Phobias and Fears. As I often mention, people are generally fascinated by the whole notion of hypnotherapy and ‘”working with the mind to bring about positive change”. In fact I’ve written a separate article on that very subject.
The one area that I’m most regularly quizzed on though, when cornered at cocktail parties and social gatherings; and perhaps because it’s so close to home for many, is the subject of “phobias”. I can frankly understand why. It’s one of the most fascinating subject areas that I encounter within my practice. So fascinating I’ve decided to publish an unofficial Top 100! More on that soon(ish).
What IS a phobia? A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. A phobia typically results in a rapid onset of fear. One’s condition in this context is regarded as a phobia rather than just a reaction if it is present (ie. re-occurs or is prevalent) for more than six months. Typically the sufferer, feeling these effects, will go to great lengths to avoid the situation or object, to a degree often greater than the actual danger posed.
If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided, the affected person typically experiences significant distress. This often triggers their “fight or flight” responses; elevated heart rate, blood pressure and breathing and the release into the bloodstream of an entire cocktail of “if you cant kill it, run for your life” hormones and organic chemicals. In instances such as blood or injury phobia, fainting may occur. Agoraphobia is often associated with panic attacks (later explained). It is not uncommon for the sufferer to experience phobias to a number of objects or situations.
Common examples I treat are fear of public speaking and interviews, social phobia and extreme awkwardness in social situations, exams, birds, rodents, insects, spiders, snakes, flying, heights, driving, nightmares, falling and enclosed spaces. But that’s just the tip of the phobic iceberg.
But 100 phobias…really?
Absolutely! The range and variety of objects and situations for which people can hold irrational fears is almost endless. In fact, 100 doesn’t even scratch the surface. I’ve personally treated ones not even ON this list.
So why a Top 100? Well, as we live in a world seemingly obsessed with scores, rankings and leader boards, I thought we needed one. 100 was a nice round number that passed the “gee that’s a lot test”. Big enough to really get your imaginations firing. I accordingly did some research and viola, courtesy of curejoy.com, I produced a Top 100. Now of course, that title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’m certain no-one has gone to the excruciating lengths of stack ranking and scoring the data on all cases, nor in fact would reliable data to support the claim be available. Still, what a cracker of a title, eh?
Are Phobias and Related Fears Real or Imagined?
That is a great question. Before I answer it though, I’ll offer some informed insights and a suggestion. I imagine, to those unaffected by phobias, all of this sounds a bit strange. In fact, phobia suffers are sometimes even subject to ridicule by those that don’t understand.
To a phobia sufferer however, it’s very real. Very real. Close your eyes and imagine being thrown, blindfolded into a shark tank with a large Great White. In the mind of the sufferer it’s potentially that real. That terrifying. My suggestion? Firstly, show them understanding and secondly, reassure them that there ARE really effective ways to treat it. You’ll read more about that soon.
OK now, are phobias REAL? At the root of some phobias, there exists a plausible risk that the object or event that bothers the sufferer has the potential to create harm. For others, the is no possible risk. But in the mind of the sufferer and in either case, the imagined risk or threat becomes disproportionately amplified.
In the case of the former, the imagined risk or threat, however improbable, appears to the sufferer to be painfully likely. Sufferers often cannot effectively discriminate between what is unlikely, possible, probable and very likely. In that specific case, their ability to accurately assess real risk is impaired. They might be “stuck in the past”, carrying some memory of a fearful moment or associated trauma that they can’t shake. They are unconsciously constantly fearful that it might happen again. Perhaps they’re prone to always seeing the worst-case scenario; a pattern of thinking that further exacerbates the effects.
We’ve established there are many phobias which can seem very real. How common are phobia sufferers?
It’s hard to estimate. It is extremely common for people to have some level of irrational dislike for situations or objects. I could not blame someone for feeling that way about Rap music for example. But seriously, where does one draw the line that puts someone into or outside of the phobia sufferer category?
One interesting line of delineation is the “panic attack”. While this is at the extreme end of the sufferer spectrum, it’s still reasonably prevalent. For reference, a panic attack is where the sufferer is left feeling completely overwhelmed with anxiety or fear. An attack can come on suddenly and the sufferer might find themselves trembling and sweating with terror. Buckled at the knees and unable to stand. They may also experience chest pains, find it difficult to breathe and even pass out. Panic attacks are thus at the “industrial strength” end of the phobic reaction spectrum.
