening. When faced with their trigger, people with basic phobias feel anxious, even though they know their dread is unfounded. Spiders, heights, driving a car, and flying are a few examples.

Social phobia: This is the fear of being in the company of other people. Low self-esteem and a fear of appearing silly in front of others could be the cause of this. A person with social anxiety may find it difficult to establish acquaintances, go to school, or find and maintain employment.

Agoraphobia: The dread of open areas is experienced by those who have it. Panic attacks can sometimes get so bad that the fear of experiencing another one causes agoraphobia. Extreme agoraphobia can make a person terrified to leave their house.

There are several ideas as to why phobias arise, including behavioural and evolutionary ones. Regardless of the underlying cause, phobias are curable disorders that can be reduced or even completely eradicated with the use of medicines and cognitive and behavioural therapy methods.

Read also: Physical health and coping with anxiety

Here are the top 10 most common phobias known to man:

Acrophobia (Fear of heights)

The fear of heights, known as acrophobia, impacts almost 6% of the population. Acrophobics are prone to anxiety attacks that make them avoid elevated locations like skyscrapers, bridges, and towering buildings. While some level of anxiety is typical when one is around heights, this particular phobia is characterised by an extreme fear that can cause panic episodes and avoidance behaviours.

Aerophobia (Fear of flying)

Although aeroplane accidents are extremely rare, 10% to 40% of adults suffer from aerophobia, or the fear of flying. Aerophobia is frequently accompanied by shaking, a fast heartbeat, and disorientation. Some may completely avoid flying as a result of this anxiety. Exposure treatment, which involves introducing a patient to flying gradually, is frequently used to treat aerophobia.

Arachnophobia (Fear of spiders)

The fear of spiders and other insects known as arachnids is known as arachnophobia. Although the mere sight of a spider can elicit a terror response, there are situations in which the mere notion or picture of a spider can induce severe anxiety and panic. The idea that these animals formerly threatened our ancestors, who had the skills and knowledge to treat wounds from animals and insects, is one of the most widely accepted theories explaining this and related animal phobias.

Ophidiophobia (Fear of snakes)

The fear of snakes, or ophidiophobia, is one of the most prevalent phobias. Personal experiences, evolutionary reasons, or societal factors can all be blamed for it. Some claim that because snakes can be toxic, those of our ancestors who were spared these risks had a higher chance of surviving and dispersing their genes.

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Cynophobia (Fear of dogs)

The fear of dogs, known as cynophobia, is frequently linked to certain personal experiences, such as a childhood dog bite. Even throughout maturity, these traumatic experiences may trigger fear reactions. Cynophobia is an extreme and illogical dread that can seriously impact your daily life, unlike a natural fear of strange dogs.

Trypanophobia (Fear of injections)

Injection phobia is known as trypanophobia. People may avoid doctors and medical procedures as a result of this anxiety. This kind of phobia is thought to affect 20% to 30% of individuals. Those who suffer from this fear may feel extremely anxious and have an elevated heart rate in the moments before the injection. Some even faint while getting the shot.

Astraphobia (Fear of lightning and thunder)

The fear of lightning and thunder is known as astraphobia. People who suffer from this phobia have intense sensations of fear in response to weather-related occurrences. Individuals who suffer from this anxiety often get overly fixated on the weather. Shaking, an accelerated heartbeat, and laboured breathing are among the symptoms.

Agoraphobia (Fear of places that are difficult to escape)

The fear of being by oneself in a situation or place where escape may be difficult is known as agoraphobia. The fear of crowded places, wide open spaces, or events that could set off a panic attack are all examples of agoraphobia. Some people with this phobia, choose not to leave their houses to avoid situations that could provoke them. Agoraphobia affects about one-third of patients with panic disorder.

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Mysophobia (Fear of germs or dirt)

The overwhelming fear of dirt and germs is known as mysophobia. Individuals with this fear may clean excessively, wash their hands obsessively, and stay away from anything or anyone they perceive to be unclean. This fear may occasionally be connected to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

The fear of social events is known as social phobia. This phobia can be extremely crippling and, in extreme cases, force a person to miss occasions, locations, and persons that are likely to set off an anxiety attack. Socially anxious people worry about being scrutinised or made fun of in public. If left untreated, social phobias can persist throughout a person’s life and usually begin in adolescence. The dread of public speaking is the most prevalent type of this phobia.