Terrified of the creepy-crawlies? Scared of slithering serpents? Well, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias affect approximately 10% of adults. There are a number of explanations for why phobias develop, including evolutionary and behavioral theories. Whatever the cause, phobias are a treatable condition that can be overcome with cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques.
What do people fear most? The following phobias are ten of the most common fear-objects that lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and breathlessness. In some cases, these symptoms escalate into a full-blown panic attack. These common phobias typically involve the environment, animals, or specific situations.
- The fear of spiders.
- This phobia tends to affect women more than men.
- The fear of snakes.
- Often attributed to evolutionary causes, personal experiences, or cultural influences.
- The fear of heights.
- This fear can lead to anxiety attacks and avoidance of high places.
- The fear of situations in which escape is difficult.
- This may include crowded areas, open spaces, or situations that are likely to trigger a panic attack. People will begin avoiding these trigger events, sometimes to the point that they cease leaving their home.
- Approximately one third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia.
- The fear of dogs.
- This phobia is often associated with specific personal experiences, such as being bitten by a dog during childhood.
- The fear of thunder and lightening.
- Also known as Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, or Ceraunophobia.
- The fear of injections.
- Like many phobias, this fear often goes untreated because people avoid the triggering object and situation.
8. Social Phobias:
- The fear of social situations.
- In many cases, these phobias can become so severe that people avoid events, places, and people that are likely to trigger an anxiety attack.
- The fear of flying.
- Often treated using exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually and progressively introduced to flying.
- The fear of germs or dirt.
- May be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder.