Top 10 Common Phobias You Probably Have
A phobia is often described as an extreme or irrational fear, one that often elicits an uncontrollable reaction. It's likely that if you are watching, then you are victim to one of these ten phobias. Viewer discretion is advised.
Arachnophobia - The Fear of Spiders
One of the most common specific phobias, those who have a fear of spiders, will go to great lengths to ensure that they are not exposed to these eight-legged arachnids. Most Arachnophobics react by running away or freezing in place. While experts are unsure what causes Arachnophobia, most scientists believe it is a result of an evolutionary response, since spiders have always been associated with disease and infection. In adults nearly 32% of women and 18% of men felt anxious and nervous when confronted with a spider, according to a study conducted in the UK on 261 people.
Ophidiophobia - The Fear of Snakes
Nearly 1/3 of adult humans are believed to have a fear of snakes and while most can lead normal lives because they don't often have to confront the object of their fears, others may see an image of a snake within books or the media and have a severe fear response. Having Ophidiophobia can be tricky to diagnose, as the symptoms vary greatly between individuals. Symptoms may include shaking, crying and anxiety. They may experience difficulty breathing or unusual heart rhythms. Over time, those afflicted may avoid pet stores, the open woods, gardens, or zoos and nature preserves. Most people who have Ophidiophobia have obtained it from a traumatic experience, but this is not always the case.
Acrophobia - The Fear of Heights
Affecting nearly one in every 20 adults, Acrophobia is a debilitating anxiety disorder whose word is derived from the Greek word Acron, meaning heights, and once again Phobos, meaning fear. Individuals who suffer from this phobia will avoid tall buildings, balconies, high hills and mountains, or even ladders depending on the severity of the Acrophobia. There are three main responses one has to the fear of heights, and they include anxiety, panic, and fear. One may even experience headaches, dizziness, tense muscles or uncontrollable sweating, but with a full blown panic attack, it can cause breathlessness, loss of control, and thoughts of dying.
Agoraphobia - The Fear of Open or Crowded Spaces
Those who have Agoraphobia may avoid or worry when they are on public transports, in large open spaces, around crowds or simply being outside their home. They may experience chest pains, sweating, trembling or dizziness along with other conditions when put in situations where they feel they can't escape or may embarrass themselves. They often may not feel safe in a public area and need a companion to accompany them, such as a relative or friend. Agoraphobics may be able to visit only certain places by themselves on one spectrum, while others won't even make it past the threshold of their house.
Cynophobia - The Fear of Dogs
Like most animal phobias, the fear of dogs is most likely caused by a negative experience with a dog, or dogs, at one time and usually, occurs during childhood. Varying in severity from person to person, common reactions are to run, freeze in terror, or attempt to hide. Sufferers may feel nauseated, disoriented, shake or have the urge to cry. Most are afraid of the bark or growling sound more so than the dog actually biting them. Considering how many dogs are prevalent in society, Cynophobic's will have a near impossible time avoiding them, and will often not attend public places and family gatherings. They are unable to enjoy many outdoor activities for fear of running into their worst fear. This can all lead to isolation and depression. Don't look down now... but here comes number 4
Astraphobia - The Fear of Storms
Being one in a few phobias that can be observed in both animals and humans, dogs are often associated with this fear. An individual's ability to continue normal activities will be compromised as their fear of thunder and lightning take over. Feelings of anxiousness, rapid breathing, unusually fast heartbeats, trembling, and various other symptoms can be attributed to Astraphobia. They may seek shelter beyond the normal protection, such as hiding under the bed, going to the basement, or entering a closet. It is common for Astraphobics to extensively follow weather forecasts or to track the storms online.
Claustrophobia - The Fear of Enclosed Spaces
The severity of this fear can vary widely from person to person. You may feel panicked, sweat, shake or have heart palpitations. Those afflicted may seem desperate to get out of the situation at hand, find it difficult to breathe, or just simply cry. Some have said that it feels as if the walls are closing in on them. Claustrophobia sufferers may experience any of these symptoms while occupying small rooms, crawl spaces, elevators, crowds and many, many other situations. People suffering from a fear of enclosed spaces may severely limit their lives, causing them to miss out on several activities in life. Researchers have yet to determine the factors that may cause Claustrophobia, having only speculations that it may be caused by bad childhood experiences.
Mysophobia - Fear of Germs
Also known as germophobia, the name Mysophobia is derived from two Greek words, Myso, meaning germs, and Phobos, meaning fear. Believing the world to be a "filthy" place, those who suffer from Mysophobia fear microbes or contamination from germs, resulting in the constant washing and cleaning of themselves and their environment. They fear getting contaminated with dirt or grime, coming in contact with those who sneeze or cough, and various other outlooks of an unclean world. Heart palpitations, shaking, sweating or crying when exposed to "unclean" elements are just a few of the symptoms one with Mysophobia could feel.
Aerophobia - The Fear of Flying
The physical symptoms associated with this phobia include heart palpitations, shaking, sweating, and gastrointestinal distress and the person may become disoriented with the inability to think clearly. Often times, they feel upset or get irritable, lashing out at friends and relatives. Aerophobia is the fear of flying and often is experienced as soon as one arrives at the airport. But this is not always the case, as some will be perfectly fine while waiting for their flight, and show no signs of distress until they get on the airplane. This fear can develop from, but isn't limited to, watching extensive media of airline disasters or experiencing a traumatic flight in the past.
Trypophobia - The Fear of Holes
Sponges, aerated chocolate, and honeycombs are just a few things that would stir panic in a trypophobe because this condition causes them to fear clustered holes. The reaction to these holes is intense, being described as making their skin crawl, shudder, and feel itchy, even triggering panic attacks. New research into this phobia suggests that it may not be the holes that people really fear, but an evolutionary adaptation that tells our brains that holes equal danger.