Do you fear anything that the situation will give you anxious moments? Have you ever wondered why most people have no problem dealing with a certain object that you absolutely abhor? Well, you may have developed a phobia for that situation or object. Some phobias are actually quite common, with a lot of other people sharing your same fear. You need not worry too much, because phobias can actually be treated with behavioral and cognitive therapy techniques. So unless you have a phobia of top ten lists, read on and see which are the top ten most common phobias.
You may think of them as having obsessive-compulsive disorder, what with their constant need to clean and wash and bathe. They may actually have mysophobia, or a fear of germs or dirt. They always believe they are contaminated with germs, thus, you will always see them heading to the washroom to clean themselves up. Maybe they saw the movie Boy in the Plastic Bubble when they were kids, but then again, their irrational fear of germs and dirt may cause them to think of even the most sterile environment as contaminated. They will have constant panic attacks, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, trembling, chest pain, increased heart rate and nausea.
Remember Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man, who refused to get on a plane, as almost every airline and aircraft have suffered some sort of accident in the past? Those who have pteromerhanophobia, or the fear of flying, probably use a similar type of argument. They fear that the plane will crash, which may result into their death. And even if they survive, they fear getting trapped in a place where help is almost impossible to come by.
3. Social Phobias
We all know someone who prefers to stay alone or in the company of only a few old and trusted friends. They do not participate in parties and other social gatherings. They may also dislike meeting anybody new. Talking in public in front of a room full of people is definitely out of the equation. They are painfully shy in front of other people, the presence of big crowds or strangers can send their heartbeat sprinting, and they are extremely self-conscious. A churning tummy and sweaty palms characterize their nervousness.
Remember when you were a kid and you would lash out at the doctor or nurse holding an injection needle? Well, you were a kid then, so that may not be an uncommon reaction. But when you are all grown up and you still fear injections, then you may have trypanophobia. You panic at the thought of being injected, and your heartbeat starts going up and you tremble uncontrollably. You may even completely avoid getting medical help just to avoid the needle.
In The Sound of Music, all the Von Trapp kids went to the room of the character of Julie Andrews when a thunderstorm occurred. She then sang a list of her favorite things to help assuage the fear of the children. And that is what those with astraphobia need…just a simple word of hope or anticipation. Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning, and those who suffer from it may find themselves crying, sweating and having panic attacks during thunderstorms. They may feel nauseous, and they have a constant need to use the restroom. It gets worse if they are alone because they will look for ways to get additional cover, such as underneath the sheets or even under the bed itself.
Not all dogs are like Lassie or Benjie. Some end up like Cujo. And the latter is probably what those with cynophobia have in mind. They do not view man’s best friend as such, so they tend to run away upon the sight of a dog. Even worse, some would just freeze in terror. Specific negative experiences with canines tend to feed this phobia. There are some who fear just certain kinds or breeds.
Agoraphobia, or the fear of any situation in which the person would have difficulty escaping, can take place anywhere. It may be religious buildings, open spaces, crowded malls, etc. It can be practically any space where the person believes is part of the phobia. Panic attacks may occur when this happens, so the person may just try to avoid any situation, no matter how remote, that may lead him to the place.
Have you ever experienced fear crossing a tall, narrow bridge? Do you avoid even seemingly harmless entertainment park rides, like Ferris wheels? Do you dread looking down from a tall building or ledge, especially if there were little protection? Then, you may have acrophobia, or the fear of heights. Those who suffer from acrophobia may have anxiety attacks when placed on or exposed to heights. The situation must be relieved immediately, otherwise, the person will start to feel restless and may even become panicky.
Well, what regular person does not have any fear of snakes? Those shows in the Discovery Channel certainly do not allay a person’s fear, what with those fatal venom strikes that some breed of snakes can spit at you from even a distance. The fear of snakes may vary, with the most extreme not even capable of looking at pictures of the slithering animal. It also depends on how one perceives the images, sounds and movements that are connected with snakes. Those who suffer from this phobia may have emotional anxiety, panic attacks, loss of control, and even suffer from fainting.
This phobia usually afflicts women more than men, which is why there is a popular notion of women jumping at the sight or even just the possible presence of spiders. Those who suffer from arachnophobia may experience shortness of breath and sweat excessively. They may also be prone to crying and screaming when they see spiders or even just a spider web. For them, every room probably have spiders.