What Are The Most Common Phobias
Did you know that phobias are one of the most common psychological disorders? In the UK, an estimated 10 million people suffer from phobias. Phobias are defined as ‘an extreme or irrational fear of, or aversion to something, and they can affect anyone regardless of age, sex and social background.
Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that can significantly impact your life. They can stop you from performing daily activities and isolate you from others in the outside world. It’s also not uncommon for people to feel ashamed of their phobias and a sense of judgement. However, this article shows you that all phobias are valid and how seeking treatment for these fears can restore your life to the way it once was.
- Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
- Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes
- Acrophobia: fear of heights
- Aerophobia: fear of flying
- Cynophobia: fear of dogs
- Astrophobia: fear of thunder and lightning
- Trypanophobia: fear of injections
- Agoraphobia: fear of being alone in a place that may be difficult to escape, for example, a large crowd.
Now don’t be disheartened if you do not see your phobia up there. There are common phobias from fear of the ocean (thalassophobia) to uncommon phobias such as the fear of long words (Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia), which is ironically the longest word in the dictionary! There’s even the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (arachibutyrophobia).
As you can see, a phobia can be pretty much anything and nothing to cause shame. The difference between fear and phobia is that a phobia triggers anxiety that may not always appear rational and can cause extreme stress. So, no matter what the phobia may be, this article aims at encouraging you to stop letting your phobias control you and instead allow you to live a life ungoverned by fear and anxiety.
What causes Phobias
Phobias do not have a single cause. However, a multitude of factors can spawn a phobia within you. Firstly, a phobia could be associated with a traumatic event that has had long-lasting effects on you psychologically. Whether you can recognise this event or if it’s subconscious, psychotherapy may help you understand what this event is and the deep-rooted effects upon your life.
Phobias can also develop as a learned response that developed in early childhood, for example, from a parent or sibling, due to their fears.
Finally, studies show that genetics may play a role in phobia development as some people are born genetically predisposed to anxious tendencies.
Impacts of Phobias upon your life
If you find yourself controlled by your fear, you most likely feel a sense of helplessness and are at a loss at how to overcome it. Those of you suffering from complex phobias – such as agoraphobia and social phobia – may feel particularly isolated and helpless as you fear returning to society itself. Some phobias may also cause embarrassment as you think you cannot explain yourself to friends. A sense of shame toward a fear can also cause a sense of isolation, as you cannot entirely depend upon the support of friends and family due to feelings of judgement. As a result, you may also feel a loss of control over yourself and your life, as you may recognise your fear to be irrational; however, psychologically, you cannot overcome the fear. Once again, feelings of helplessness may return.
Don’t fear; help is here.
No matter how common or uncommon your phobia may be, it is worth considering therapy if you feel it impacts your life. Wherein a therapist such as myself, can try multiple methods to tackle and overcome your fear. As a qualified and highly experienced counsellor, I often find that different approaches work for different types of clients. Therapy is a highly effective way of treating phobias. There are a few methods for overcoming phobias, such as:
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) Therapy
All treatments can work in helping you get your life back on track and live the life you’ve always wanted. Whether that’s swimming with sharks, speaking in public or eating a peanut butter sandwich, the opportunities out there are endless, so why live a life restrained in fear.
If you are interested in tackling your fears, please contact me today, starting your journey to a fearless you. My non-judgmental and safe space is a great place to start, or, for those wanting to stay home, I offer online counselling sessions where you can carry out your sessions in a place most comfortable for you. For more information, visit https://www.liddycarver.co.uk/therapy/.