Specific Phobias for Everything

There is a named phobia for pretty much everything in this world. There is even a phobia for being afraid of “everything!” It's true. This phobia is known as panophobia or pantophobia. There are currently more than 500 phobias listed, but as changes occur in the culture, and new technology emerges, someone will become afraid of it, and another name will be added to the list. For example, before the technological age there was no such thing as technophobia.

Animal Phobias

Animal phobias often develop in childhood through learned behavior or an upsetting personal experience. For example, your parent may have had a fear reaction to a spider that scared you, or one dropped onto your head and crawled onto your face. Many of the animals in the phobia list are creatures you have feared since childhood, and as adults still bother you. Here are some examples:

  • Dogs—cynophobia

  • Snakes—ophidiophobia

  • Spiders—arachnophobia

  • Bees—apiphobia, melissophobia

  • Frogs—batrachophobia

Some animals are considered dangerous, but others simply inspire revulsion or disgust, such as rats, and maggots. However, some people are afraid of animals that most people would find cute or harmless, such as rabbits.

Natural Environment Phobias

Natural environment phobias commonly begin in childhood, most likely due to a frightening experience, or learned from parents' anxious reactions. For example, if a parent fears water, a child may become afraid to learn how to swim. The following list includes some of the more common natural environment phobias.

  • Electricity—electrophobia

  • Heights—acrophobia

  • Hurricanes, tornadoes—lilapsophobia

  • Sunshine, daylight—phengophobia

  • Water—hydrophobia

Natural environment phobias, like animal phobias may continue into adulthood, and create disruptions and interference in your work and personal situations.

Essential

Phobias are listed for every activity, action, thought process, and object. The fear of walking is ambulophobia, the fear of going to bed is clinophobia, the fear of thinking is phronemophobia, and the fear of clothing is vestiphobia. Names of phobias always seem to be at least ten letters long, and oddly enough, there is even a phobia for long words—hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.

Blood, Injection, Illness, and Injury Phobias

Blood, injection, illness, and injury phobias differ from other specific phobias because the major symptom is not a panic reaction, but a fainting spell. The fight or flight kicks in initially but is then followed by an immediate change to the resting state that quickly lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. The phobias listed in this type are things that can really hurt or cause worry and fear:

  • Injury—traumatophobia

  • Injections—trypanophobia

  • Blood—hemophobia

  • Disease—pathophobia

  • Pain—algophobia

Blood, injection, injury, illness phobia often keeps people from having necessary medical procedures. It is differentiated from illness phobia, which is an extreme and irrational fear of having a serious or terminal disease, such as AIDs or cancer. The illness phobia is grouped under the diagnosis hypocondriasis, the preoccupation of having a serious disease based on bodily sensations.

Situational Phobias

The situational phobias are very common in people who are phobic. These phobias can develop in early childhood; for example, at six months old a child can develop a fear of loud noises, or within a year a fear of heights, and later fears of the darkness and being alone. Here are some common situational phobias:

  • Being alone—monophobia

  • Public speaking—glossophobia

  • Fear of darkness—achluophobia

  • Flying—aviophobia

  • Decisions—deciophobia

  • Friday the 13th—paraskavedekatriaphobia

These phobias often persist into adulthood. Aviophobia, the fear of flying, is one of the most common fears of adults, and the fear of public speaking or performing is thought to be the number one fear in the United States. Included in the subtypes is “other type,” which includes phobias such as the of fear of expressing opinions, doxophobia; the fear of looking up, anablephobia; and the fear of motion, kinetophobia.

Though many of the phobias seem ridiculous, the person afraid of goldfish has the same distress as the person who is afraid of sharks. Many people with these phobias know that their fear doesn't make sense, but being able to look at the feared stimulus, be near it, or in the feared situation is almost impossible. Trying to do so will set off acute anxiety or a panic attack.

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