Phobias can cause extreme anxiety and panic. Here’s a list and names of common and lesser common phobias.
Most folks have fears, and sometimes those fears are so overwhelming some people try to avoid them at all costs. Phobias are fears of a particular object or event happening.
There are five classifications of phobias in the general population. Phobias cause intense fear and anxiety. Some people may even have panic attacks.
If you’re dealing with a phobia, there are treatments available and ways you can cope. Some phobias are more common than others.
Phobias are persistent and intense fears of a particular:
- person (like a doctor or clown)
If you have a phobia, you may experience severe anxiety and panic attacks when you’re:
- exposed to the object or situation you’re fearful of
- thinking about the thing you’re afraid of
- anticipating an encounter with the item you’re scared of
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), specific phobia is an anxiety disorder. The average person with a specific phobia may experience up to three simultaneously.
- natural environment type
- animal type
- situational type
- blood injection or injury type
- other type
The other type of specific phobias encompasses all phobias that don’t fit into the four previous types.
- fear of a particular object or situation that causes immediate anxiety
- object or condition that the person is fearful of is avoided for at least six months
- fear of a phobic object or situation is disproportional to the actual danger of the object or situation
- causes distress in essential areas of a person’s life such as relationships, work, or school
- another mental health disorder doesn’t cause symptoms
In children, signs of a specific phobia may look like:
- clinging to a caregiver
- extreme emotional reaction
Common phobias, according to
- acrophobia: fear of heights
- aerophobia: fear of flying
- aquaphobia: fear of water
- astraphobia: fear of storms
- claustrophobia: fear of closed spaces
- dentophobia: fear of going to the dentist
- enochlophobia: fear of crowds
- glossophobia: fear of public speaking
- hemophobia: fear of blood
- iatrophobia: fear of doctors
- mysophobia (germophobia): fear of contamination
- nosocomephobia: fear of hospitals
- zoophobia: fear of animals
And there are other phobias within these classifications.
Fear of animals (zoophobia) also has specific phobias associated with particular animals, such as:
- ailurophobia: fear of cats
- arachnophobia: fear of spiders
- cynophobia: fear of dogs
- entomophobia: fear of insects
- musophobia: fear of mice
- ophidiophobia: fear of snakes
- ornithophobia: fear of birds
- spheksophobia: fear of wasps
- ichthyophobia: fear of fish
There’s not an exact number of known phobias.
And there are other weather-related phobias other than the fear of thunderstorms, such as:
- ancraophobia: fear of wind
- antlophobia: fear of flooding
- chionophobia: fear of snow
- heliophobia: fear of the sun
- nyctophobia: fear of darkness
- lilapsophobia: fear of tornadoes and hurricanes
- pluviophobia: fear of weather associated with rain and storms
- thermophobia: fear of hot weather
If you’re dealing with a phobia, you may not be able to face what you’re afraid of and often may have irrational fears about the situation or object.
While you may have heard of some of the more common phobias, some rarer phobias include:
- anatidaephobia: fear of ducks watching you
- alektorophobia: fear of hens or chickens
- ambulophobia: fear of walking
- anthophobia: fear of flowers
- coulrophobia: fear of clowns
- emetophobia: fear of vomiting
- equinophobia: fear of horses
- gamophobia: fear of marriage
- gynophobia: fear of women
- haphephobia: fear of being touched
- lockiophobia: fear of childbirth
- megalophobia: fear of large objects
- nomophobia: fear of being without your phone
- plutophobia: fear of money
- scopophobia: fear of being stared at
- thalassophobia: fear of the ocean
- trypanophobia: fear of needles
- trypophobia: fear of clustered patterns of irregular holes
The longest phobia word is hippopotomonstroses-quippedaliophobia, which ironically stands for fear of long words. There isn’t any research on this condition, making it tough to know its origins and how it affects people.
While the scariest phobia is subjective, one phobia that can cause significant distress is phasmophobia, or fear of the supernatural or ghosts.
- nighttime panic attacks
- daytime sleepiness
- dissociative sleep
- being fearful of sleeping alone at night
This research suggests that this fear often develops in childhood and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.
There are several treatments available for phobias.
Some types of therapy that may be helpful for phobias include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
- exposure therapy
- systematic desensitization
- applied muscle tension (AMT)
Additionally, according to the authors, there is limited evidence to suggest that medication helps treat specific phobias.
Their research found some promising data for the use of propranolol and glucocorticoid in treating specific phobia. Still, more research must be done on its effectiveness before being considered a standard treatment.
If you’re considering treatment for a specific phobia, consider speaking with a mental health professional near you to find treatment options.
Specific phobias are prevalent worldwide. While you may experience common fears such as heights or snakes, you may also become phobic of something less familiar.
Avoidance may be typical for you if you’re dealing with a phobia. While avoidance means you don’t have to face the anxiety, avoiding may only make confronting the object you’re afraid of more anxiety-provoking when you have to confront it.
The standard treatment for phobia is psychotherapy, as many types of therapy are effective in helping reduce symptoms associated with phobias. Medications aren’t yet as helpful in treating phobias. Remember, if you’re dealing with a phobia, you aren’t alone and can get help.