What are Phobias?

phobias are an excessive and irrational fear reaction. If you have a phobia, you may experience a deep sense of dread or panic when you encounter the source of your fear. The fear can be of a certain place, situation, or object.

The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it.

Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships.


In many cases, phobias develop as a result of a childhood experience because that was either frightening or overly stressful. However, it’s also possible for a phobia to develop later in life.

Especially when an individual is dealing with the stress of transitioning into adolescence or early adulthood.


Phobias can cause afflicted individuals to experience a range of physical symptoms, some of which are listed below:

  • Uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, dread, and panic
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling, shaking
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Tightening of the chest and feelings of choking
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • An overwhelming desire to escape

Types of phobia:

Three distinct types of phobias are:

Specific phobia:

A specific phobia is an intense and unreasonable fear or anxiety about an object or situation.

Social phobia: 

Social phobia is also referred to as social anxiety disorder. It’s extreme worry about social situations and it can lead to self-isolation.

A social phobia can be so severe that the simplest interactions, such as ordering at a restaurant or answering the telephone, can cause panic.

People with social phobia often go out of their way to avoid public situations.


Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that leads afflicted individuals to believe that their current environment is unsafe and that they need to escape.

This fear can include situations in which an individual will fear open spaces, public places, or even leaving their own home.

Specific phobias are known as simple phobias as they can be linked to an identifiable cause that may not frequently occur in the everyday life of an individual, such as snakes. These are therefore not likely to affect day-to-day living in a significant way.

Social phobias and agoraphobia are known as complex phobias, as their triggers are less easily recognized. People with complex phobias can also find it harder to avoid triggers, such as leaving the house or being in a large crowd.

A phobia becomes diagnosable when a person begins organizing their lives around avoiding the cause of their fear.

It is more severe than a normal fear reaction. People with a phobia have an overpowering need to avoid anything that triggers their anxiety.

Other types of phobias:

Glossophobia: Fear of speaking in front of an audience.

Acrophobia: This is the fear of heights.

Claustrophobia: This is a fear of enclosed or tight spaces.

Aviophobia: Fear of flying.

Dentophobia: Dentophobia is a fear of the dentist

Hemophobia: This is a phobia of blood or injury.

Arachnophobia: This means fear of spiders.

Cynophobia: This is a fear of dogs.

Ophidiophobia: People with this phobia fear snakes.

Nyctophobia: This phobia is a fear of the nighttime or darkness.

Gamophobia: Fear of marriage