They say that about five percent of people have a phobia and may suffer an anxiety attack. There are hundreds of phobias and the resource box will lead you to a list of all phobias.
It does not matter if you are rich or poor, famous or "not noticed yet," heavy or slim.
Those who do not have a phobia and do not shutter at a ghost, care if a black cat walks past them or even may walk under a latter most likely have a phobia that they have not yet stumbled upon.
Sometimes we do not know a person has a phobia, or a fear of something until we see the accompanying anxiety attack. Then we are helpless as what to do other than say, "There, there now."
For example, you put your kid on the airplane, sit down to the task of opening a bag of free peanuts and then the kid hears a banging noise. He says, "What was that?"
You say, "Nothing! The pilot was just adjusting the flaps after take off."
The kid looks out the window and screams.
The stewardess comes running, cuddles the kid, gives him a toy airplane and says, "Everything is okay. Just do not look out the window for now. She pulls down the window shade. She gives him a little comic book to read. And then she says, "there, there now."
Fear of flying was common to Muhammad Ali, Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Bob Thornton, actor and Ronald Reagan. John Madden has a bus and has not flown since 1979. I think maybe like so many of us, he got sick of flying and probably does not have a phobia. After traveling around the world for years by air, I have airport phobia. I shutter if I get close to one. However, I can not afford a big bus like John's and if I did, I certainly could not afford to put diesel into the thing.
Napoleon feared cats. Natalie Wood was afraid of water. Andre Agassi fears spiders. Anne Rice is afraid of the dark, and Adolf Hitler was claustrophobic. All of the above famous folks are mentioned on many web sites. Donny Osmond had a flash of social-phobia while making a film. It was not an enjoyable experience for him. He got the "quivers."
Phobias have names. If you go to the source box, you will be able to see a complete list of phobias. The names tend to end in "phobia " as in aerophobia.
Phobias are a form of anxiety and can be treated. A very good source is adaa.org/GettingHelp/Treatment.asp which is the site of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Treatment varies with the patient. There may be complicating factors such as drug reactions. Professional care may be needed.
Many phobias are not serious to an individual because they may not encounter the source of their fears frequently. When I was a kid, I put my pet green snake down the back of my friend Cal's shirt. He immediately killed my snake by throwing it a bit too hard on our cement driveway. I was very angry. He was more than that. Such a wimp!
My point is that we may have an undiscovered phobia lurking in us or around us. Now here is what to do if you run into an anxiety attack generated by a phobia situation. Say, "There, there now."
Fly Old Glory!