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10 Common Phobias

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Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders

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Acrophobia The fear of heights

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Pteromerhanophobia: The fear of flying

Image: Pablo Barrios

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.

1. Arachnophobia:

  • The fear of spiders.
  • This phobia tends to affect women more than men.

2. Ophidiophobia:

  • The fear of snakes.
  • Often attributed to evolutionary causes, personal experiences, or cultural influences.

3. Acrophobia:

  • The fear of heights.
  • This fear can lead to anxiety attacks and avoidance of high places.

4. Agoraphobia:

  • 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.
5. Cynophobia:
  • The fear of dogs.
  • This phobia is often associated with specific personal experiences, such as being bitten by a dog during childhood.

6. Astraphobia:

  • The fear of thunder and lightening.
  • Also known as Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, or Ceraunophobia.

7. Trypanophobia:

  • 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.

9. Pteromerhanophobia:

  • The fear of flying.
  • Often treated using exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually and progressively introduced to flying.

10. Mysophobia:

Video: What are the Most Common Phobias?

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