Are you scared of crowded spaces? Do you have a fear of heights that makes you feel sick to your stomach? Do you feel uneasy remembering the presentation you’re supposed to give? If you responded yes to any of these questions, you share something in common with a lot of people. This irrational fear or dread that is triggered by seeing something or being somewhere is a phobia.
What are the most prevalent phobias and fears? Here’s a list of the top five most common phobias:
The first phobia in this list is social phobia, which is a type of social anxiety disorder. It is characterized by a person’s fear of being evaluated, rejected, or adversely viewed by others. An estimated 15 million Americans have social phobia, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
This fear can make it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks. It causes people to avoid particular locations, people, or events. Meanwhile, people with Social phobia may even isolate themselves at home, relying solely on their loved ones for basic needs. In some instances, such as when they focus on attention, an individual’s social anxiety may rise.
Another frequent phobia is arachnophobia, which affects as many as one in every four males and one in every three women. Arachnophobia is the dread of spiders. You might have heard of this fear, one time or another. If not it’s the fear of spiders. While seeing a spider is the most common trigger, merely thinking about spiders can cause intense dread and anxiety.
The prevalent phobia of spiders has long perplexed scientists—after all, the vast majority of spiders aren’t toxic or hazardous in any other way. Even so, spiders scare the shit out of many people. According to new research, this stress response is deeply ingrained and one that we most likely acquired from our forefathers who lived with and dreaded these creatures. You might ask, why to be scared of spiders when there were probably dinosaurs roaming the earth at that time. Well, the human mind works in mysterious ways and maybe, spiders posed a more significant hazard to our ancestors. Since they couldn’t heal from spider bites or other insect-related ailments.
Agoraphobia is the third item on our list. The classic triggers of this phobia are large open areas, public transit, and leaving the house alone. Around 1.8 million Americans suffer from agoraphobia. This phobia can bring severe physical and emotional suffering to those who suffer from it. Here are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms: Sweating, shivering, dizziness and nausea, fear of death, and so forth.
Claustrophobia is the fear of being trapped in an enclosed area. Those who suffer from claustrophobia may experience anxiety in elevators or enclosed rooms with no windows. However, even wearing too-tight clothing can cause anxiety. This phobia affects 5-7 percent of the global population, according to estimates. As a result, people who have claustrophobia will frequently go to great lengths to avoid circumstances that may cause them discomfort.
The fear of heights, or acrophobia, is the last on the list. This anxiety may make it difficult to ride roller coasters, stay in high-rise hotels, travel in planes, or even drive over bridges. While many of us get nervous when we look out the window on the 50th floor or ride the roller coaster’s tallest hill, those who are genuinely acrophobic (which is about 5% of the population) experience unpleasant symptoms such as sweating and shaking, feeling paralyzed, panic attacks, headaches and dizziness, and so on.
There is some positive news to report. To begin with, it’s natural to be afraid. You’re no weirdo if something scares you. Second, there is treatment available if you are suffering from a fear or phobia. Consider seeing a mental health expert who can help you understand, confront, and manage your fear—whether it’s of social rejection, spiders, open or enclosed places, heights, or something else entirely.
Also Read: Top 10 Weirdest Phobias You Have Never Heard Of.