The number of people with at least one phobia is increasing but they all fit into 3 types. Specific phobias, agoraphobia and social phobias. Even if you haven’t experienced having a phobia for yourself you will have witnessed them through your friends or family. So, what are the most common Phobias? Keep reading to find out!
It wouldn’t be surprising if you think of spiders as soon as phobias are mentioned. Arachnophobia in western society is extremely common. This is because phobias are learnt from those around us. We can see the evidence as approximately 55% of women and 18% of men have learnt this phobia from society. Even though there are over 40,000 species of spiders in the world, the majority cannot pierce human skin. If you find one that can, the worst that could happen is a bit of swelling. Arachnophobes would benefit from curing their fears as spiders occupy all continents except Antarctica so it’s they’re impossible to escape forever!
Aeroplanes are the safest mode of transport with slightly over 1,000 accidents occurring from 1960 to 2015. However, when there is an incident, it usually makes it onto headlines, causing the public to become more aware and afraid of planes. 9/11 is probably the biggest incident which increased aerophobia worldwide. Actress Whoopi Goldberg suffered from aerophobia after witnessing a plane explode mid-air and refused to get on a plane afterwards.
This phobia can be linked with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The fear of germs can cause the phobic to create a system or routine that makes them feel relieved from germs for a small while. People with this phobia avoid public places where germs build up quickly such as schools or hospitals or even the underground.
Everyone knows the tension at the moment just before a needle is injected into the skin. If you know this feeling you will also know the somewhat expected surprise when it is virtually painless or that we didn’t even feel the needle enter. People with trypanophobia experience the same thing but far more extreme. Nurses and doctors have seen adults crying and having panic attacks at the mere sight of a needle. Having this phobia would be a constant war with oneself as it is important to have vaccines and blood test to keep up to date with one’s health.
This is categorised as a specific phobia and is like one of the fears we are born with, falling. The whole reason people are afraid of heights is that they feel as if one wrong move could cause them to fall and hurt themselves. Having this phobia could keep you from many experiences such as going to the shard, scenic road trips in the mountains or even just crossing your everyday bridges.
Snakes have been villainized again and again in films such as Disney’s Jungle Book and Snakes on a Plane. In the UK, the only place you are likely to find a snake is in the zoo. Most people have had very little experience with snakes. So why are so many people afraid of them? Studies have shown people often respond to snakes with disgust. This could relate to the fact that snakes are known to be venomous. This would be useful thinking for our ancestors however today-not so much.
Man’s best friend (A.K.A- dogs), ironically bring up feelings of fear for many people. Just like arachnophobia, Cynophobia is usually picked up from family members and a lack of exposure to dogs from a young age as they will be unfamiliar. As we know, we fear what we don’t know. On the other hand, Cynophobia could be caused by a first-hand experience at any point in someone’s life. Of course, it is important to be aware that dogs are animals and if they feel threatened or aggressive, they might become violent. Treat dogs with respect and don’t overwhelm them but most importantly avoid approaching dogs that you don’t know.
There are several forms of social anxiety disorders, from Glossophobia (public speaking) to fear of being watched. Socials phobias are highly common and usually dismissed as shyness however it can lead to many problems and should be taken seriously. Small and easy tasks can set off someone anxiety and influence them to avoid people, places and situations such as school or work.
This is the fear of being in public and crowded spaces which make it difficult to escape. Agoraphobia usually goes hand in hand with panic attacks. People who suffer from panic attacks worry that they will have a panic attack when they are on their own and in a public space. If their panic attacks are quite frequent, they will avoid leaving their house or wherever it is they feel safe. Agoraphobia is not limited to those who suffer from panic attacks, but they may experience one trigger by the situation.
Astraphobia-Thunder & Lightning
People with this phobia are inclined to checking the weather at least once a day. If there are predicted storms, they may very well avoid going out even if they have important places to be. During thunder and lightning, they could have symptoms from increased heart rate to a full-on panic attack depending on the severity of their phobia. Being alone could make someone with astraphobia feel unsafe and sometimes even hide in rooms where they feel shields them the best from the weather.
If you suffer from one of these phobias, consider taking up some form of treatment as soon as possible to stop it before it takes over your life. The earlier on you catch it the easier it will be to cure. Click on the button below for a free consultation on what the best course of action is for you!