What Are The Most Common Phobias? When and how to find help

Anxiety disorders like Specific Phobia are common conditions. Have you ever wondered which phobias are the most prevalent among the people in the world around you? Do you have a phobia yourself that you’re interested in getting treatment for? If so, this article is for you.

Learn About Specific Phobia

First, let’s talk about Specific Phobia as a condition. Most people can name at least one or two things that they’re afraid of. This is typical, and if you have a fear but not a clinically significant phobia, it may not be something that takes up too much of your time. However, for about 9.1% of adults in the United States in any given year, Specific Phobia is a problem that interferes with their life, their functioning, or causes clinically significant distress. There are risk factors that can increase the likelihood that a person will live with a disorder like Specific Phobia, but it is a condition that can show up in anyone, including individuals of all ages and backgrounds. So, what are the most common phobias? When should you find help, and how do you do it?

What Are The Most Common Phobias?

Maybe, you have a phobia yourself, or perhaps, you want to learn more about the phobias that impact others. Here are some common phobias and statistics we know of that relate to the prevalence of phobias:

Claustrophobia: The fear of enclosed spaces. 12.5% of people are said to experience this phobia.

Dentophobia: The fear of the dentist. Statistics indicate that about 36% of the population are afraid of the dentist, where roughly 12% have a clinically significant or extreme fear of the dentist.

Social phobia: The persistent fear of one or more social or performance related situations. Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is actually a mental health diagnosis and condition of its own. It’s a very common disorder. In fact, 7.1% of adults during any given year in the US live with social phobia, and it can impact kids and teens as well.

Acrophobia. The fear of heights. Roughly 5% of people are said to experience this phobia.

Arachnophobia: The fear is spiders. Arachnophobia or the fear of spiders affects about 3.5% of the population. 

Astraphobia: The fear of thunderstorms/thunder and lightning. This phobia is said to impact about 2% to 3% of people.

Agoraphobia: The fear of situations, places, and circumstances that could cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. for example, standing in line, being in a crowd, or being in virtually any public place. You may have heard of agoraphobia before. Like social phobia, this is actually a separate mental health diagnosis from Specific Phobia. Agoraphobia impacts about 1.7% of the population.

Aerophobia: The fear of flying. Although up to 40% of people have some sort of fear of flying, it’s said to severely impact about 2.5% to 5% of the population.

Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes. While about 53.3% of people fear snakes, roughly 2% to 3% of people with this fear have it to the extent of clinical significance or diagnosis.

Cynophobia: The fear of dogs. Although they are a beloved pet to many, research has found that about 7% to 9% of the general population has cynophobia or a fear of dogs.

Trypanophobia: The fear of needles. More specifically, the fear of medical procedures involving needles. This fear is said to impact about 25% of adults and can have serious consequences because it can stop people from getting vaccines or getting blood drawn.

When To Seek Help For Phobias

If a phobia is influencing your life negatively, it’s time to seek help. Truthfully, anything in your life that is causing emotional distress, impacting your work or education, affecting your social relationships, or interacting negatively with any other areas of your life, is something that you can talk to a therapist about. You don’t need to be diagnosed with a disorder such as Specific Phobia to seek help. Anyone can see a therapist regardless of if they have a diagnosis or not. Remember that people seek therapy for many different reasons, including interpersonal relationships, family life, stress, or grief, and that going to therapy or counseling is never something to be ashamed of. Various modalities, like exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or a combination of both, can be used to treat phobias. Different treatments may work best for different people, and it may also depend on what phobia you live with.

Find Help For Phobias

Whether you’re seeking support for a phobia or something else, seeing a counselor or therapist can be a game-changer. To find help, you can search the web for a provider who works with anxiety disorders like Specific Phobia near you, contact your insurance company or visit their website for recommendations who take your insurance, ask your doctor for a referral to someone near you who works with anxiety and phobias, or sign up for an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. All of the providers on the BetterHelp website are experienced and licensed professionals with numerous specialties. Regardless of how you obtain care for a phobia or anything else you’re going through, you deserve quality support.

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