Phobias can take many forms. You could experience anxiety every time you visit open spaces. You may even have a crippling fear of insects like spiders. When you’re a person interested in what goes on in your mind as well as others, you tend to seek answers. Phobias are a form of psychological disorder but are both manageable and treatable. They are also one of the most common types of mental issues found in the United States.
Scary Phobias That Are Fairly Common In The US
Phobias are usually a lot more common than most people imagine. But causes them? Are certain phobias more frequently occurring than others? These are some of the most frightening types of phobias, with many being very common among a significant percentage of Americans:
Let’s take a closer look at these below.
People often take agoraphobia to mean a fear of open space, but the phobia has a much broader effect. The fear primarily is of being trapped alone in a situation or location that might be difficult to escape from. This can include both wide-open spaces like the outdoors as well as crowded venues. Such situations can often trigger a panic attack in people who suffer from the phobia. Some people may be affected to such an extent that they may stop leaving the safety of their homes. This usually has a detrimental effect on their ability to work, maintain relationships, or even function normally. Agoraphobia usually develops between your late teens and mid-thirties. Symptoms include a sudden, unexpected panic attack that then triggers anxiety.
Have you ever heard someone scream like they’re possessed when presented with a syringe or needle? In most cases, these people aren’t overreacting. They have a very real, if irrational, fear of injections, also known as trypanophobia. As many as 20 to 30 percent of American adults suffer from trypanophobia.
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Severe conditions can even prevent sufferers from seeking critical medical care or assistance. They often exhibit an increased heart rate, faster breathing, and even feelings of intense dread in such situations.
People who compulsively wash their hands, go to extreme lengths when cleaning, or have a marked aversion to anything they see as dirty may be suffering from mysophobia. Mysophobia is essentially the fear of germs, dirt, and bacteria. In many cases, a preexisting disorder, like OCD, can trigger this phobia. People who suffer from mysophobia may go out of their way to avoid physical contact with other people. You may also see them using disinfectants and hand sanitizers excessively. People may even stop going to places like airports, bus stations, subways, or even offices or restaurants for fear of contamination.
If you’re a dog person, you might have noticed people meeting your pet for the first time might be wary. You may even be wary yourself when you meet an unfamiliar dog for the first time. This is just a healthy sense of caution. However, a few people may have a much more visible and irrational fear of dogs. Often, they may avoid places that have dogs, making it challenging to work, socialize, or even go anywhere. In most cases, cynophobia is the result of childhood trauma involving dog bites or attacks.
Nobody really likes an insect infestation in their home. But certain arachnids, and spiders, in particular, can often trigger a lot more fear in a person than you would expect. Arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders and other arachnids, is extremely common among people everywhere. There is a good reason for this. Experts believe that the phobia is the result of an evolutionary leftover from our ancestors. Back in their time, getting bit by a poisonous or venomous spider almost certainly meant death. Out of more than thirty thousand known species of spider, only about 12 are dangerous for humans. But the phobia ingrained in many people as a result of evolution can often be a hindrance to living normally.
6. Social Phobia
Social phobia is now classified as a social anxiety disorder. People who have social phobia tend to become anxious in social settings. They are not comfortable meeting new people or groups of individuals. Some even have fears of speaking to a new person over the phone. People with this disorder constantly fear humiliation or scrutiny from other people, which can make it difficult to form professional or personal relationships.