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The American Psychiatric Association (APA) identifies three different categories of phobias:1. Social phobias: Now known as social anxiety disorder, this phobia is marked by a fearof social situations in which a person might be judged or embarrassed.

Types of Phobias

A phobia is an anxiety disorder involving excessive and persistent fear of a situation orobject. Exposure to the source of the fear triggers an immediate anxiety response.Phobias are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. According to theNational Institute of Mental Health (NIH), approximately 12.5% of adults in the U.S. will dealwith a specific phobia in their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience phobias thanmen. Typical symptoms of phobias can include nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feelingsof unreality, and being preoccupied with the fear object.


List of Phobias: Common Phobias From A to Z


occasion only.These names themselves are often formed by taking a Greek prefix that represents the fearobject and adding the -phobia suffix. Because of this, any attempt at a completely exhaustivelist of phobias would be a futile exercise. Any list of phobias could grow with the addition of

Fears of the natural environmentFears related to animalsFear related to medical treatments or issuesFears related to specific situationsOne important thing to remember is that virtually any object can become a fear object. Thenames of specific phobias are often formed as nonce words, or words coined for a single

While not comprehensive, this list of phobias offers a glimpse of the many phobias that canhave a serious impact on a person's life. As you may notice while you browse through thislist, most specific phobias fall into one of four major categories:

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one's home.3. Specific phobias: When people talk about having a phobia of a specific object such assnakes, spiders, or needles, they are referring to a specific phobia.

2. Agoraphobia: This phobia involves an irrational and extreme fear of being in placeswhere escape is difficult. It may involve a fear of crowded places or even of leaving


Ablutophobia: Fear of bathingAchluophobia: Fear of darknessAcrophobia: Fear of heightsAerophobia: Fear of flyingAlgophobia: Fear of painAgoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or crowdsAichmophobia: Fear of needles or pointed objectsAmaxophobia: Fear of riding in a carAndrophobia: Fear of menAnemophobia: Fear of airAnginophobia: Fear of angina or chokingAngrophobia: Fear of angerAnthrophobia: Fear of flowersAnthropophobia: Fear of people or societyAphenphosmphobia: Fear of being touchedArachibutyrophobia:Fear of peanut butterArachnophobia: Fear of spidersArithmophobia: Fear of numbersAstraphobia: Fear of thunder and lightningAstrophobia: Fear of outer space

This video has been medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD.

Click Play to Learn More About Common Phobias


treatment options that are available.

This article lists more than 100 of the most common phobias. It also covers some of the

A–Z List of Some of the More Common Phobias

newly coined terms for previously unnamed specific phobias.


Daemonophobia: Fear of demonsDecidophobia: Fear of making decisionsDendrophobia: Fear of treesDentophobia: Fear of dentistsDomatophobia: Fear of housesDystychiphobia: Fear of accidents

Cacophobia: Fear of uglinessCatagelophobia:Fear of being ridiculedCatoptrophobia: Fear of mirrorsChionophobia: Fear of snowChrometophobia: Fear of spending moneyChromophobia: Fear of colorsChronomentrophobia: Fear of clocksChronophobia: Fear of timeCibophobia: Fear of foodClaustrophobia: Fear of confined spacesClimacophobia: Fear of climbingCoulrophobia: Fear of clownsCyberphobia: Fear of computersCynophobia: Fear of dogs

Bacteriophobia: Fear of bacteriaBarophobia: Fear of gravityBathmophobia: Fear of stairs or steep slopesBatrachophobia: Fear of amphibiansBelonephobia: Fear of pins and needlesBibliophobia: Fear of booksBotanophobia: Fear of plants

Ataxophobia: Fear of disorder or untidinessAtelophobia: Fear of imperfectionAtychiphobia: Fear of failureAutomatonophobia: Fear of human-like figuresAutophobia: Fear of being alone


Mageirocophobia:Fear of cookingMegalophobia: Fear of large things

Leukophobia: Fear of the color whiteLilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes and hurricanesLockiophobia:Fear of childbirth

Koinoniphobia: Fear of roomsKoumpounophobia:Fear of buttons

Iatrophobia:Fear of doctorsInsectophobia:Fear of insects

Hydrophobia: Fear of waterHypochondria: Fear of illness

Haphephobia: Fear of touchHeliophobia: Fear of the sunHemophobia: Fear of bloodHerpetophobia: Fear of reptilesHippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of long words

Gamophobia: Fear of marriageGenuphobia: Fear of kneesGlossophobia: Fear of speaking in publicGynophobia: Fear of women

Ecophobia:Fear of the homeElurophobia: Fear of catsEmetophobia: Fear of vomitingEntomophobia: Fear of insectsEphebiphobia: Fear of teenagersErotophobia: Fear of sexEquinophobia: Fear of horses


Samhainophobia: Fear of HalloweenScolionophobia: Fear of schoolScoptophobia: Fear of being stared atSelenophobia: Fear of the moonSociophobia: Fear of social evaluationSomniphobia:Fear of sleep

Papyrophobia: Fear of paperPathophobia: Fear of diseasePedophobia:Fear of childrenPhilematophobia: Fear of kissingPhilophobia: Fear of lovePhobophobia: Fear of phobiasPodophobia: Fear of feetPorphyrophobia: Fear of the color purplePteridophobia: Fear of fernsPteromerhanophobia: Fear of flyingPyrophobia: Fear of fire

Obesophobia: Fear of gaining weightOctophobia: Fear of the figure 8Ombrophobia: Fear of rainOphidiophobia: Fear of snakesOrnithophobia: Fear of birdsOsmophobia: Fear of smellsOstraconophobia: Fear of shellfish

Necrophobia:Fear of death or dead thingsNoctiphobia: Fear of the nightNomophobia: Fear of being without your mobile phoneNosocomephobia: Fear of hospitalsNyctophobia: Fear of the dark

Melanophobia: Fear of the color blackMicrophobia: Fear of small thingsMysophobia: Fear of dirt and germs



NauseaRacing heartbeatShaking or trembling

ConfusionDifficulty breathingDizzinessDry mouthIncreased blood pressure

Chest tightness or painChills or hot flashesChoking sensations

Phobias lead to physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Common symptoms include:

Symptoms of Phobias

While listing all of the phobias that may exist is not possible, it can be helpful to look througha list of some of the more commonly described phobias. As you can see by looking at thislist, almost any object or situation can become the source of fear.


Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful womenVerminophobia: Fear of germsWiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraftXenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreignersZoophobia: Fear of animalsZuigerphobia: Fear of vacuum cleaners


Tachophobia: Fear of speedTechnophobia: Fear of technologyThalassophobia: Fear of the oceanTrichophobia: Fear of hairTonitrophobia: Fear of thunderTrypanophobia: Fear of needles/injectionsTrypophobia: Fear of holes


Exposure-based treatments are the first-line approach in the treatment of phobias. In thistype of treatment, you are gradually and progressively exposed to what you fear. You mightstart by just thinking about your phobia trigger and then move slowly toward looking atimages of the object and finally being near the object in real life.

Exposure Therapy

While phobias can be distressing and create disruptions in your life, they are treatable. Someof the different treatment options include therapy and medication.

Treatment for Phobias

(the fear of long words).

social phobia (the fear of social interactions).The fear of public speaking is so common that some researchers have estimated that asmuch as 77% of people have some level of this fear.Rare phobias may be novel terms coined to identify a single, unique case or fear that occurquite infrequently. Some different rare specific phobias include spectrophobia (the fear ofmirrors), chiclephobia (the fear of chewing gum), and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

Some phobias are more common, while others are often quite rare. Five of the mostcommon phobias include arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (the fear ofsnakes), glossophobia (the fear of public speaking), acrophobia (the fear of heights), and

Common vs. Rare Phobias

of dogs in adulthood.

The exact causes of phobias are not known, but it is likely that a combination of factors playsa part. Some factors that increase the risk of developing a phobia include:Genetics: People with a close family member with a phobia or another anxiety disorderalso have a greater risk of a phobia. It is important to note, however, that people whodon't have family members with the condition still develop phobias.Traumatic experiences: A difficult, stressful, or traumatic experience can also triggerthe onset of a phobia. For example, being bitten by a dog as a child might trigger a fear

Causes of Phobias

the source of their fear.

In addition to these physical symptoms, people may experience dread, a sense of impendingdoom, fear of losing control, or even the feeling that death is imminent. To avoid suchfeelings, people with phobias may avoid any situation where they might potentially encounter


advice. Fear vs. Phobia: What's the Difference?

Phobias can have a serious impact on well-being, but it is important to remember that youare not alone. Phobias are common and treatable. If you believe that you have thesymptoms of some type of phobia, consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment

A Word From Verywell

drugs.What Treatments for Phobias Work Best?

Medications may be prescribed in some cases to help manage some of the symptoms youmight be experiencing as a result of your phobia. Medications your doctor might prescribeinclude selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy utilizes rhythmic eyemovements to help people process and recover from traumatic experiences. It is frequentlyused in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but can also be effective inthe treatment of a variety of other mental health conditions including phobias.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing


Often referred to as CBT, cognitive behaviorial therapy involves learning to identify theunderlying negative thoughts that contribute to feelings of fear. Once you become better atnoticing these thoughts, you can then work on replacing them with more positive, helpful

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

your fear response kicks in.

desensitized to the source of your fear.During this process, you'll also practice relaxation techniques to help calm your body when

Types of exposure-based treatments that may be used include:In vivo exposure: This involves being exposed to the source of your fear in real life.Virtual exposure: This involves the use of virtual reality to practice gradual exposure.Systematic desensitization: This involves being gradually exposed until you become



Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support thefacts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-checkand keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.1. National Institute of Mental Health. Specific phobia.2. Regier DA, Kuhl EA, Kupfer DJ. The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. WorldPsychiatry. 2013;12(2):92-8. doi:10.1002/wps.200503. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalDisorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.4. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Symptoms.5. Van houtem CM, Laine ML, Boomsma DI, Ligthart L, Van wijk AJ, De jongh A. A reviewand meta-analysis of the heritability of specific phobia subtypes and correspondingfears. J Anxiety Disord. 2013;27(4):379-88. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.04.0076. Heeren A, Ceschi G, Valentiner DP, Dethier V, Philippot P. Assessing public speakingfear with the short form of the Personal Report of Confidence as a Speaker scale:confirmatory factor analyses among a French-speaking communitysample. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:609-18. doi:10.2147%2FNDT.S430977. Thng CEW, Lim-Ashworth NSJ, Poh BZQ, Lim CG. Recent developments in theintervention of specific phobia among adults: A rapid review. F1000Res. 2020;9:F1000Faculty Rev-195. doi:10.12688/f1000research.20082.18. Valiente-Gómez A, Moreno-Alcázar A, Treen D, et al. EMDR beyond PTSD: Asystematic literature review. Front Psychol. 2017;8:1668.

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By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, andauthor of the "Everything Psychology Book."Ⓒ 2024 Dotdash Media, Inc. — All rights reserved


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