PhobiasTypes List of Phobias: Common Phobias From A to Z ByKendra CherryKendra CherryFacebookTwitterKendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.Learn about our editorial processUpdated on August 04, 2022Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Steven Gans, MDMedically reviewed bySteven Gans, MDSteven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.Learn about our Medical Review Board Table of Contents View All Table of ContentsTypes of PhobiasList of PhobiasSymptomsCausesCommon vs. Rare PhobiasTreatments What Is a Phobia?A phobia is an anxiety disorder involving excessive and persistent fear of a situation or object. Exposure to the source of the fear triggers an immediate anxiety response.Phobias are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), approximately 12.5% of adults in the U.S. will deal with a specific phobia in their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience phobias than men. Typical symptoms of phobias can include nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feelings of unreality, and being preoccupied with the fear object. Types of Phobias The American Psychiatric Association (APA) identifies three different categories of phobias: Social phobias: Now known as social anxiety disorder, this phobia is marked by a fear of social situations in which a person might be judged or embarrassed.Agoraphobia: This phobia involves an irrational and extreme fear of being in places where escape is difficult. It may involve a fear of crowded places or even of leaving one's home.Specific phobias: When people talk about having a phobia of a specific object such as snakes, spiders, or needles, they are referring to a specific phobia.Verywell / JR Bee While not comprehensive, this list of phobias offers a glimpse of the many phobias that can have a serious impact on a person's life. As you may notice while you browse through this list, most specific phobias fall into one of four major categories:Fears of the natural environmentFears related to animalsFear related to medical treatments or issuesFears related to specific situationsOne important thing to remember is that virtually any object can become a fear object. The names of specific phobias are often formed as nonce words, or words coined for a single occasion only. These names themselves are often formed by taking a Greek prefix that represents the fear object and adding the -phobia suffix. Because of this, any attempt at a completely exhaustive list of phobias would be a futile exercise. Any list of phobias could grow with the addition of newly coined terms for previously unnamed specific phobias. A–Z List of Some of the More Common Phobias This article lists some of the most common phobias. It also covers some of the treatment options that are available. 1:51 Click Play to Learn More About Common PhobiasThis video has been medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD. A Ablutophobia: Fear of bathingAchluophobia: Fear of darknessAcrophobia: Fear of heightsAerophobia: Fear of flyingAlgophobia: Fear of painAgoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or crowdsAichmophobia: Fear of needles or pointed objectsAmaxophobia: Fear of riding in a carAndrophobia: Fear of menAnemophobia: Fear of airAnginophobia: Fear of angina or chokingAngrophobia: Fear of angerAnthrophobia: Fear of flowersAnthropophobia: Fear of people or societyAphenphosmphobia: Fear of being touchedArachibutyrophobia:Fear of peanut butterArachnophobia: Fear of spidersArithmophobia: Fear of numbersAstraphobia: Fear of thunder and lightningAstrophobia: Fear of outer spaceAtaxophobia: Fear of disorder or untidinessAtelophobia: Fear of imperfectionAtychiphobia: Fear of failureAutomatonophobia: Fear of human-like figuresAutophobia: Fear of being alone B Bacteriophobia: Fear of bacteriaBarophobia: Fear of gravityBathmophobia: Fear of stairs or steep slopesBatrachophobia: Fear of amphibiansBelonephobia: Fear of pins and needlesBibliophobia: Fear of booksBotanophobia: Fear of plants C Cacophobia: Fear of uglinessCatagelophobia:Fear of being ridiculedCatoptrophobia: Fear of mirrorsChionophobia: Fear of snowChrometophobia: Fear of spending moneyChromophobia: Fear of colorsChronomentrophobia: Fear of clocksChronophobia: Fear of timeCibophobia: Fear of foodClaustrophobia: Fear of confined spacesClimacophobia: Fear of climbingCoulrophobia: Fear of clownsCyberphobia: Fear of computersCynophobia: Fear of dogs D Daemonophobia: Fear of demonsDecidophobia: Fear of making decisionsDendrophobia: Fear of treesDentophobia: Fear of dentistsDomatophobia: Fear of housesDystychiphobia: Fear of accidents E Ecophobia:Fear of the homeElurophobia: Fear of catsEmetophobia: Fear of vomitingEntomophobia: Fear of insectsEphebiphobia: Fear of teenagersErotophobia: Fear of sexEquinophobia: Fear of horses G Gamophobia: Fear of marriageGenuphobia: Fear of kneesGlossophobia: Fear of speaking in publicGynophobia: Fear of women H Haphephobia: Fear of touchHeliophobia: Fear of the sunHemophobia: Fear of bloodHerpetophobia: Fear of reptilesHippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of long wordsHydrophobia: Fear of waterHypochondria: Fear of illness I Iatrophobia:Fear of doctorsInsectophobia:Fear of insects K Koinoniphobia: Fear of roomsKoumpounophobia:Fear of buttons L Leukophobia: Fear of the color whiteLilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes and hurricanesLockiophobia:Fear of childbirth M Mageirocophobia:Fear of cookingMegalophobia: Fear of large thingsMelanophobia: Fear of the color blackMicrophobia: Fear of small thingsMysophobia: Fear of dirt and germs N Necrophobia:Fear of death or dead thingsNoctiphobia: Fear of the nightNomophobia: Fear of being without your mobile phoneNosocomephobia: Fear of hospitalsNyctophobia: Fear of the dark O Obesophobia: Fear of gaining weightOctophobia: Fear of the figure 8Ombrophobia: Fear of rainOphidiophobia: Fear of snakesOrnithophobia: Fear of birdsOsmophobia: Fear of smellsOstraconophobia: Fear of shellfish P Papyrophobia: Fear of paperPathophobia: Fear of diseasePedophobia:Fear of childrenPhilematophobia: Fear of kissingPhilophobia: Fear of lovePhobophobia: Fear of phobiasPodophobia: Fear of feetPorphyrophobia: Fear of the color purplePteridophobia: Fear of fernsPteromerhanophobia: Fear of flyingPyrophobia: Fear of fire S Samhainophobia: Fear of HalloweenScolionophobia: Fear of schoolScoptophobia: Fear of being stared atSelenophobia: Fear of the moonSociophobia: Fear of social evaluationSomniphobia:Fear of sleep T Tachophobia: Fear of speedTechnophobia: Fear of technologyThalassophobia: Fear of the