Rogue Magazine Top Stories 7 Common Types of Phobias People See a Therapist About

7 Common Types of Phobias People See a Therapist About

7 Common Types of Phobias People See a Therapist About

Phobias are intense and even crippling fears that people go out of their way to avoid experiencing. A phobia can even affect a person’s ability to socialize, get a job, or even perform everyday tasks such as cooking, eating, or sleeping. Humans have phobias about nearly everything. They include common ones such as fear of heights or weird ones such as fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, which is called arachibutyrophobia. Here are seven phobias people might go to a therapist to get help for.

1. Aerophobia: Fear of Flying

This is a very common phobia and is believed to bedevil at least 25 million Americans. Frankly, many people are at least nervous about flying. But for aerophobes, the very thought of getting on an airplane or even the sight of an airplane can bring on a panic attack.

2. Acrophobia: Fear of Heights

People with acrophobia not only can’t bear to take an elevator to the observation deck of a skyscraper, but they might not be able to climb a flight of steps, cross a bridge, or even look at a photograph of a mountain peak.

3. Agoraphobia: Fear of Crowded Places

A person who suffers from agoraphobia is not just scared of crowded places such as theaters, supermarkets, stadiums, or train stations but any place where they don’t feel safe. For some, this means they don’t leave their house for long periods. Sufferers have even been known to seclude themselves in their homes for years.

4. Zoophobia: Fear of Animals

Along with a general fear of animals, there are specific fears of cats, dogs, spiders, bees, and other insects, reptiles, and amphibians, including snakes, horses, fish, mice, birds, lice, and other parasites and worms. People with these phobias simply can’t stand to be around or even think of the animal that causes their terror. Like other phobias, zoophobia can hobble the person’s social life, especially if their fear involves common household pets like cats or dogs.

5. Microphobia or Pathophobia: Fear of Germs or Disease

Lots of folks are afraid of germs and no one wants to contract a disease, but as with the other phobias microphobia and pathophobia hamper the sufferer’s life. These are people who are sent into paroxysms of terror by every ache, pain, stomach rumble, or skin spot. They may visit their doctor and demand tests frequently but can’t be comforted by news that there’s nothing wrong with them.

6. Glossophobia: Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears, and according to research, 40 percent of Americans have actual glossophobia. Though a lot of people feel anxious if they’re called upon to make a speech to a roomful of people, people with glossophobia find the prospect intolerable.

7. Nyctophobia: Fear of the Night, or Fear of the Dark

It may be said that nearly every human is at least a little afraid of the dark. Nyctophobia is quite common in children, sometimes to the point where they can’t go to sleep without a night light or their parents being near or at least their parents reassuring them there are no monsters under the bed.

Effective ways to treat phobias include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and relaxation techniques. These therapies help patients keep anxiety at bay when they encounter a situation that triggers their fears.

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