Since today is Halloween, let's take a closer look at some of the things that inspire fear. We all have fears, but when these terrors become so excessive that they cause symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or a sense of unreality, they become known as phobias. This list offers a glimpse of the many types of phobias that have been named by psychologists and doctors. As you can tell from looking at this list, there is a wide range of fear objects, from achluophobia (the fear of darkness) to phobophobia (the fear of phobias.) Some people even experience samhainophobia, or the fear of Halloween.
Do you have a phobia? I'm terrified of snakes, while my younger sister is afraid of spiders. We've also received a lot of comments from readers who suffer from what is known as megalophobia, or the fear of large objects. Attempting to compile a comprehensive list of phobias would be a futile exercise because almost anything could potentially become an object of fear. Many of these phobias arise due to traumatic experiences, although there is some evidence that phobias may run in families.
While we all have fears, you should consult a doctor if your fear of an object or situation is interfering with your personal relationships or functioning at school, home, or work. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 75% of people suffering from specific phobias are able to overcome their fear when treated with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Check out the articles below to learn more about phobias and be sure to visit the Phobias site here at About.com for lots more information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of phobias:
Photo by Bob Smith