10 Common Phobias People May Suffer From

We are afraid of various things. It’s a natural response to threats, but it can sometimes become excessive, irrational and debilitating. This is called a phobia. A phobia involves much more than just being afraid of something or someone.

According to renowned psychiatrist Dr. Sanjay Kumavat, “phobias are characterized by intense and persistent fears of specific objects, situations, or activities.” They can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life and overall well-being. Read on to learn the most common types of phobias people may experience.

Common Types of Phobias

Dr Sanjay Kumavat, Consultant Psychiatrist and Sexologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, tells us about different types of phobias. Here are 10 most common phobias that people suffer from:

1. Pharmacophobia

This type of phobia occurs when a person has a fear of medications and has a negative attitude toward drugs in general. Some factors that can cause this phobia include prejudices about medications, belief systems about treatments, and emotional trauma related to drugs.

The fear of medications is real. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Heliophobia

Heliophobia occurs when a person is afraid of the sun, sunlight, or any bright light. When such a person is exposed to the sun, he experiences intense discomfort, anxiety and nausea, which can cause panic attacks. They may also feel a burning sensation under the sun, both in the body and in the eyes.

3. Ailurophobia

Ailurophobia is a persistent, excessive fear or hatred of pets like cats and dogs. People with this phobia may feel extreme nervousness and anxiety when they hear meows, hisses, or other sounds commonly associated with cats.

4. Arachnophobia

A specific phobia caused by an irrational fear of spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions and ticks, arachnophobia can cause extreme anxiety when sufferers encounter these species. Although anyone can develop a specific phobia at any age, including arachnophobia, most develop during childhood and adolescence.

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types of phobias
You can overcome this. image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Androphobia

This phobia revolves around the fear of adult men. This may be preceded by an untoward incident or the person watching something inappropriate during their youth. Additionally, androphobic adults often know that their fear of men is irrational, even though they can rarely control their physical reactions.

Read also : How to Conquer Your Fears: 6 Tips from a Mental Health Expert

6. Algophobia

Another rare phobia involves the fear of pain or impending pain. This can come from watching someone suffer, such as mass hysteria in the children’s room. In most cases, this condition can be treated with behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety medications.

7. Ornithophobia

Defined as a fear of birds or aversion to birds, people with ornitophobia fear that birds will attack them and feel unsafe when they see birds. Since birds are present everywhere, it is not possible to avoid them completely. A person with an extreme fear of birds may choose to stay at home where they feel safe. This can lead to another phobia called agoraphobia, a fear of being in situations where it might be difficult to escape.

8. Alliumphobia

It is a food phobia that usually revolves around the strong smell, sight and contact of foods from the allium family, such as garlic, onions, chives and shallots. A person with Alliumphobia may find themselves avoiding places where they will encounter these foods.

types of phobias
There are many ways to treat different types of phobias. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

9. Acrophobia

Acrophobia is the fear of heights, and it goes beyond the normal caution one might feel while standing at a great height. People with acrophobia experience intense anxiety and panic attacks when exposed to heights, even if they are in a safe environment. This phobia can make activities like climbing stairs or visiting tall buildings incredibly distressing.

10. Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces, such as elevators, tunnels or small rooms. People suffering from claustrophobia often feel extreme discomfort and panic when in such environments. This phobia can significantly limit their ability to travel or participate in various activities, leading to a reduced quality of life.

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