None the less, it is estimated in America for example that around 6 million adults suffer from panic disorder in a year, where they experience panic attacks regularly. This condition typically develops during early adulthood and women have a greater chance of getting it than men.
Don’t Even Get Me Started On Medical Phobias!
Ok too late, but I’ll be brief.
I suspect if I’d tried, I could have come up with a Top 100 Medical Phobias list all on its own.
If phobic energy was electricity, the field of medicine produces enough potential energy to light Las Vegas. I’ve devoted an entire slab of my website to Hypnotherapy For Medical Patient Treatment, and even produced an explanatory video on the subject. If you’re a sufferer, I urge you to check out both.
Can Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Fix Phobias?
Before you panic, there’s great news. Phobias are right in the sweet spot for treatment with Hypnotherapy. My treatment approach, using Strategic Psychotherapy, NLP and dissociation techniques applied during hypnosis while utilising biofeedback monitoring, works to address the underling causes of your fear or phobia to comprehensively overcome the problem. I will be able to make you feel extremely comfortable and at ease, while showing you the appropriate care and understanding. In fact, the entire process should not only be effective, but quite enjoyable and relaxing.
You should notice the difference almost immediately and over a course of typically three sessions over 2 – 3 weeks, you should expect to overcome your specific fear or phobia completely.
I will confidently treat any phobia case. His approach is however particularly effective if:
- you feel your fears or phobias might be related to broader anxiety issues,
- you are particularly sensitive,
- you are susceptible to panic attacks, or if
- your fear or phobia is associated with some traumatic event that has occurred.
The Phobias “Top 100”
Courtesy of http://www.curejoy.com, here is a resource to better understand phobias generally, as well as to pinpoint and better understand what you might be experiencing yourself.
As you read this list, be kind. Yes, there are some unusual ones. Just remember the shark tank, and recognise that across the world, there are real people with real lives, experiencing real and often major fears associated with each and every one of them.
And see which ones you can remember the next time you’re wanting to stimulate an interesting dinner party conversation.
Click here to read my article series on the closely related subject of “Anxiety 101”.
Visit my Targeted Hypnotherapy FaceBook Page and Like, Follow and Share.
An irrational fear of spiders is called Arachnophobia. In this case, an individual experiences symptoms of anxiety, dizziness, rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating, and choking, just by anticipating the contact with spiders. It is also triggered by mere mention or sight of cobwebs. It is the top 1 phobia of all the phobias. A study conducted on 261 adults revealed that around 32% women and 18% men have this phobia.
The second most common fear, ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. About 1/3rd of adult humans suffer from this phobia. Being scared of snakes is a common human tendency. But, in people with ophidiophobia, a mere sight, picture, or video of snakes on the TV could also trigger intense fear. The symptoms include uncontrollable anxiety, crying, screaming, trembling, and increase in heart rate. Severe cases might lead to heart attack and death.
A panic attack induced by the fear of not being able to escape from a particular place is called agoraphobia. It might be an enclosed small space (lift), a crowded place (train), or a completely open place (desert). Different spatial arrangements affect individuals differently. Symptoms include rapid/shallow breathing, choking, dizziness, nausea, trembling, and fear of death. Studies show that approximately 5% of Americans between age 18–54 have this phobia.
A condition where tall buildings, bridges, hills, balconies, or roller coasters induce extreme fear in a person is called acrophobia. In this case, the individual tries to avoid any place that is at a higher altitude. The symptoms include fear, anxiety, dizziness, panic attacks, breathlessness, and fear of death. One in every 20 adults has this phobia and it is, therefore, the most commonly evident phobia.
The intense fear of lightning and thunder is called Astraphobia. In the US, it is estimated that at least 10% of the adult humans are affected by this phobia to some extent. It is extremely common in children, but some adults intensely experience it. The symptoms include fainting, rapid heart rate, hiding in a closed space to avoid an encounter with such calamities, checking if the window, doors, and curtains are closed. Symptoms like refusing to move from a place during lightning, and having thoughts of death are also evident.
