Another Face of Anxiety - Common Phobias

It’s easy to say that you are afraid of spiders, or that you don’t like heights, but unless you suffer from an actual phobia you may be lucky to escape the experience of the crushing fear associated with severe phobias.

A phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” This goes beyond the squeal when you see a spider crawl across the floor. Having a phobia is not a joking matter and can quickly lead to panic attacks and cause serious anxiety for the sufferer. There is a frighteningly long list of phobias (see Wikipedia’s “List of phobias”) classified and documented over the years, but here are a few of the more common ones.

1- Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders

Whether you have seen the 1990s horror film, which is enough to turn anyone against spiders, or not, you have likely heard of arachnophobia. If you suffer from arachnophobia you can experience fear and panic at the mere thought of a spider.

2- Acrophobia: The fear of heights

You may not love the idea of skydiving or even living in a high-rise apartment on the 25th floor, but for those who suffer from acrophobia, even mere thoughts of those things are crippling and debilitating. If you suffer from acrophobia you will go to great lengths to avoid driving over a bridge, or avoid visiting any tall buildings at whatever the cost.

3- Cynophobia: The fear of dogs

Typically, cynophobia is caused from suffering an attack by a dog at some point during childhood. The fear that all dogs have the ability to harm you can last well into your adult years, causing you to cower in fright at the sound of a dog barking. Not an ideal phobia to suffer from if you live in the suburbs surrounded by people walking their dogs on a daily basis.

4-  Pteromerhanophobia: The fear of flying

Flying can be a daunting task for some, and an outright terrifying idea to others. Those who dislike flying but see the convenience behind it, can typically find coping mechanisms to help them through the flight. But for those who suffer from pteromerhanophobia the fear cannot simply be overcome with simple breathing techniques. Luckily flying isn’t a necessary part of most people’s daily lives and can be avoided by those who cannot overcome their fear.

Phobias having to do with everyday activities such as riding public transportation, using an elevator, or speaking in public can be debilitating. Even if you know the fear is irrational, the anxiety that it causes can disrupt your daily life. It can put a strain on personal relationships, it can impact your employment and be harmful to your personal wellbeing. If you suffer from a severe phobia that causes discomfort and you wish to either overcome it or obtain a better understanding of phobias and axiety, do not hesitate to contact your therapist and begin the healing process.