A phobia is a condition based on fear, where you are afraid that you may be in danger. Whether it is touching something you believe is contaminated or being trapped in an enclosed space, there are many kinds of phobias out there. The website Fearof.net has listed what it considers to be the top 100 phobias, but for our purposes, let’s look at the top 10.

10.  Trypophobia:  Fear of Holes

Having trypophobia does not mean that you are afraid of a hole in the ground. Rather, the condition is associated with a fear of holes on the skin of the body. According to Trypophobia.net, a person may stare at holes or bubbles on the skin, then try to find a way to eliminate them.

9.  Aerophobia:  Fear of Flying

Fear of flying is a more common phobia, in which the sufferer fears of becoming overwhelmed while on an airplane, possibly even having a panic attack. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)  says twenty percent of the U.S. population suffer from aerophobia.

8.   Mysophobia:  Fear of Germs

Another commonly known phobia is the fear of germs. Mysophobia can cause sufferers to exhibit symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), such as excessive hand washing or refusal to touch certain objects that are “dirty.”

7.  Claustrophobia:  Fear of Small Spaces

Small, enclosed spaces can cause some people to feel claustrophobic. These spaces could include closets, elevators, caves, rooms, MRI machines, etc. Harold Levinson, M.D., writes in Psychology Today how the brains of claustrophobics do not like being deprived of sensory information, thus, enclosed areas can trigger a fight/flight response.

6.  Astraphobia:  Fear of Lightning and Thunder

A thunderstorm can be scary for anyone, but if you suffer from astraphobia, a storm can be a frightening trigger, causing you to believe you are in real danger. People who struggle with this condition may, in their past, have been been caught outside during turbulent weather or even shocked by electricity during a lightning storm.

5.  Cynophobia:  Fear of Dogs

If you are afraid of dogs, you may have had a negative experience with a dog in your past. An encounter with a scary or aggressive dog, or your parents’ protective warnings during your childhood might have instilled a fear of dogs.

4.  Agoraphobia:  Fear of Crowded or Open Spaces

Psychology Today defines agoraphobia as being afraid, “of any place where escape may be difficult.” This could include crowds, wide open areas, or certain forms of transportation. This condition may also make suffers want to stay at home or afraid to leave their homes.

3.  Acrophobia:  Fear of Heights

Living with a fear of heights can mean not wanting to be on rooftops, ladders, or any space that requires significant height above the ground. People may believe that the structure supporting them is unsound and could collapse underneath them, that they might get pushed over the edge, or that they will get dizzy or even be tempted to jump.

2.  Ophidiophobia:  Fear of Snakes

If you are afraid of snakes, you may be afraid that you will get bitten or perhaps die from poisonous venom. As with many phobias, you may try to avoid places where snakes are common. You are also in good company; the character Indiana Jones portrayed by actor Harrison Ford could bravely face any danger, except snakes.

1.  Arachnophobia:  Fear of Spiders

Perhaps the only phobia to have a movie named after it, arachnophobia is the most common phobia. According to Fear.net, if you suffer from this condition, you may be afraid of catching a disease or being poisoned from a spider bite. Seeing a spider may also cause a “disgust response.”

Phobias are fear-based, and certainly these common phobias occur because we are exposed to things that frighten us, like spiders, snakes, enclosed spaces, etc. But when these fears overtake our lives and interfere with day-to-day activities, they become a problem. Thankfully, there are treatment options available if you suffer from a phobia. It is entirely possible to live a phobia-free life.

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