A Therapist's List of Top Ten Phobias

What are the top ten phobias as per therapists?

Phobias are very common and treatable mental health conditions.
Phobias are very common and treatable mental health conditions.

As per research from therapists below are the top ten phobias

  1. Social phobia: Social anxiety disorder is fear of social interactions. It can make everyday activities challenging, stressful and anxiety provoking.
  2. Claustrophobia: This is the fear of enclosed spaces. People have difficulty breathing or a fear of running out of oxygen. It is believed that about 5% of the population suffers from claustrophobia.
  3. Zoophobia: An umbrella term that involves extreme fear of certain animals. Arachnophobia means fear of spiders. Ornithophobia means fear of birds. Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes and apiphobia means the fear of bees. This fear is linked to an evolutionary response against these creatures, many of which are poisonous. Symptoms of this fear most often appear during childhood but can also develop in adulthood.
  4. Brontophobia: Fear of thunder and thunderstorms. Such people know that thunder cannot harm them but are still worried about going out during a thunderstorm.
  5. Acrophobia: This is a fear of heights. Acrophobia is believed to be partially ingrained, whether biologically or evolutionarily, as a survival mechanism. These people may develop attacks while climbing stairs and may be terrified to move.
  6. Blood, injury and injection (BII) phobia: Injury phobias are generally phobias associated with fear of medical procedures. They may often be associated with fainting and hyperventilation. These include hemophobia (fear of blood) and trypanophobia (fear of receiving an injection). Odontiatophobia is the fear of visiting a dentist.
  7. Aerophobia: This is the fear of flying. It can be passed down from parents if they are anxious flyers. It may be due to past experiences or even from watching media coverage of crashes.
  8. Atychiphobia: This is a fear of failure. When this fear becomes debilitating and one is unable to progress in life, it is time to seek help from a professional.
  9. Thanatophobia: This is a fear of death. As with atychiphobia, this fear is not shocking, but when it takes over day-to-day activities and causes anxiety that prevents seemingly normal activities and behavior, it becomes a serious problem.
  10. Nosophobia: This is a fear of developing a disease even if a person is having only minor symptoms.

Apart from the above phobias, below are few more common phobias

  • Emetophobia: This is a fear of vomiting.
  • Vehophobia: This is a fear of driving. For most people who suffer from vehophobia, the phobia follows involvement in a car accident or after witnessing one. 
  • Aquaphobia: This is a fear of water.

Is a phobia a mental disorder?

Yes, phobias are diagnosable mental disorders. A phobia is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. It is also a type of anxiety disorder. A phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or a situation. People with phobias try to avoid what they are afraid of. If they cannot, they may experience

What are the treatment options for phobias?

Phobias are highly treatable and people who have them are nearly always aware of their disorder. This helps diagnosis a great deal. Phobias are treated with a combination of therapy and medications which may include

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Gradual controlled exposure to the "cause’ may help bring down the anxiety response.

Medications may help treat phobias

Medication therapy may cause a few common side effects which include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sometimes weight gain. A doctor may prescribe the best medication with the least amount of side effects depending on the type of phobia.


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