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Monday, 25 February 2013

TOP 10: Most Common And Feared Phobias

"A phobia is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities."


PS: We have no intention to scare you. ;)

So here our blog presents Top 10 most feared and common phobias:

10. Dentophobia

Not many people jump out of joy at the thought of an intense session of plaque removal. It is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs.

Direct experience is the most common way people develop dental fears. Most people report that their dental fear began after a traumatic, difficult, and/or painful dental experience. Dental fear may develop as people hear about others' traumatic experiences or negative views of dentistry (vicarious learning). The negative portrayal of dentistry in mass media and cartoons may also contribute to the development of dental fear. Dental fear may develop as a result of a previous traumatic experience in a non-dental context. If a person believes that they have no means of influencing a negative event, they will experience helplessness.

Treatments for dental fear often include a combination of behavioral and pharmacological techniques. Behavioral strategies used by dentists include positive reinforcement (e.g. praising the patient), the use of non-threatening language, and tell-show-do techniques. Pharmacological techniques to manage dental fear range from mild sedation to general anesthesia, and are often used by dentists in conjunction with behavioral techniques. Recent research has focused on the role of online communities in helping people to confront their anxiety or phobia and successfully receive dental care. The findings suggest that certain individuals do appear to benefit from their involvement in dental anxiety online support groups.


9. Aviophobia

There's no such thing as "the friendly skies" for the 25 million or so people in the United States who suffer from some form of flying fear. Fear of flying is a fear of being on an airplane (aeroplane), or other flying vehicle, such as a helicopter, while in flight. Fear of flying may be a distinct phobia in itself, or it may be an indirect combination of one or more other phobias related to flying, such as claustrophobia (a fear of enclosed spaces) or acrophobia (a fear of heights). It may have other causes as well, such as agoraphobia (especially the type that has to do with having a panic attack in a place they can't escape from). It is a symptom rather than a disease, and different causes may bring it about in different individuals.

A fear of flying is a level of anxiety so great that it prevents a person from travelling by air, or causes great distress to a person when he or she is compelled to travel by air. The most extreme manifestations can include panic attacks or vomiting at the mere sight or mention of an aircraft or air travel.

In some cases, educating people with a fear of flying about the realities of air travel can considerably diminish concern about physical safety. Learning how aircraft fly, how airliners are flown in practice, and other aspects of aviation can assist people with a fear of flying in overcoming its irrational nature. Flight experience with the use of anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines or other relaxant/depressant drugs varies from person to person. Medication decreases the person's reflective function. Though this may reduce anxiety caused by inner conflict, reduced reflective function can cause the anxious flier to believe what they are afraid will happen is actually happening.


8. Coulrophobia

Coulrophobia is a fear of clowns. The main reasons for coulrophobia are the make-up and exaggerated features of the clown. Painted eyes and painted smiles, as well as the red bulbous nose, can be frightening initially to children. In fact some children share a similar fear of Santa Claus as well.

The Internet has spawned hundreds of sites dedicated to the topic of coulrophobia. Many attribute evil intent to clowns due to the numerous media portrayal of clowns as evil. They also reference serial killer, John Gacy, who enjoyed dressing as a clown to entertain children at neighborhood parties. However, the Joker, the famous Batman villain, could technically be called the first modern evil clown.

Still, it is unlikely that coulrophobia will cease to exist, since most seem to have an innate distrust in being unable to read the expressions of the typical clown face. Naturally, media portrayal of clowns continues to enhance coulrophobia, by literally turning clowns into our worst nightmares.

7. Acrophobia

Beautiful Picture From Victims Perspective

Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, especially if there is little or no protection. Those who are confident in such situations may be said to have a head for heights. Acrophobia sufferers can experience a panic attack in a high place and become too agitated to get themselves down safely. Between 2 and 5 percent of the general population suffer from acrophobia, with twice as many women affected as men.
Traditionally, acrophobia has been attributed, like other phobias, to conditioning or a traumatic experience involving heights. Recent studies have cast doubt on this explanation; fear of falling, along with fear of loud noises, is one of the most commonly suggested inborn or non-associative fears. The newer non-association theory is that fear of heights is an evolved adaptation to a world where falls posed a significant danger. The degree of fear varies and the term phobia is reserved for those at the extreme end of the spectrum. It has been argued by researchers that fear of heights is an instinct found in many mammals, including domestic animals and human beings.