Cynophobia is called as an irrational fear of dogs, where the individual tries to avoid situations where dogs are present. This affects his day to day life significantly. Symptoms include running away, dizziness, fear of getting attacked, excess sweating, nausea, trembling, and fear of losing control and inability to differentiate between reality and unreality. About 3.7% of the American population has this phobia.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) being its root cause, mysophobia is an excessive fear of germs. At least 5% of the people in the US have clinically diagnosed mysophobia. This results in the individual washing his hands frequently, taking frequent showers, or completely avoiding situations which could expose him to germs. Symptoms include avoiding public places, avoiding a handshake with people, refusing to use a public toilet, refusing to touch door knobs, and being addicted to using hand sanitizers.
Claustrophobia is the condition where the individual is extremely scared of small and enclosed places like elevators, tunnels, airplanes, mines, and caves. It is a common social phobia affecting nearly 2.5% of the population in the US. The person might feel choked, sweaty, nauseated, and experience faster heartbeat, accompanied by a feeling of being buried alive or trapped.
An irrational fear of patterned holes is called trypophobia. In this case, a mere sight of holes or pores in lotus pods, vegetables, honeycombs, or similar things make some people feel like something is crawling under their skin. Others experience itching, trembling, nausea, or feeling disgusted. Up to 16% of the people in the US suffer from this phobia, with women being affected more (18%) than men (11%).
The fear of flying in airplanes and helicopters is called aerophobia. Though about 25% of the population generally fears flying, clinically diagnosed aerophobia affects only about 6.5% of the population in the US. In most of the cases, it is accompanied with other phobias like claustrophobia, agoraphobia, or acrophobia. Such an individual usually avoids situations which mandate him to fly. However, in unavoidable situations, he might feel nausea, trembling, irritation, dizziness, fear of falling to death, and disorientation.
An extreme fear or irrational thoughts of death is called thanatophobia. It is prevalent in around 20% of the world population. The individual fears leaving the house owing to this phobia. A mere talk or thought of death could trigger symptoms like dizziness, choking, numbness, sadness, anger, repetition of gory thoughts, and disorientation.
An irrational fear of being alone is called monophobia. Many individuals experience this phobia and show extreme insecurity, anxiety, and depression when left alone. As a result, they avoid such situations to a great extent. However, when such a situation arises they might experience dizziness, nausea, inability to distinguish between reality and unreality, lightheadedness, fear of fainting, and chest pain. A negligible percentage of people actually suffer from this phobia.
A fear which people experience when they themselves, or their friends or relatives are diagnosed with cancer is called carcinophobia. Such people tend to worry a lot about being a prey to this deadly disease (when they are healthy) and frequently visit doctors to ensure everything is fine. They also worry about their family and how would the family handle it. They avoid situations and foods that could put them at the risk of getting cancer.
The lack of confidence in one’s own abilities leads to a fear called atychiphobia. Some amount of doubt about being successful is common is most of the individuals. But, people with this phobia fear coping the ridicule they might face after failure, and tend to avoid situations that might have unfavorable endings. Symptoms include sleeplessness, anxiety, muscle pain, tension headache, twitching, and trembling. Between 2 and 5% of the American population suffers from this phobia.
The fear of performing on stage or public speaking is called glossophobia. About 6% of the population in the US has this phobia. People with this phobia tend to freeze and sweat as they face the audience. They go blank and experience palpitations, accompanied by shaking and quivering voice, when on stage. This impacts one’s professional life, as speaking up is one of the most common business traits.
A condition where mere image or sight of a chicken induces irrational fear is termed as alektorophobia. A survey conducted shows that nearly 5% of the adult humans suffer from this. People with this phobia tend to go at great lengths to avoid encountering chickens. However, when they see an image or actual chicken, they might develop restlessness, dry mouth, nausea, and distorted articulation abilities.
The intense fear of intimacy is called aphenphosmphobia. These could be the relationships with parents, siblings, and partners. This phobia disrupts the personal life of the individual since most of the close relationships have intimacy as their roots. Apart from symptoms like nausea, panic attacks, and gastrointestinal distress, these people also are scared, worried and feel vulnerable and inferior.
The irrational fear of winged animals/birds is called ornithophobia. In some, the fear may be related only to eagles, vultures, and hawks. Such people avoid visiting or eating at places where birds are present. They avoid visiting museums where the images, feathers, or bones of certain birds are kept. They try to flee away in such situations and face nausea, cold sweating, and palpitations.
