Estimations provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) about phobias states that about 19.2 million American adults are affected by one. Phobias are intense and irrational fears of something that are of little or no actual danger to the person. Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder. They generally appear in childhood and continue on as a person matures.
Phobias can relate to fear of animals, social situations and objects. Some phobias are more common than others. Here are ten common phobias:
Achluophobia is the fear of the dark. Also known as nyctophobia. Fear of the dark is generally more about the fear that something dangerous is concealed in the darkness. Imagined dangers, like monsters in the closet, are the basis of this phobia more so than the darkness itself.
Zoophobia is a term that encompasses the fear of animals of any type. Arachnophobia, for example, the fear of spiders falls into this category. Other common animal phobias include the fear of cats, bees, bats, dogs, insects, horses, fish, mice/rats, snakes, birds and worms. It is speculated that some of these fears may have evolved over time because of the presence of dangerous animals like poisonous spiders in our environment. Those who suffer from animal phobias will often go to extreme measures to avoid these animals and are always alert to places where these animals may be lurking.
The fear of heights is called Acrophobia, or Altophobia. Two to Five percent of the population suffers from this phobia. Often confused with Vertigo, which is dizziness that is triggered by heights and not an actual fear of them. The danger associated with this phobia is that the person will experience a panic attack or become too upset with the height to get themselves to a safe place.
Aviophobia or Aviatophobia is the fear of flying. This can make travel difficult for those who suffer with the phobia and can become compounded by an additional phobia, like a fear of heights and enclosed spaces.
Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces and one of the phobias that most of us are familiar with. Studies show that between 5 to 7 percent of the worlds population has this fear of being closed into a small space without a means of escape.
Dentophobia or Odontophobia is a fear of dentists and dental procedures. Algophobia is probably the reason so many people have a fear of the dentist and this is a fear of pain. The dentists themselves are probably not the cause of all the tension but the apprehension about the pain involved with most dental procedures. A related phobia is Trypanophobia; also know as Belonephobia or Enetophobia. This is a fear of needles or injections, both of which are commonplace when having dental work done.
Glossophobia is the fear of speaking in public. Those with this phobia will become anxious and stressed when faced with the possibility of having to speak in front of a group.
And lastly, Mysophobia is a fear of germs, contamination or dirt. Also referred to as Germophobia. This may cause repeated, though not obsessive, hand washing,
Wikipedia – List of Phobias
Wikipedia – Acrophobia
Wikipedia – Claustrophobia
Wikipedia – Mysophobia