Do you suffer from one of the most common types of phobias?
People really can be scared of their own shadows.
Having a phobia of something can be devastating and can interfere with ordinary existence. Phobias limit a person’s ability to participate in personal and professional activities that others think are no big deal. But it is a big deal to the one suffering with a fear.
Phobias are described as irrational fears. They don’t seem irrational to the person dealing with the fear, however. The fear can present itself as severe anxiety and dread when having to encounter this creature, object, person, or place.
Over ten million people in America report having a phobia of some kind. It is noted that phobias are connected to post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorders. Researchers are now spending great energy on figuring out why fear happens in humans. Many believe phobias are caused by both genetic dispositions and environmental traumas.
There are many phobias that can be categorized.
Some people with a fear of animals can lead a normal existence.
Others, however, have such a fear of animals that by just mentioning the animal they fear can send them into a panic.
Zoophobia is the actual fear of animals. It’s a general term that covers all animals. But certain phobias can be narrowed down even further. For instance, arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes.
Equinophobia is the fear of horses, or what the horse may do to you. Maybe you had a bad experience with a horse in your past that would lead to this fear.
Cynophobia is the fear of dogs. I know what you are thinking, how could anyone fear dogs? Have you ever seen the movie Cujo? Believe it or not, the fear of dogs is one of the most common among all people who have a fear of animals.
Other phobias related to animals include the following:
- Alektorophobia is the fear of chickens
- Ailurophobia is associated with the fear of cats
- Ranidaphobia is the fear of frogs
Phobias Involving People
Anthropophobia is the actual fear of people.
People with agoraphobia basically fear situations outside of their home, especially situations that involve small or large crowds, shopping centers, elevators and even church.
Glossophobia is better known as the fear of public speaking.
This is such a common fear. Four out of every ten Americans have this fear. Some people get a few butterflies in their stomach but go on stage and give their speech just fine. Others vomit, have panic attacks and never make it on stage at all.
There are even fears associated with genders, including androphobia, the fear of men, and gynophobia, the fear of women.
Other fears in this category include:
- Cacomorphobia, the fear of fat people
- Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns
- Kinemortophobia, the fear of zombies (hey, zombies are people too, right?)
Phobias Relating to the Body
Carcinophobia is the fear of getting cancer.
Yes, everyone fears this. But the carcinophobe cannot lead a normal life due to their fear.
Some people with this fear may have even had cancer before, making their fear more rational than others. Those with fears of getting diseases ultimately may have a fear of death, or Thanatophobia.
Ever known someone scared to get a shot at the doctor because they hate needles? They may have trypanophobia. Or, they may have agliophobia, the fear of pain. To them, needles are associated with pain, so they may fear both.
Believe it or not, some women have an enormous and devastating fear of getting pregnant.
Tokophobia is the fear of getting or being pregnant, mainly because of the extreme changes can do to a woman’s hormones and body.
Phobias Related to Inanimate Objects
Most people know that inanimate objects cannot harm you on their own.
They can harm you when they are thrown at you by another person, but other than that, they just sit, waiting to be admired. There are people, however, that have a phobia of inanimate objects.
Despite seeing Chucky and other movies with evil dolls, puppets and mannequins, they technically can’t hurt you.
But if you fear them, like many do, you may be dealing with pediophobia.
Phobias Created by Scary Movies
While these phobias weren’t really created by watching a scary movie, the scary movies didn’t help anything either.
If you had a traumatic experience related to any of these and then you saw a movie making them evil, you can bet you paycheck a phobia could follow.
You can thank Mr. Alfred Hitchcock for turning bird lovers into having the phobia ornithophobia, the fear of birds.
Somniphobia is also called sleep phobia. While this traditionally has to do with people who fear they will sleep walk or talk, or experience sleep paralysis, there are also reports that show horror movies can trigger somniphobia. This is especially true in the movies where the bad guy kills with his horrible stainless steel fingernails while you are sleeping. Thank you Freddy Kreuger.
The Animal Planet Network has presented entire shows on galeophobia, the fear of sharks, which was also introduced by the king of killer sharks, Jaws.
Other scary movie related phobias may include:
- Phasmophobia is the fear of ghosts (too many movies to name)
- Samhainophobia is a morbid fear of Halloween (enter Michael Myers)
- Taphophobia is the fear of being buried alive and waking up in your grave
- Making a second appearance, Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, Kinemortophobia, the fear of zombies, and Arachnophobia or the fear of spiders
While these phobias may seem irrational to you and make you think you could never experience something like this, be careful what you claim.
You never know when you may have a traumatic experience with something, someone, some place that will cause you to have overwhelming fear.
Millions of people are facing one or two or more of the hundreds of phobias that are in existence.
The good news?
Help is available to anyone.
Trained counselors are available who specialize in helping people overcome their fears, no matter how common or uncommon they may be.
You can live a life without a phobia!