The 7 most common specific phobias

Specific phobias are a fairly common clinical picture in psychology consultations. We all know someone who is horrified to spot a spider in the distance, even if it is less than two inches.

He panics as he climbs the steps of a spiral staircase. Whether he turns pale when he sees a plane take off, even in a movie, or when he walks up seven floors so as not to take an elevator, when we are not the affected ourselves.

Below we will take a look at what are the most common specific phobias and what are their characteristics.

What are the specific phobias?

Specific phobias are those in which the element that produces a strong fear or fear it can be located and isolated from the rest relatively easily.

In anxiety disorders, specific phobias are most common in the general population, with an estimated prevalence of 10%. This is partly due to the fact that the experiences and situations which can lead to the appearance of this class of disorders are very varied.

In phobias, there is an intense and persistent fear, excessive or irrational anteobjects or specific situations (animals, heights, enclosed spaces, etc.). The physical proximity or anticipation of the feared object or situation causes an immediate response to anxiety (sweating, tachycardia, palpitations, tremors, dizziness, etc.) which can lead to a panic attack, so that the person will try to avoid these objects or situations in the future. In order to diagnose a phobia, it must produce a great interference or a high degree of discomfort in the subject’s life.

    Most common specific phobias

    Below, you can see a collection of the most common specific phobias, with a basic description of each. Of course, keep in mind that there are many more, although most are rare.

    1. Height phobia or acrophobia

    Acrophobia is an intense, irrational fear of heights, even in the absence of risk. People who are afraid of heights are very anxious when they approach a gazebo or precipice, climb to a high floor, cross bridges or even stay in elevated areas of cinemas, theaters or stadiums. .

    Many patients with height phobia they are afraid of the sensations they experience in the heights, Such as unstable balance, sweating or dizziness. The feeling of panic can be disproportionate even at low altitudes. It is estimated that between 3 and 5% of the population is afraid of heights, being one of the most common phobias.

      2. For aerophobia in flight

      Aerophobia is the irrational and excessive fear of traveling by plane. Fear of flying is linked to an accident, to the perception of instability in the plane, Think about not being able to escape in mid-flight, feeling out of control of the situation, or suffering from feelings of panic during the flight.

      Although it appears that over 90% of passengers travel with some fear, people with this phobia, around 3%, experience not only mild discomfort when landing and taking off, but intense anxiety and excessive that prevents them from planning or imagining a future plane trip, even months before doing so.

      3. Claustrophobia

      This disorder involves the excessive fear of being in small spaces. It is estimated that between 2 and 4% of the population suffers from this phobia. Difficulty breathing and fear of suffocation, as well as fear of not being able to move or escape, are typical phenomena of claustrophobia. These people generally avoid elevators, tunnels, the subway, small or windowless rooms, telephone booths, closing the door or locking a bathroom, etc.

      4. Animal phobia (zoophobia)

      Fear of certain animals (spiders, dogs, birds, snakes, cats) they have their origin in the ancestral fears that allowed our ancestors to survive. Another of the most common is animal phobia, affecting between 3 and 5% of the population. Among the animal fears (zoophobia), the most common are arachnophobia (fear of spiders), ofidiophobia (fear of snakes), cynophobia (fear of dogs), ornithophobia (fear of birds) or aelurophobia (fear of spiders) in cats).

      It is common for people with this phobia to fear the physical appearance and movements of dreaded animals. In the case of small animals (insects, spiders, rats), there is both a reaction of fear and a feeling of loathing or loathing. Interestingly, many affected people do not believe that the animal will harm them, but believe that they will experience unpleasant sensations, lose control, or be injured while trying to escape.

      5. Phobia in the blood, injections or sores (SIH)

      About 2-3% of the population has a phobia of blood, injections or sores (SIH). People with this type of phobia generally avoid any situation where they expect to see or come in contact with blood, such as when having blood drawn. Most blood phobias (hematophobia)They also have a phobia of injections, although only a minority of them have a phobia of blood.

      Unlike other phobias, the pattern of responding to anxiety is very different. There is a two-phase response, in which at first, and in the presence of needles, blood or sores, there is a rapid increase in anxiety (palpitations, increased frequency and breathing intensity, muscle tension, sweating) and then, in a second phase, a rapid drop in blood pressure and heart rate, which causes dizziness and can lead to fainting.

        6. Brontophobia

        brontophobia is the fear of atmospheric phenomena such as thunder, lightning and thunderstorms. About 2% have this phobia. It usually starts in childhood and can last until adulthood. When lightning or the sound of thunder is heard, anxiety begins to increase in the affected person.

        The main fear is taking damage or being struck by lightning, although it is also possible for other fears to appear, such as losing control of the situation, becoming unconscious or having a heart attack due to the anxiety felt.

        7. Dentophobia or dental phobia

        Dental phobia, consists of a extreme, unjustified and persistent fear of the dentist. Between 2 and 3% of the population suffers from this phobia, where it is very common that the mere thought of going to the dentist causes strong anxiety, even weeks before the appointment.

        Are you looking for professional support?

        If you want to attend psychotherapy sessions to treat a phobia, one of the best options you can find in Madrid is the Psicomaster Psychology Center, located in the Retiro district.

        This entity has a multidisciplinary team of professionals with expertise in mental health and well-being, highly qualified in the management of anxiety disorders.

        The type of interventions they work with allow them to effectively overcome any form of phobia in a matter of weeks, overcome anxiety and fear gradually and in an environment controlled by specialists in this class of problems. Click here to view your contact details.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Akirav, Irit; Mouna Maroun (May 15, 2006). The role of the medial circuit of the prefrontal amygdala-cortex in the effects of stress on fear extinction. Neural plasticity. 30873.
        • Bados, A. (2009). Specific phobias: nature, evaluation and treatment. Electronic publication.
        • Bolton, D .; Eley, TC; O’Connor, TG; Perrin, S .; Rabe-Hesketh, S .; Rijsdijk, F .; Smith, P. (2006). Prevalence and genetic and environmental influences on anxiety disorders in 6-year-old twins. “Psychological medicine. 36 (3): pages 335 to 344.
        • Hamm, AO (2009). Specific phobias. Psychiatric clinics of North America. 32 (3): pages 577 to 591.

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