A phobia is an inexplicable and irrational fear towards a certain object or situation. It is a form of mental disorder in which sufferers usually experience panic, anxiety and even a complete mental breakdown when exposed to the cause of their phobias. Their minds exaggerate the level of danger posed by the circumstances, and it triggers their fight or flight response but the sufferer can’t really decide if they should actually fight or flee since the threat is often imaginary and irrational.

Phobias are different from fear in that fear is a natural and rational response to actual danger.

Phobia symptoms

Phobia symptoms only present themselves when you are exposed to the cause of your phobia and disappear when you remove yourself from such situations or objects. The common symptoms of phobias are heart palpitations, shaking, sweating, stomach disturbance, hyperventilation, and dizziness that may even result in fainting.

These are the most common phobias.

Social phobia

Granted, most people feel a certain level of apprehension when meeting people. Social phobes, on the other hand, experience debilitating social anxiety disorder characterized by being extremely self-conscious.

They have an irrational fear that they are constantly being judged and therefore avoid social interactions at all costs.


Acrophobia is the fear of heights and is one of the most common phobias. The people who suffer from it can’t take lifts or look down from a tall building with a feeling a panic and dizziness creeping in. Depending on how bad it is, some sufferers can’t even use a ladder without shaking and sweating.


Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and is quite common across the demographics although it affects more women than men. If spiders trigger your flight response, then you’d be better off avoiding the flying spiders in Chicago.

Fear of spiders may look rational because a number of spiders are venomous but few spiders have the amount of potent venom that can actually be dangerous to human life.


Agoraphobia is the fear of being in situations from which the mind tells you it would be difficult to escape. It varies from one person to the other. Some agoraphobias may fear to be in open public parks where they feel they are too exposed to threats and danger while others may experience panic attacks in crowded places like halls, trains, and planes. In more severe cases, some agoraphobes can’t even leave their houses at all.


This is the fear of flying and is often also accompanied by the fear of heights. It often comes from the sufferers putting a lot of irrational focus on aviation accidents yet you are more likely to die from choking on your food or drowning is a swimming accident than get involved in a plane crash.


Trypanophobia is the fear of needles. This usually comes from our childhood visits to the doctor. While most people outgrow it, others carry the fear of needles well into adulthood.


Some people repeatedly expose themselves to phobias until they overcome. Others need professional therapy to overcome theirs especially when it becomes to their normal functioning like being unable to leave the house.

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