Types of Phobias

Phobias can be of two distinct types. One kind of phobia is where you are afraid of an object or a thing. Another type of phobia is where you are afraid of an event or a happening. An example would be someone who is afraid of spiders and someone who is afraid of public speaking. Both are phobias but different kinds of phobias. The first kind, where you might be afraid of any one object or thing, is called a specific phobia. The more generalized phobias are known as social phobias. Agoraphobia is also now classified as a type of phobia. This type phobia often coexists with a panic disorder or some form of anxiety disorder.

Some of the more commonly known phobias are:

  • Agoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets
  • Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders
  • Bibliophobia: Fear of books
  • Claustrophobia: Fear of confined spaces
  • Dentophobia: Fear of dentist
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: Fear of long words
  • Koniophobia: Fear of dust
  • Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th
  • Phobophobia: Fear of phobias
  • Polyphobia: Fear of many things
  • Somniphobia:Fear of sleep
  • Suriphobia: Fear of mice
  • Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number 13
  • Tropophobia: Fear of moving or making changes
  • Urophobia: Fear of urine or urinating
  • Vaccinophobia: Fear of vaccination
  • Verbophobia: Fear of words
  • Zoophobia: Fear of animals

While these are only but a few phobias, there are many, many more phobias that are identified and being treated and many more yet to be identified as a fear.

Sometimes, phobias are interchangeably used for fear and terms are coined like xenophobia or homophobia. These indicate a dislike or hatred toward a certain section of people but are not really phobias in the clinical sense of the word. Xenophobia is a dislike toward strangers or foreigners while homophobia is a dislike of homosexuals.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Yujuan Choy, Abby J. Fyer, Josh D. Lipsitz, Treatment of specific phobia in adults, Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2007, Pages 266-286, ISSN 0272-7358, 10.1016/j.cpr.2006.10.002.
  2. Origins of Phobias and Anxiety Disorders, Author(s): Michelle G. Craske; ISBN: 978-0-08-044032-3
  3. Harald Merckelbach, Peter J. de Jong, Peter Muris, Marcel A. van Den Hout, The etiology of specific phobias: A review, Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 16, Issue 4, 1996, Pages 337-361, ISSN 0272-7358, 10.1016/0272-7358(96)00014-1.
  4. H.B. Gibson, Hypnosis and behavior therapy: The treatment of anxiety and phobias: J. C. Clarke and J. A. Jackson: Springer, New York (1983). vxiii + 361 pages $26.95, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 22, Issue 3, 1984, Page 325, ISSN 0005-7967, 10.1016/0005-7967(84)90014-7.