What Are The Most Common Phobias And Their Meanings?

most common phobias

Are you scared of slithering serpents?  Are you terrified of the creepy-crawlies? According to some studies, there are a variety of explanations for why phobias develop, containing evolutionary and behavioral theories. Regardless of the cause, phobias are really treatable conditions that could be overcome with behavioral and cognitive therapy techniques. So, what do people fear most? Read on this article from VKool.com to discover the list of 10 most common phobias and their meanings.

Most Common Phobias – Top 10 Commons And Their Meanings 

1. Fear Of Heights – Acrophobia 

most common phobias

This phobia is a generalized fear of all heights. This distinguished it from fear of flying (aerophobia) and other specified phobias.

Acrophobia is occasionally confused with vertigo which is a physical condition that leads to disorientation or dizziness when looking down from a huge height. Unlike specific phobia such as aerophobia – fear of flying as well as other phobias, acrophobia could get a person fearing of various things related to being far from the ground. Basing on the severity of phobia, a suffer might equally fear climbing on the ladder or being on a high floor.

The symptom of acrophobia is that you might feel a great sense of panic when being at height. You might instinctively start to search for a certain thing to cling to and are unable to believe in your sense of balance.

Learn more: how to deal with fear of heights

2. Fear Of Enclosed Spaces – Claustrophobia 

most common phobias

This is among the most common phobias. It could range from mild to severe. In the severe case, sufferers will develop fear of closing a bedroom door. Also, a lot of sufferers find their claustrophobia is particularly triggered by some common situations like entering the elevator or riding an aircraft. When you have this type of phobias, you might feel anxious and panicked when being in a small place. The symptoms can be sweating, shaking and experiencing heart palpitations. Or, even you cry and yell. Also, you try to get out of the situation by whatever possible. Some individuals with this phobia find it hard to breathe. Some people say that it feels like the walls are steadily closing in on them. Finally, you might start to avoid those activities that might cause you to be in such situations, such as crowded parties as well as other similar events.

Check out: tips to get rid of fear of space

3. Fear Of Dark – Nyctophobia 

most common phobias

This is one of the most common phobias in kids. In the older children and matures, this phobia could become crippling. Nevertheless, most individuals still retain a little bit of fear of the dark through their lives. In fact, this fear might be evolutionary in nature because a lot of predators hunt in the dark at nights. As a consequence, darkness is a used element in horror movies as well as Halloween events.

The symptoms of nyctophobia contains sleeping with nightlight, being reluctant to go out at night, increased heart rate, sweating, shaking and even feeling ill if being in the dark.

4. Fear Of Snakes – Ophidiophobia 

most common phobias

This phobia might be the most popular subcategory of fear of reptiles. Some experts believe that this fear might be evolutionary, originated by our ancestors as the survival mechanism. It is shown that while the trend to pay close attention to those snakes might be evolutionary, the real fear is studied rather than innate.

The symptoms of this phobia vary widely among sufferers. For those with mild severity, they might fear just encounters with venomous snakes. If the condition is more severe, they might be afraid of smaller snakes. You might not be able to look at the photos and even television shows in which snakes are shown.

The symptoms might contain shaking, crying or running away from the snakes. Also, you might go through heart palpitations as well have difficulty in breathing.

5. Fear Of Spiders – Arachnophobia

most common phobias

This is a common animal phobia that suffers often fear of spider webs. So, they will ensure that they will not be exposed to spiders. As a result, they will avoid participating in the activities in nature like camping or hiking that have the high risk of being exposed to spiders.

The symptoms of this phobia are various. Most typically, you will ensure that you will not come into contact with the spiders. If there are spiders in your own house, you might react as the following two ways: either freezing in one place or screaming before running away. Also, you cannot kill or trap the spider by yourself, but rather than you rely on a family member or friend to rescue you from that situation. And, if there is no one else in the house, you might react by leaving the house instead of dealing with the spider.

The activities like camping or hiking might be hard or even impossible for you to take part in.

Read more: tips to improve mind energy

6. Fear Of Medical Needles Or Injection – Trypanophobia 

most common phobias

This is a medical phobia and affects approximately 10% of Americans. This disorder is referred to as “needle phobia” in general.

The symptoms do not vary. Sufferers might dread going to medical care centers for medical care, especially injections.  When they are required to experience one medical procedure, they will be likely experience high blood pressure and an increased heart rate in many hours and even days before the procedure. Nevertheless, at the time of the procedure, the blood pressure might quickly drop. You even faint.

7. Fear Of Lightning And Thunder – Astraphobia 

most common phobias

This is a popular fear among many kids. Storms and thunders are natural phenomena which tend to inspire extreme emotions in both human beings and animals. Some individuals love to watch directly them through the window or doorway while some hide in somewhere. The severity is varied which is similar to those of many other phobias, including shaking, sweating, and crying out. You might seek such a constant reassurance during the storm. Those symptoms will become heightened if you are alone.

Many sufferers might hide under the bed or the covers or even go into the closet. They often close the curtains and try to block out the storm’s sounds.

Recommend reading: how to get mind body balance

8. Fear Of Suffering From A Disease – Nosophobia

most common phobias

This is an irrational fear of having a certain disease. People with nosophobia have a few physical symptoms, are afraid of a specific disease and become persuaded that they have the symptoms of that specific disease. This phobia is common among those researchers or students who spend a lot of time on reading about a particular disease.

9. Fear Of Germs – Mysophobia 

most common phobias

This intense fear refers to the unhealthy fear of contamination. It is prudent and normal to be concerned about those problems like cross-contamination of daily foods, exposure to the others’ bodily fluids and keeping good hygiene. Nevertheless, if you have mysophobia, these simple concerns tend to become overblown. In fact, mysophobia is thought to be associated with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). The common symptom of this phobia is the high frequency of hand washing.

The symptoms of this phobia contain heart palpitations, shaking, sweating, or crying when being exposed to bacteria or dirt. You also show off some unusual behaviors like taking many showers per day, carrying and using hand sanitizer regularly. Also, you are not willing to go to public restrooms, take the public transportation or share foods with others.

10. Fear Of The Number 13 – Triskaidekaphobia 

most common phobias

This might be a less common phobia for you and it does not fit into a clinically definition of any specific phobia. 13 – this number is not really a situation or an object, and it could be impossible for you to avoid it. Furthermore, normally this phobia is not diagnosed because in order to be so, it has to drastically impact the life of sufferers. Most suffer of this phobia find that their fear just arise in certain circumstances, and does not hugely impair their own life.

Therefore, this phobia is not well-known in general. Today, triskaidekaphobia is accepted widely among those Western countries. A lot of Western hotels skip the 13th floor or replace it with the 12A floor. Also, many airlines skip the 13th row of seats. Sometimes, in a few cities and towns, governs skip the 13th street. And, Friday the 13th is also considered as the unlucky day in many countries.

A lot of cultures have the traditions of other unlucky numbers instead of 13. This is rooted in the ancient events in their own cultures. Not mention to the scientific classification, this type of phobias appears to be a widespread phobia whose roots might never be completely understood.

In reality, most phobias could be treated with a combination of proper therapy and something named “systemic desensitization.” That is when people are constantly and repeated exposed to their fear, be it a snake or a closed space, in an attempt of overcoming that fear. In some cases, anti-anxiety medications could also be resorted. Phobias could be debilitating yet with the proper combination of therapies, the chance of recovery is almost possible.

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