A possible contributing factor is dysfunction in maintaining balance. In this case the anxiety is both well founded and secondary. There have been a number of promising studies into using virtual reality as a treatment for acrophobia.


6. Entomophobia

Entomophobia (also known as insectophobia) is a common fear of or aversion to insects and similar arthropods, and even other terres bugs. This condition causes a slight to severe emotional reaction, a form of anxiety or a panic attack. The symptoms associated with this phobia are similar to the symptoms manifested with many other irrational fears. An entomophobic is likely to experience enough anxiety upon viewing or otherwise coming into contact with an insect that he or she experiences a full-blown series of panic attacks. With extreme cases, the individual may lose consciousness for a short period of time. Uncontrollable weeping or a strong desire to flee from the area are also common signs that indicate an individual is suffering with this particular phobia.

The therapist or psychologist will seek to define entomophobia by means of observation of the symptoms that are manifested and what triggers are required to produce each symptom. This makes it possible to determine if the individual is suffering from a general fear of insects and crawling creatures, or is suffering with a more specific phobia of some type.

Once a professional diagnosis is achieved, it is possible to begin an effective entomophobia treatment series that is designed to address the degree of severity exhibited by the patient. Similar to other phobias, the treatments usually make use of both ongoing therapy and counseling coupled with the use of medications to provide some degree of relief from the symptoms. Medication can help to minimize the frequency and strength of panic attacks upon seeing a bug, while therapy can often identify the underlying causes and eventually defuse their power to trigger a reaction.

5. Ophidiophobia

Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. Fear of snakes is sometimes called by a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians. The word comes from the Greek words "ophis" which refers to snakes and "phobia" meaning fear.

Care must also be taken to differentiate people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger involved. An ophidiophobic would not only fear them when in live contact but also dreads to think about them or even see them on TV or in pictures.

About a third of adult humans are ophidiophobic, making this the most common reported phobia. Recent studies conducted have theorised that humans may have an innate reaction to snakes, which was vital for the survival of humankind as it allowed such dangerous threats to be identified immediately.


4. Astraphobia

Astraphobia is an abnormal fear of thunder and lightning, a type of specific phobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop. A person with astraphobia will often feel anxious during a thunderstorm even when they understand that the threat to them is minimal. Some symptoms are those accompanied with many phobias, such as trembling, crying, sweating, panic attacks, the sudden feeling of using the restroom,nausea, the feeling of dread, and rapid heartbeat. However, there are some reactions that are unique to astraphobia. For instance, reassurance from other people is usually sought, and symptoms worsen when alone. Many people who have astraphobia will look for extra shelter from the storm. They might hide underneath a bed, under the covers, in a closet, in a basement, or any other space where they feel safer. Efforts are usually made to smother the sound of the thunder; the person may cover their ears or curtain the windows.

The most widely used and possibly the most effective treatment for astraphobia is exposure to thunderstorms and eventually building an immunity. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also often used to treat astraphobia. The patient will in many cases be instructed to repeat phrases to himself or herself in order to become calm during a storm. Heavy breathing exercises can reinforce this effort.


3. Nyctophobia


Nyctophobia is a phobia characterized by a severe fear of the darkness. It is triggered by the brain’s disfigured perception of what would or could happen when in a dark environment.

Despite its pervasive nature, there has been a lack of etiological research on the subject. The fear of darkness (nyctophobia) is a psychologically-impacted feeling of being disposed from comfort to a fear-evoking state. The fear of darkness or night has several non-clinical terminologies—lygophobia, scotophobia and achluophobia. Nyctophobia is a phobia generally related to children but, according to J. Adrian Williams’ article titled, Indirect Hypnotic Therapy of Nyctophobia: A Case Report, many clinics with pediatric patients have a great chance of having adults who have nyctophobia. The same article states that “the phobia has been known to be extremely disruptive to adult patients and… incapacitating”.

2. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives the environment as being difficult to escape or get help. These situations include, but are not limited to, wide-open spaces, as well as uncontrollable social situations such as may be met in shopping malls, airports, and on bridges.

