Published on September 6, 2021

10 of the Most Common Phobias

by Psych Times Staff
10 of the Most Common Phobias

Do you remember having an irrational fear of spiders as a child? By the age of six, you had a six-syllable word in your vocabulary. You even had peers who understood your “arachnophobia.” The reason is some common phobias are significantly more prevalent than others.

When someone has a persistent fear of a situation or thing, they have an anxiety disorder defined by their phobia. People with a phobia will oftentimes go to extreme measures to avoid their fear. Their fear can stem from a negative experience of coming into contact with it or it can be inherent.

The following common phobias you may already recognize, as some people use them to conceptualize their fears. They do this without intending to trivialize phobias, which are debilitating to those who have them.


As mentioned, this is one of the most common phobias you may know about. However, it’s not just a fear, and it does not just regard spiders. This phobia is an extreme fear of spiders and all arachnids, such as ticks, scorpions, and mites.


The fear of driving, or vehophobia, can develop after witnessing or experiencing a car accident.


Fear of tight or enclosed spaces. Claustrophobic people may feel trapped or fear running out of oxygen and may experience trouble breathing.


It’s important for all humans to be somewhat afraid of and resistant to heights to keep us away from the danger of falling. With acrophobia, the reason and fear reaction is less rational and may result from a past fall.


The fear of traveling by air, which may be associated with other common phobias like claustrophobia and acrophobia.

Social Phobia (aka Social Anxiety Disorder)

Various social phobias can trigger this fear of social interactions. Specific interactions could include meeting new people, public speaking, initiating conversations, and eating in front of others. Social phobia makes daily life incredibly challenging and stressful. For this reason, it is one of the most common phobias that therapists help treat.


No one looks forward to failure, but kakorrhaphiophobia will keep a person from moving forward in life. Someone with kakorrhaphiophobia cannot escape from thoughts of failure. In other words, they oftentimes won’t attempt any goal that doesn’t guarantee success.


Trypanophobia is the fear of injections and hypodermic needles that causes intense feelings of dread before medical treatment. This is not only one of the most common phobias, but both the phobia and the physical need go untreated due to avoidance behaviors.


This fear of germs and dirt can lead to compulsive hand-washing, avoidance of certain places, and excessive cleaning.


While this fear is common and normal to some extent, it becomes a problem when it interferes with one’s daily activities and behaviors. The fear of death can make someone avoid any situation involving risk or potential risk. They also will experience intense anxiety when thinking about death or dying.

It’s not just the most common phobias that people can seek help for. Phobias, in general, are some of the most common types of psychiatric disorders that therapy, medication, or a combination of both can treat.

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