A phobia, or a fear of something, is not always easy to overcome. Often we have irrational fears of things such as spiders, snakes, or small spaces, and we’re not sure how to deal with those in an acceptable manner or stop ourselves from getting upset. Below, you’ll find the most common ten phobias as well as information on how counseling services can help you deal with your fear.
The Most Common Phobias Seen By Mental Health Professionals
Although there is some disagreement about exactly which phobia falls where on the list, the following ten phobias are usually among those listed as the most commonly seen in counseling centers:
- Arachnaphobia: Fear of spiders
- Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes
- Acrophobia: Fear of heights
- Necrophobia: Fear of death or dead things
- Cynophobia: Fear of dogs, which is often caused by a traumatic experience
- Claustrophobia: Fear of small or enclosed spaces
- Agoraphobia: Fear of the difficulty of escape, or the fear of having nowhere to go. This may cause those suffering from it to confine themselves to their home.
- Social phobias: Fear of social situations. The fear of public speaking may also fall under this category.
- Pteromerhanophobia or aerophobia: Fear of flying
- Hemophobia: Fear of blood. This may also be combined with a fear of needles, trypanophobia.
There is no single cause for these phobias, although there are some trends. Necrophobia or cynophobia, for example, may arise after the experience of, respectively, having a loved one die or getting attacked by a dog. On the other hand, fears such as claustrophobia and homophobia seem to be hereditary to some extent, so if your father or mother fears enclosed spaces, chances are higher than you will, too.
Finding a Counseling Center to Help
When you seek counseling to help with your phobia, your therapist will classify your phobia as one of three types: a specific phobia, such as a fear of spiders, a social phobia, such as anxiety in social situations, or agoraphobia, the fear of being in public places without escape. After categorizing your particular phobia, your mental health professional may employ behavior therapy, which involves desensitization and changing how you respond to the fearful stimuli. The doctor may also prescribe medication, such as beta-blockers, to support your recovery. Regardless of what you fear, there is help out there, so if you’re struggling to overcome a phobia, a McKinney counselor can set you on the right path!
Photo by: Harvey Barrison