An extreme fear of crowd or large gatherings is called enochlophobia. It is closely related to agoraphobia. People with this phobia experience upset stomach, gastrointestinal disorders, shaking, trembling, and inability to distinguish between reality and unreality. Surprisingly, 37% of the population in the US suffers from this phobia.
A mere sight, thought, or process of getting injected might trigger anxiety and panic attack in some individuals. They are also scared of needles and pins. Such people go greater lengths to avoid getting injected. They tend to faint, feel choked, nauseated, or experience tremors when injected. Trypanophobia affects about 10% of the people in the US. And, amongst the 10%, 20% of affected individuals avoid medical treatments even in serious situations.
An unwarranted, extreme, and irrational fear of people and the society is called Anthropophobia. This phobia is prevalent in around 10% of the people in the US. It is different from other social phobias like glossophobia, since the fear here is constant, irrespective of any social situation. They avoid social interactions and might even keep family at bay since they perceive everyone as a potential threat. Symptoms include thoughts of getting embarrassed at social gatherings, onset of panic before the gatherings, and nausea, crying, and sweating.
An irrational fear of blood is called hemophobia. Blood of his or others might frighten the individual to such an extent that his blood pressure drops, leading to paleness and fainting. Such a person goes to extreme levels to avoid situations that need him to see blood. Some of which include going to a dentist or any other doctor and playing sports which might lead to injuries. At least 3–4% of the population suffers from this phobia.
Characterized by an extreme fear of abandonment, autophobia is onset in individuals who are dependent on others to extreme levels. The physical symptoms include anger, jealousy, depression, and insecurity. Psychological symptoms include constant spying on the spouse or close ones to make sure they do not have an affair, trying to contact them constantly, being a part of events where the spouse is invited and not the individual.
A constant, unwarranted, and irrational fear of water is called aquaphobia. It is different from hydrophobia since hydrophobia is the fear of water onset post rabies. Extreme fear of drowning and encountering scary animals inside water, thought of gasping for breath are some of the psychological symptoms. They avoid shower and hyperventilate, pass out, cry, and sweat at the mere sight of water.
According to a poll conducted, 68 percent of Americans are afraid of deep, open water, while 32 percent fear to put their head in the water and 46 percent fear the deep end of pools.
Being closely related to the fear of marriage, gamophobia is the fear of commitment. The thought of commitment dreads the person and he can go to greater lengths to avoid bringing up the topic. Extreme anxiety, loss of control, crying, sweating, and increased heart rate are some of the symptoms. Like other anxiety disorders, gamophobia also affects about 9–10% of the population in the US.
The extreme fear of driving is called vehophobia. This makes the person depend on his family or friends or public transport to drive him to places. While some individuals have fear of driving on some highways, some are scared of the whole task. They avoid driving, visualize dreadful images of driving, experience sweating, dry mouth, trembling, and sweaty hands.
Commonly known as “the fear of unknowns”, xenophobia is a fear induced when a person, or group of people, or situations are perceived as strange. Apart from common physical symptoms like in other phobias, the person escapes from the situation involving meeting new people or encountering new situations, and a severe panic attack triggered by a mere thought of strangers. The percentage of this phobia greatly differs from one country to another, depending on their social well-being. In the US, about 14% of the total population suffers from this phobia.
The percentage of this phobia greatly differs from one country to another, depending on their social well-being. In the US, about 14% of the total population suffers from this phobia.
A fear that keeps one from dreaming and achieving goals, since the person dreads being successful is called achievemephobia. This person can take a negative path after being successful, putting everything they achieved at stake. They get into a self-destruction mode and become a prey to alcohol, drugs, and suicide in worst cases. It is clinically diagnosed in nearly 3% of the Americans.
A persistent and unhealthy fear of the God, which affects the day to day life of the sufferer and his family is called Theophobia. Such a person avoids going to religious places like churches and worshiping idols. When put in an unavoidable situation, the person tries to run away from the place and has a full-blown panic attack. Studies show that between 5 and 13% of the population in the US suffers from this phobia.
