Whatever the cause, there can be no denying of the crippling effect that phobias can have on people’s lives. Some of the most common fears and phobias can be avoided by steering clear of the thing that set you off, but there are others that are a little more difficult to escape from. Here are the top 10 most common fears and phobias but keep in mind that these are only scratching the surface of all the things that make us scared.
1. Arachnophobia – There is no denying that spiders can look creepy, but unless you live in an area that is home to the poisonous varieties, there is little they can do to actually harm us. That doesn’t stop people from getting completely freaked out at the sight of those eight-legged creepy crawlies. There are even extreme cases where even just a picture of a spider can set people off on a path of fear that they can’t easily get off.
2. Acrophobia – How many times have you seen a TV show or movie where a person sees a spider and jumps up on a chair to escape from it? That may not be an option for folks who also suffer from acrophobia, which is a fear of height. Although stepping up on a chair doesn’t always trigger that phobia, it often doesn’t take more than a few extra feet to get the sweat dripping and the blood pumping. One common misconception is that vertigo and acrophobia is the same thing, but vertigo is actually dizziness that is brought on by heights rather than a fear.
3. Agoraphobia – While many situations that spark phobias can be avoided, agoraphobia encompasses a number of different fears, the majority of which are impossible to avoid. They include fear of open spaces, stepping outside, being placed in social conditions and much more. This is actually one of the more debilitating phobias that anyone can suffer from.
4. Social Phobia – While many may lump this one into the mix with the others that make up agoraphobia, this one is actually a little more specific. For the most part, it’s a fear of public speaking that is at the forefront of social phobia. Not only are the irrational fears firmly entrenched in this phobia, it can also cause levels of stress that can be very unhealthy if public speaking is a regular part of a person’s life.
5. Aerophobia – If you take a close look at all the forms of transport that we use to get around, you will quickly discover that flying is widely considered to be the safest of them all. That doesn’t stop some folks from being physically unable to step on a plane, with some people suffering so badly from this phobia that the fear starts the moment they even pull up to the front door of an airport. It would be easy to lump aerophobia in with a fear of heights, but most people who have issues with this phobia experience a high level of fear before the plane even gets anywhere near getting off the ground.
6. Cynophobia – This is one of the few phobias that can very easily be traced back to a single traumatic event that took place earlier in life. Dogs have become man’s best friend, but not every canine wants to be considered someone’s buddy. That can lead to them snapping, biting, and even viciously attacking those that get a little too close. A bad experience with a dog can lead to a genuine fear whenever a four-legged fur ball gets in your vicinity.
7. Nyctophobia – Most of us welcome the night as it usually means that the work day is over and we are close to snuggling up in bed for the night. Unfortunately some folks watch the daylight disappear with an ever increasing sense of dread. Fear of the dark is another one that is tough to escape, especially if you are married to someone that can’t sleep with a light on. Darkness can’t do anything to hurt you, but it can certainly play tricks with the mind and make you think of the worst.
8. Brontophobia – People who have absolutely no fear of the night rolling in can still get a jolt of fear when they see the skies starting to darken. Instead of nighttime approaching, the darkening skies for them are a sign of storm on the way. The fear of thunder and lightning is so bad in some folks that it will send them scampering into closets or crawling under beds in an attempt to escape the coming storm. Just imagine how bad it would be if you had this phobia in addition to fear of the dark, constantly worrying that the power might go out during the storm or that you might not survive this storm.
9. Claustrophobia – Jumping into a closet simply wouldn’t be an option for someone suffering from claustrophobia, as the fear of being stuck in a confined space is one that they simply cannot imagine without fear setting in.
10. Necrophobia – The sad reality of life is that we all end up in a confined space at the end of it. Death comes to us all, but for many folks, the mere thought of that end is more than they can take. All of the above fears make it tough to live a normal life, but necrophobia may be the worst as those who suffer do nothing but spend their time thinking about the end of it.