Fear of…(you fill in the blank): All About Phobias!

I stumbled across a great website, www.FearofStuff.com, devoted to nothing but various phobias, and since I missed my Friday Wrap Up last week (having too much fun with the kiddos to blog!) I figured I can go ahead and pass this web gem along.

Most common top 10 phobias

I learned that approximately 15 million Americans suffer from some sort of social phobia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Someone very close to me (don’t worry mom, I won’t mention you by name), is deathly afraid of spiders Agoraphobia). If a spider starts creeping her way, watch out! You may be trampled when she runs away or need to get ready for CPR! Unlike many people, my mom actually traces her phobia back to her childhood when she was trapped in a dark space and a large spider blocked her only way out. I think if that were me, I would probably have a spider phobia too!

There are over 500 phobias and you can search alphabetically here. Some are fairly well known, such as Claustrophobia(fear of confined spaces). Others are not as popular, such as:

  • Acerophobia- Fear of sourness
  • Algophobia – Fear of pain
  • Antlophobia – Fear of flood
  • Decidophobia – Fear of making decisions
  • Eosophobia – Fear of dawn or daylight
  • Isolophobia – Fear of solitude, being alone
  • linonophobia – Fear of string
  • Maieusiophobia – Fear of childbirth
  • Neophobia – Fear of anything new
  • Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8
  • Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia – Fear of smells or odors
  • Phengophobia – Fear of daylight or sunshine
  • Sesquipedalophobia – Fear of long words

Having a phobia is often funny to others, but to the person suffering from the phobia, it’s no joke. Phobias can cause extreme physical responses, such as anxiety attacks, and be socially and emotionally debilitating. Imagine being truly afraid to get in an elevator. How would that affect your job, ability to visit a doctor, or living arrangements?

The severity of the phobia can vary. Think of it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most fearful. A person with a phobia can fall anywhere on this scale. The purpose of therapy is to get them as close to “1” on that scale as possible, and at least able to function better in their life.

If you stop by the website, you should read the article Celebrities Who Set Their Phobias Aside. Below are the celebs and their reported phobias, but be sure to read the article from it’s source for more detail.

Marilyn Monroe: Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces).

Paris Hilton:  Claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces).

Sheryl Crow: Acrophobia (afraid of heights).

fear of heights

Howie Mandel: Mysophobia (fear of being contaminated).


Sarah Michelle Gellar: Necrophobia (fear of the dead).

Justin Timberlake: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders).

John Madden: Aviophobia (fear of flying).

Woody Allen: Carcinophobia (fear of cancer).

Madonna: Brontophobia (fear of thunder and lightening).

Barbara Streisand: Xenophobia (fear of strangers)

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Author: Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

One thought on “Fear of…(you fill in the blank): All About Phobias!”

  1. I think I have some mild cases of some fears but I don’t know if they warrant being called a phobia. But if I think about cancer too much, I can easily get sad or start wondering if any little thing that happens to me is a sickness. I can’t imagine having a fear that would disrupt my life!

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