The fear of falling is called basiphobia. Nearly 3–5% of the people are affected by this phobia. It is closely related to fear of walking, taking stairs, and standing. The symptoms include anxiety when asked to walk, inability to do daily chores due to the intrusive fear, trembling, crying, and panic attacks. The patients, however, know that their phobia is irrational, but they are powerless to overcome it.
Considered as one of the silliest phobias, globophobia is the irrational fear of balloons. A mere sight, thought, presence, or touch of balloons could induce palpitations, shortness of breath, shaking, trembling, and running away from the place. Some people, however, are just scared of the sound made by popping balloons. It merely affects many adults, but those who are a prey to it have a tough time. Oprah Winfrey is one of them!
The fear of change is called metathesiophobia. People with this phobia find it hard to accept the present and love to live in the past, since they are scared of accepting changes. The person restricts himself from crossing his comfort zone and can lie and make excuses to not avoid accepting the change.
Typically found in young females, androphobia is an extreme fear of men. It is also evident in men, in some cases. The sufferer dreads being left alone with a man. This impacts their personal and professional relationships. They are under the constant pressure of getting embarrassed in front of the male counterparts. People who have androphobia generally tend to keep it to themselves, thus, the percentage of the population that suffers from this phobia is unknown.
Also known as ailurophobia, this condition is called as the fear of cats. Approximately 22.2% of the population in the US are affected by this phobia. A mere sight, image, or thought of cats could trigger intense panic attacks in such individuals. They tend to avoid an encounter with cats in any situation.
The irrational fear of darkness is called nyctophobia. Most children and some adults experience this phobia. Such individuals refuse to sleep alone and dread being attacked by monsters and ghosts. As a result, they are under a constant pressure of finding a way of escaping from the darkness.
An extreme fear of crossing the bridges or tunnels is called gephyrophobia. Driving might become a difficult task if one has this phobia, and it might interfere one’s day to day life. The sufferer might shut his eyes, have sweaty palms and shortness of breath while passing the bridge or tunnel.
The extreme fear of being anxious due to a particular person or situation is called phobophobia. In simple terms, it is the fear of fear. Such people fear of embarrassing themselves while being anxious.
Ranking the list of most unusual phobias, triskaidekaphobia is the fear of number “13.” This is because, the number has always been associated with something evil. Such people go at lengths to avoid the sight or usage of number 13, since they cannot take out the constant bad thoughts running in their mind, due to this number.
The irrational fear of love is called philophobia. The sufferer dreads romantic relationships and emotional attachment. It is most commonly found in women than in men. Such person if gets into a relationship, would be very possessive and anxious about the other person driving them away.
The fear of vomiting is termed as emetophobia. Such people get scared at the sight of someone else vomiting or getting sick than themselves. It affects women more than men. Such people try to avoid places and situations like pubs, roller coaster rides, bus journeys, and flying, which could trigger vomiting.
People with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia tend to experience a great deal of anxiousness when they encounter long words. The person could pass out or have a full-blown anxiety attack when he has to read or write a long word.
The fear of bugs or insects is called as entomophobia. A feeling of disgust or aversion is the common response to this phobia. In severe cases, the patient feels as if there is an insect pricking, stinging, or creeping on his body. This leads to constant cleaning and scratching which could lead to severe skin infections.
One of the non-specific phobias, panophobia is fear of everything. It might sound bizzare, but this phobia does exist. Sufferers usually experience one or the other phobia mentioned here, and might constantly feel something evil would occur. This greatly impacts their day to day life.
Closely related to emtomophobia, lepidopterophobia is the fear of butterflies. In most of the cases, it is usually related to the fear of winged insects. The color and scales on the butterflies usually trigger the fear, due to their consistent fluttering. An image of a butterfly, going to zoos, or scary imagination that a winged insect might attack them, constantly induce panic attacks in them.
An irrational fear of feet is called podophobia. The sight of feet tends to upset the patients and they might refuse to touch or see their own feet. Some are scared of others seeing or touching their feet. The fear could induce various health and hygiene hazards, as the person would refuse to take off the shoes even when going to bed, or wash them regularly. This could lead to infections and allergies.
Also called as friggatriskaidekaphobia, it is the fear of “Friday The 13th.” Shockingly 8% of the population in the USA suffers from this phobia. The theory that this date has something evil attached to it is the main cause of this fear. Such people keep themselves locked inside on that particular day, due to their constant fear that something terrible might happen.