Although the exact causes of agoraphobia are currently unknown, some clinicians who have treated or attempted to treat agoraphobia offer plausible hypotheses. The condition has been linked to the presence of other anxiety disorders, a stressful environment or substance abuse.

Exposure treatment can provide lasting relief to the majority of patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Disappearance of residual and subclinical agoraphobic avoidance, and not simply of panic attacks, should be the aim of exposure therapy. Anti-depressant medications most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are mainly in the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class and include sertraline, paroxetineand fluoxetine. Benzodiazepine tranquilizers, MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants are also commonly prescribed for treatment of agoraphobia. Eye movement desensitization and reprogramming (EMDR) has been studied as a possible treatment for agoraphobia, with poor results.


1. Atychiphobia


Atychiphobia is the abnormal, unwarranted, and persistent fear of failure. As with many phobias, atychiphobia often leads to a constricted lifestyle, and is particularly devastating for its effects on a person’s willingness to attempt certain activities.

A person afflicted with atychiphobia considers the possibility of failure so intense that they choose not to take the risk. Oftentimes this person will subconsciously undermine their own efforts so that they no longer have to continue to try. Because effort is proportionate to the achievement of personal goals and fulfillment, this unwillingness to try that arises from the perceived inequality between the possibilities of success and failure holds the atychiphobic back from a life of meaning and the realization of potential.

It is generally believed that phobias arise from a combination of heredity, genetics, brain chemistry, and life-experience. Demeaning parents or family members, traumatic and embarrassing events that arise from minor failure early in life, or when an individual experiences a significant failure and is ill-equipped to effectively cope with the resulting feelings, are all thought to produce the fear of failure in the long term. Those with atychiphobia create a direct link between the possibility of failure and competition; and in an inherently competitive society, they find that it is best to avoid the problem altogether. The person more strongly motivated to avoid failure, rather than to achieve success, tends to be more unrealistic in aspiration. Because the modern society places so much emphasis on perfection in every aspect of life, a person with atychiphobia will often not risk trying until perfection is assured.

Those suffering from atychiphobia may experience physiological symptoms typical of phobias such as:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea
  • Overall feelings of dread
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach disorders
  • Flushing of the face
  • Perspiration
  • Muscle tension
  • Tremulousness
  • Faintness
These symptoms manifest when one is confronted with the possibility of failure, such as when they are asked to perform a task at which they believe they cannot be 100% successful. The individual may suffer from a breakdown, and if left unchecked, these symptoms will continue to worsen. A drop in self-confidence and loss of motivation are likely to occur, which can lead to depression.

Overcoming the fear of failure is entirely dependent on a person’s willingness and motivation to change. As with many psychological problems, especially those relating to the subconscious, there is no complete cure. Atychiphobia can often be treated with SSRI (Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor) which is designed to raise the levels of serotonin in the brain which impacts a person’s anxiety level, making it more manageable. Counseling is also a popular option in dealing with atychiphobia. Various forms of self-help programs and methods can also be effective in overcoming atychiphobia. One such method, systematic desensitization, involves gradually confronting situations or circumstances that are increasingly similar to the feared ones. More effective however is exposure therapy, where the phobic is repeatedly exposed to that which they fear until the fear itself gradually fades.

So guys how was this list?
Are you suffering from any sort of phobia?
Answer below in the comment box. From my side I am suffering from Atychiphobia. :(

SOURCE: Too many but mainly from Wikipedia


  1. Replies
    1. Haha, just think what can happen to an awesome person like me?
      I used to fear darkness but then once I said ," I am so cool that even ghosts fear my handsomeness." ;) :P
      After this I never feared dark lol xD

  2. my fear wasn't on your list, I am a thorough and complete arachnophobic. I assume you left it off because you already had enthophobia on there, but arachnids and insects are not the same. I am not bothered by insects, but there is something about spiders that makes me freak

    1. same here !!!!

    2. Some people fear spiders more than death do :p.
      I too have arachnophobic, but im trying to get rid of it XD

  3. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do think that you need to write more about this subject,
    it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do not discuss these topics.

    To the next! Cheers!!

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