It is natural for human beings to have some form of fear. When fear becomes excessive and causes irrational behavior, it is considered a phobia. Many people are embarrassed to admit that they have an excessive fear for something, but phobia is actually not an uncommon condition. According to reports from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 10% of American adults are affected by at least one kind of phobia. Phobias are somewhat harmless when they are mild, but they can be detrimental and dangerous if they are severe.
Up to now, experts are unable to ascertain the true causes of phobia, but they have managed to identify a number of possible causes. According to renowned psychologists David Rosenhan and Martin Seligman, the phobias that are affecting modern people are the outcomes of the evolution of phobias that were experienced in the past. For example, the fear of spiders was probably passed down from ancient human beings who had to avoid spiders when they were hunting. However, other psychologists are of the opinion that phobias are a result of cultural learning. This opinion is supported by the fact that there are less people with fear for spiders in South America. The South American continent is home to some of the largest and deadliest spiders in the world, and some of the natives consume them as delicacies.
Symptoms of phobia can occur when you are exposed to a situation or object that triggers a fear reaction. They can also affect you when you are thinking about the particular thing that you fear. Some of the common symptoms that are associated with phobia are breathlessness, dizziness, nausea, sense of unreality, and a fear of dying. If you have a severe phobia, you may experience a serious anxiety attack when you become fearful, and you may gradually isolate yourself from other people. Some phobias can be cured, while others will not go away. The best way to treat a phobia is to consult a psychologist or hypnotist.
Here are the top 10 most common phobias:
Arachnophobia – This refers to the fear of spiders. In the most extreme cases, arachnophobes are even afraid of images of spiders.
Social Phobia – If you are fearful of social situations, you have social phobia. It is an excessive fear of being scrutinized and humiliated.
Agoraphobia – Agoraphobes are fearful of inescapable situations, and they prefer to stay at home, where they feel the safest.
Aerophobia – This term is applied to people who are afraid of flying in an airplane.
Claustrophobia – If you are affected by claustrophobia, you will be fearful of confined spaces. You will try to stay away from trains, elevators, and small cupboards under the stairs.
Acrophobia – Acrophobia refers to the fear of heights. If it results in panic attacks, it can be very dangerous.
Carcinophobia – Carcinophobes are so afraid of contracting cancer that they will suspect that they have the disease just because they touched an affected person.
Emetophobia – This phobia means the fear of vomit.
Brontophobia – Brontophobia is also called astraphobia, and it means fear of thunders. If you are affected by this phobia, you may experience panic attack and breathing difficulty when you hear the sound of thunder or see lightning.
Necrophobia – Necrophobes are fearful of death and things that are associated with death, such as corpses and coffins.