An intense fear or hatred (or both) of women is called gynophobia. Men usually suffer from it and they tend to hate their own mother, sister, bosses, colleagues, or any women around them. They are scared of having a sexual contact with women, and so might turn into homosexuals. They have a common disgust for all women and perceive them as filthy and cheaters.
The anxiety disorder related to sleep is called somniphobia. The sufferer might feel something might go wrong during sleep or might think he would go out of control once he falls asleep. As a result of lack of sleep, he would feel constantly lethargic throughout the day and fall sick often.
An uncontrollable fear of bees is called apiphobia. People with this phobia are usually scared of bees, wasps, and yellow jackets. Normal fear of bees is common in every individual, but in apiphobia, the patients have an anxiety attack which could paralyze them.
An irrational fear of ducks is called anatidaephobia. This phobia might sound funny, but people suffering from this are under a constant fear that somewhere in the world a duck or a goose is watching them! This might impact the day to day life, since they refuse to get out of their homes fearing ducks.
One of the common phobias, pyrophobia is the fear of fire. A mere smell of smoke, or something burning at a far distance could trigger panic attacks in these patients. As a result, such people always keep their escape routes ready, check stoves often to make sure they are switched off, set up smoke alarms and spend a lot on fire extinguishers.
A persistent fear of buttons is called koumpounophobia. They avoid just the sight of buttons and prefer cloths without buttons. These people avoid pearls or any circular jewel object, that triggers anxiety. They, therefore, avoid wedding parties which are filled with people in formal cloths.
An irrational fear of frogs or toads is called ranidaphobia. The facts that some frogs are poisonous, their urine causes warts, they have allergens in them are the causes for the triggers. Such people usually avoid places like lakes or lush greens where frogs might be present. Severe cases tend to feel that a large frog might jump upon their head or crawl under their skin.
A persistent and irrational fear of dolls is called pediophobia. In this case, the individual is scared of mannequins, wax figures, marionettes, robotic figures, or animatrix. Some patients might be not be scared of all kinds of dolls, but only certain types like walking, talking, or one with glowing eyes. A full blown panic attack is one of the common symptoms.
Also called as selachophobia, galeophobia is the fear of sharks. Normal fear of sharks is common due to their appearance and nature. However, a person with this phobia goes to great lengths to avoid oceans, lakes, rivers, zoos, or aquariums. A mere image, video, or sight of shark in the aquarium could also create intense fear.
An intense, persistent, and unwarranted fear of cockroaches is called katsaridaphobia. The sufferer freezes at the mere imagination or sight of a cockroach and turns sweaty. The person tries his best to ensure the cockroaches stay away. As a result, he tends to be engaged in cleaning things around, most of the time, and spraying insecticides often.
An irrational fear of doctors is called iatrophobia. It is most commonly found in children since the fear is related to needles, however, some people continue to have it as adults. The person tries to avoid visiting the doctor irrespective of the severity of the medical condition he is going through. He also avoids vaccinations or blood check-ups, as a visit to a doctor causes nausea, hypertension, and irritation in GI tract of the individual.
One of the rare phobias, athazagoraphobia, is the fear of forgetting, or the fear of being forgotten or ignored. In most of the cases, it is onset during childhood when the child is left without attention or left alone for a long phase. It is closely related to dementia. Patients suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and depression.
The fear of little people or objects or midgets is called achondroplasiaphobia. Such people avoid visiting circus, casinos, fairs, or malls due to the presence of dwarf or small people. If in case they encounter such people, they flee away from that place or have an anxiety attack.
A persistent fear of fishes, even the ones that are small and harmless is called ichthyophobia. Seeing a picture, video, or fishes in an aquarium could induce an anxiety attack in the individual. Therefore, they avoid visiting any water bodies. Such people are scared of dead fishes as well.
Bananaphobia is an irrational fear of bananas. It is a very rare phobia, where one can’t stand the sight of bananas and refuses to be in the same room where the bananas are kept. He even avoids passing the cart or the place in supermarkets where bananas are kept, and tries to flee away.
Being one of the most common phobias, zoophobia is the fear of animals. The fear doesn’t induce at the sight of all the animals, but certain animals trigger intense anxiety in the sufferers. The most common animals that induce fear in such people are lizards, frogs, cockroaches, maggots, snakes, rats, spiders, moths, and worms.
