Everyone is fearful of something. It is normal to be afraid when you hear a noise in the house while you’re trying to sleep, or feel anxiety when getting ready for a job interview. But for approximately 19 million people in the United States who are living with certain phobias, anxiety or fear doesn’t even come close to describe what they are feeling.
According to Harvard Health, a phobia is “a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation. This means that a person will have an irrational fear of something, even if that thing has done nothing that outwardly appears scary. For example, a person who is afraid of spiders might react with an excessive fear even if the spider is behind glass.
Trypophobia – The fear of holes
The mere sight or thought of holes can set off a panic attack in the Trypophobe. As a result, the individual avoids objects such as coral, sponges, skin, meat, dried honeycombs and pretty much everything that has holes on it. Holes seem disgusting and gross to the sufferer and they will go to extreme lengths to avoid them.
Aerophobia – The fear of flying
This fear affects close to 7% of the world’s population. The mere thought of an upcoming flight can cause intense distress in the sufferer, including nausea, panic attacks, etc.
Mysophobia – The fear of germs
Mysophobia is the excessive fear of germs which is often closely related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Many people suffer from both OCD as well as Mysophobia. People who suffer from Mysophobia often obsess over washing their hands and disinfecting their homes.
Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces
This phobia is mainly related to the fear of suffocation or the fear of restriction. Sufferers may have a fear so intense that they don’t feel safe riding in cars, or entering small rooms even in their own homes.
Astraphobia – The fear of thunder and lightning
The majority of sufferers of Astraphobia are children, although the phobia can persist into adulthood as well. Even wild animals can have an extreme fear of thunder and lightning, and hiding is the natural psychological defense. Nearly 2% of Americans are known to have Astraphobia.
Kynophobia – The fear of dogs
The extreme fear of dogs, is one of the most common animal phobias around the world. Many people who seek treatment from this fear are also afraid of cats. Nearly 75% of Kynophobes are women and often caused by a traumatic experience in childhood, but not always.
Agoraphobia – The fear of open or crowded spaces
This fear can be very debilitating. People afflicted with this phobia often lock themselves inside their homes for extensive periods of time refusing to leave the safety of their walls.
Acrophobia – The fear of heights
You properly know someone who is afraid of heights since this phobia affects a significant number of the world’s population. In severe cases of Acrophobia, a panic attack might be triggered even when the sufferer is climbing up or down a chair. Nearly 10% of people in the United States are known to suffer from Acrophobia.
Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes
This is not surprisingly the second most common phobia globally. An extreme fear of snakes often prevent people from hiking, camping and engaging in any activity that may have them come into contact with snakes or other reptiles.
Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders
The fear of spiders or other arachnids, is the most common animal phobia around the world. Nearly 31% of Arachnophobia sufferers are living in the United States alone.
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