oceanTrichophobia: Fear of hairTonitrophobia: Fear of thunderTrypanophobia: Fear of needles/injectionsTrypophobia: Fear of holes V-Z Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful womenVerminophobia: Fear of germsWiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraftXenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreignersZoophobia: Fear of animalsZuigerphobia: Fear of vacuum cleaners RecapWhile listing all of the phobias that may exist is not possible, it can be helpful to look through a list of some of the more commonly described phobias. As you can see by looking at this list, almost any object or situation can become the source of fear. Symptoms of Phobias Phobias lead to physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Common symptoms include:Chest tightness or painChills or hot flashesChoking sensationsConfusionDifficulty breathingDizzinessDry mouthIncreased blood pressureNauseaRacing heartbeatShaking or tremblingSweating In addition to these physical symptoms, people may experience dread, a sense of impending doom, fear of losing control, or even the feeling that death is imminent. To avoid such feelings, people with phobias may avoid any situation where they might potentially encounter the source of their fear. Causes of Phobias The exact causes of phobias are not known, but it is likely that a combination of factors plays a part. Some factors that increase the risk of developing a phobia include: Genetics: People with a close family member with a phobia or another anxiety disorder also have a greater risk of a phobia. It is important to note, however, that people who don't have family members with the condition still develop phobias.Traumatic experiences: A difficult, stressful, or traumatic experience can also trigger the onset of a phobia. For example, being bitten by a dog as a child might trigger a fear of dogs in adulthood. Common vs. Rare Phobias Some phobias are more common, while others are often quite rare. A few of the most common phobias include arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes), and glossophobia (the fear of public speaking).The fear of public speaking is so common that some researchers have estimated that as much as 77% of people have some level of this fear.Rare phobias may be novel terms coined to identify a single, unique case. A few of the more uncommon specific phobias include spectrophobia (the fear of mirrors), chiclephobia (the fear of chewing gum), and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (the fear of long words). Treatment for Phobias While phobias can be distressing and create disruptions in your life, they are treatable. Some of the different treatment options include therapy and medication. Exposure Therapy Exposure-based treatments are the first-line approach in the treatment of phobias. In this type of treatment, you are gradually and progressively exposed to what you fear. You might start by just thinking about your phobia trigger and then move slowly toward looking at images of the object and finally being near the object in real life. Types of exposure-based treatments that may be used include:In vivo exposure: This involves being exposed to the source of your fear in real life.Virtual exposure: This involves the use of virtual reality to practice gradual exposure.Systematic desensitization: This involves being gradually exposed until you become desensitized to the source of your fear. During this process, you'll also practice relaxation techniques to help calm your body when your fear response kicks in. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Often referred to as CBT, cognitive behaviorial therapy involves learning to identify the underlying negative thoughts that contribute to feelings of fear. Once you become better at noticing these thoughts, you can then work on replacing them with more positive, helpful thoughts. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy utilizes rhythmic eye movements to help people process and recover from traumatic experiences. It is frequently used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but can also be effective in the treatment of a variety of other mental health conditions including phobias. Medications Medications may be prescribed in some cases to help manage some of the symptoms you might be experiencing as a result of your phobia. Medications your doctor might prescribe include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drugs.Treatment Options for Phobias A Word From Verywell Phobias can have a serious impact on well-being, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Phobias are common and treatable. If you believe that you have the symptoms of some type of phobia, consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment advice. How to Tell the Difference Between a Fear and a Phobia 9 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.National Institute of Mental Health. Specific phobia.Regier DA, Kuhl EA, Kupfer DJ. The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. World Psychiatry. 2013;12(2):92-8. doi:10.1002/wps.20050American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Symptoms.Van houtem CM, Laine ML, Boomsma DI, Ligthart L, Van wijk AJ, De jongh A. A review and meta-analysis of the heritability of specific phobia subtypes and corresponding fears. J Anxiety Disord. 2013;27(4):379-88. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.04.007Heeren A, Ceschi G, Valentiner DP, Dethier V, Philippot P. Assessing public speaking fear with the short form of the Personal Report of Confidence as a Speaker scale: confirmatory factor analyses among a French-speaking community sample. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:609-18. doi:10.2147%2FNDT.S43097Thng CEW, Lim-Ashworth NSJ, Poh BZQ, Lim CG. Recent developments in the intervention of specific phobia among adults: A rapid review. F1000Res. 2020;9:F1000 Faculty Rev-195. doi:10.12688/f1000research.20082.1Valiente-Gómez A, Moreno-Alcázar A, Treen D, et al. EMDR beyond PTSD: A systematic literature review. Front Psychol. 2017;8:1668. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01668Spiegel SB. Current issues in the treatment of specific phobia: Recommendations for innovative applications of hypnosis. Am J Clin Hypn. 2014;56(4):389-404. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2013.801009By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology. See Our Editorial ProcessMeet Our Review Board Share FeedbackWas this page helpful?Thanks for your feedback!What is your feedback? 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