An intense fear of moths is called mottephobia. Though moths are harmless, people with this phobia perceive them as evil and dangerous creatures, which leads to anxiety attacks. They avoid stepping out of the home, especially during summers, when moths are present everywhere around.
Also known as spectrophobia, phasmophobia is the fear of ghosts. The fear is ingrained in us as kids through religious beliefs and TV shows and movies. However, an individual with this phobia refuses to sleep alone, turn off the lights, or step out of the home in the dark. This could interfere with the day to day life since the persistent fear of ghosts could lead to lack of sleep, stress, poor social relations, and low performance in academics or work.
An irrational and unwarranted fear of food is called cibophobia, where the patient has food aversions or choking when he eats or thinks of food. Of all the phobias, this has a greater impact on the day to day life since it causes nutritional deficiencies. The sufferer is also obsessed about the shelf-life or expiration of the foods and keeps checking for it often.
Considered very silly amongst the normal crowd, sidonglobophobia is the fear of cotton balls. People with this phobia get anxiety attack at the mere sight or image of cotton balls. They have a full blown panic attack when they try to open their mails, use medicines, or Q-tips.
The intense fear of horses is called equinophobia. A person with this phobia experiences nausea, hyperventilation, trembling, crying, and full blown anxiety attack at the sight/image/video of a horse.
Fearing crime is a common trait in everyone, but people with scelerophobia have an irrational fear of burglars and crimes. Such people are constantly vigilant and feel the need to secure themselves all the time. As a result, they fix expensive cameras, security locks, and other safety fittings to protect themselves from crime. They also avoid going to deserted places and dark places.
An extreme fear of talking on the phone is called telephonophobia. A mere thought of ordering food or booking an appointment through telephone induces a panic attack in them. Therefore, they prefer sending text or mail.
A deep fear of rats or mice is called musophobia. A sight of watching the rats feeding on trash, image, or video could trigger an anxiety attack in the patients. Such people find rats disgusting and carriers of disease.
A phobia where the patient dreads pain is called agliophobia. Pain is subjective and the threshold differs from one person to another. Such people avoid trying new things, going to new places, and visiting doctors and dentists apprehending pain.
An extensive fear of mirrors is called catoptrophobia. Some women, especially, being self-conscious are scared of looking at themselves in the mirror, thinking they would look ugly or unappealing. Also, they believe, mirrors have some supernatural powers, which is yet another reason for the phobia.
Around 6–7% of women around the world suffer from tokophobia, which is the fear of getting pregnant or bearing a child. Such women are often mistaken as over-reacting, but they have a full-blown panic attack with a mere thought of a life growing inside them. The word ‘delivery’ make them flee from the place.
The fear of fat people is called cacomorphobia. People with this phobia often know that their fear is irrational, and the way a person looks has nothing to do with their nature. However, they cannot overcome the fear and cannot stand the sight or situation in which fat people are involved.
An unusual phobia, omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. A mere sight or touch of the belly button of their own or others triggers a feeling of disgust and terror. It affects both men and women equally.
An unwarranted, irrational, and intense fear of choking is called pseudodysphagia. They fear to swallow pills or food due to the fear of choking since they often complain of not being able to swallow. They have nightmares about choking due a candy or nut. They often avoid eating in front of others as they believe swallowing could make unpleasant noise.
Most commonly found in thousands of people across the world, pogonophobia is the excessive fear of beards. People with this phobia have a difficult time socially or at work, where they have to be around people with beards. Beards tend to disgust or terrify them.
The fear of depths is called bathophobia. Though people with this phobia are scared of tunnels, caves, or valleys, the fear is mainly associated with the depth of water bodies, especially the sea. Therefore, such people tend to avoid any water sources, since a mere sight of it could induce panic attack in them.
It is common to see kids throwing tantrums to go to school, but in the case of didaskaleinophobia, the thought of going to the school induces a panic attack in children. Anger and boredom are the two main reasons stated for this. Such children have terrifying thoughts of dying in school and try to avoid school to a great extent. Goes without saying, this phobia affects the child and his family.
Everyone wants to stay young, but the extreme fear of growing old is called gerascophobia. People try to avoid social connections with the fear that they might appear old. This greatly affects their personal and professional life.
