Are feel squeamish at the sight of spiders or snakes? Do you feel uncomfortable in an elevator? Well, you are certainly not alone! According to Beyond Blue, social phobias affect approximately 10% of adults. Agoraphobia is particular common as well affecting 6% of Australians. It is generally thought that specific phobias are at least as prevalent, if not more prevalent, than social phobia.
There are a number of different behavioural and evolutionary reasons as for why phobias develop. It is also known that phobias can be traced back to a specific event (known as an initial sensitising event) or social learned from another person such as a parent.
There is no need to distress as modern psychotherapists are becoming increasingly effective at treating phobias with techniques such as the fast phobia cure, the rewind technique, the reverse spin and CBT. The next question that arises is: “Are there any phobias that tend to be more common than others?” Here is the top 10 list of most common phobias:
Social Phobias (Fear of Social Situations)
As already discussed, social phobia is considered one of the most common phobias affecting roughly 10% of the population. Social phobia can be debilitating and can lead suffers to avoid situations, places and people that may trigger an anxiety attack.
Trypanophobia (Fear of Injections)
Trypanophobia can lead suffers to avoid medical treatments and doctors because of a fear they may want to use needles.
Pteromerhanophobia (Fear of Flying)
Fear of flying is also known as Aerophobia. Pteromerhanophobia is relatively common and can cause suffers to avoid flying altogether which can have an impact upon their personal and professional life. A fear of flying can also be associated with claustrophobia (fear of restricted spaces) and agoraphobia.
Arachnophobia (Fear of Spiders)
Arachnophobia is a particularly common fear, most people know someone that is terrified of spiders. With many phobias, such as arachnophobia, the fear response can get so severe that even looking at an image or a thought about that object (arachnid) can stimulate the phobic response.
Ophidiophobia (Fear of Snakes)
There appears to be a strong evolutionary cause for a fear of snakes as they are sometimes poisonous or venomous so our ancestors who avoided snakes would have had a better chance of survival. There are also many personal experiences and cultural influences that play a role in ophidiophobia.
Cynophobia (Fear of dogs)
Cynophobia is most commonly associated with a specific traumatic personal experience involving dogs, often in childhood.
Astraphobia (Fear of Thunder and Lightening)
The fear of thunder and lightening goes by many names and can lead to troubling events when suffers encounter this weather-related phenomena. The majority of sufferers develop astraphobia in childhood and may persist into adulthood.
Mysophobia (Fear of Germs or Dirt)
The disproportionate fear of germs and dirt can lead suffers to avoid situations perceived as particularly dirty and engage in compulsive cleaning behaviours. Mysophobia can be related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) but does not have to be.
Acrophobia (Fear of Heights)
Acrophobia has a strong evolutionary cause because ancestors that avoided heights had a better chance of survival, this fear appears to be particularly hard wired. People often experience vertigo when they are in high places. People who suffer acrophobia will avoid high places such as towers and bridges.
Agoraphobia (Fear of situations that are difficult to escape)
People with agoraphobia are likely to avoid places such as crowded areas, open spaces or scenarios that are likely to trigger a panic attack. Agoraphobia can leave people confided to their house people they are too fearful to leave. One-third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, they are a common co-morbidity.
If you believe that you have a phobia, it is important to seek assistance. If gone untreated, phobias may get worse over time and the responses can generalise. Call Scott Jasper Hypnotherapy to discuss their options for treating phobias on 0413 110 170.