An extreme fear of hospitals is called nosocomephobia. It is common to be slightly scared of hospitals due to the factors like illness, blood, needles, and death associated with it. However, people with this phobia completely avoid stepping into the hospitals however severe their medical condition is. The sight of hospitals also sets a panic attack in them.
Also called as ligyrophobia, phonophobia is the fear of loud noises. A sound of alarms, burglars, security alarms, firecrackers, noisy marketplaces, sports stadiums, and freeways leave the individuals with this phobia panic-stricken and disoriented. Therefore, they tend to avoid social situations as much as possible.
An irrational fear of hair either of human beings or animals is called chaetophobia. Such people have fear of getting bald if someone else touches their hair. They have a full blown panic attack when they see a person or animal with thick, dense, or curly hair. Grey or white hair let loose, or strands on the floor could induce fear.
An inquisitiveness of future is common in everyone, but an extreme anxiety of future or passing time is called chronophobia. The thought that the present situation is going to be past soon, terrifies the patients with this phobia. This keeps them completely detached from reality.
An intense fear of technology, or using anything that is technically advanced is called techophobia. They resist any automatic response, or find it very terrifying to accept anything that involves technology.
A persistent and deep phobia of work is called ergophobia. The fear constantly relates to getting yelled at work by bosses or not being able to perform well. This results in unemployment and thus, the person has to depend on others for food and other resources, which could be humiliating.
An extreme fear of wasps is called spheksophobia. A thought or sight of wasps could trigger an intense panic attack in people with this phobia. The person usually refuses to step out of the house owing to this fear.
An irrational and unwarranted fear of opinions is called allodoxaphobia. They tend to stop participating in any activities or answering any questions due to the extreme fear that people might have opinions about them. This tends to isolate them from people permanently.
People with coulrophobia feel shaken and traumatized when they encounter clowns. It could be deep rooted in children but some adults also face this phobia. They tend to avoid places like circus and theme parks, and might get angry when they encounter such situations.
An intense fear of roller coaster rides is called coasterphobia. While minor fear of roller coasters is normal in most of the population, people with this phobia experience panic attack at even the thought of sitting in a roller coaster. This might not affect the day to day living but the sufferer might be prone to bullying by family and friends.
The fear of losing or getting rid of one’s belongings is called dispophobia. They display intense anxiety when asked to dispose off their belongings which they no longer use. Due to this, their houses lack space and are usually cluttered with a lot of junk.
An extreme fear of rain is called ombrophobia. While some patients are scared of heavy rains, some are scared of drizzles as well. It is also associated with fear of thunder and lightning (astraphobia), and characterized by the a full blown panic attack.
A deep aversion or fear of numbers is called numerophobia. This, greatly impacts their day to day life, beginning from school or doing any normal tasks like buying groceries from the store. This directly impacts their standard of living.
An irrational fear of light is called photophobia. The patient cannot stand light at all and hence has severe problems getting photographed. He tends to believe that the light might be sourced from an alien or an evil spirit which cause harm to him. They prefer darkness always, or wear sunglasses when out in the day.
The fear of Halloween is called samhainophobia. Since a lot of gory images, dolls, or people with such makeup are found everywhere during this season, patients tend to have a panic attack at the mere sight of it. They might refuse to sleep alone or step out in darkness.
Taphophobia is the fear of being buried alive. Just the thought of this induces various physical and mental symptoms in the patient. They avoid places like basements, cemetries, or tombstones.
The extreme fear of ants is called myrmecophobia. People with this phobia have the constant fear that ants might enter their home, contaminate their food, ruin their furniture, cause irreversible damage and death eventually.
An irrational fear of worms is called scoleciphobia. Most commonly found in children, some adults also experience it. A mere sight of worms makes their skin crawl. Therefore they tend to avoid places that has the presence of worms.
An unwarranted fear of oceans is called thalassophobia. It is often related to fear of large waves, salty water, and large open spaces. People with this phobia tend to face a panic attack at the image, video, or sight of the ocean.
Kinemortophobia is too weird to be true. It is an irrational fear of zombies or fear of people turning into zombies themselves. An image or imitation of zombies could trigger an anxiety disorder in the patient and he might get sleepless due to this phobia.