What Are Some Phobias Associated With Anxiety Disorder?
Phobias are common in the population, are classified as anxiety disorders, and can be quite debilitating. A phobia is the extreme fear of an object or situation, and being exposed to the feared stimulus induces extreme distress and anxiety, to the point where it may culminate in a panic attack. As such, people with phobias avoid their feared stimulus at all costs, and if they can’t avoid it, they endure it with much distress and anxiety. Phobias are divided into simple phobias (fear of a specific object or situation), social phobia (fears within social situations; fear of social scrutiny) and agoraphobia (fear of open spaces and of leaving home).
The lifetime prevalence of phobias in the population is as follows: 13.3% for social phobia, 11.3% for simple phobia, and 6.7% for agoraphobia (Magee et al., 1996). In the community, phobias are the most common psychiatric disorder, and less than ¼ of people with phobias receive treatment (Boyd et al., 1990). As such, it is important to identify what type of phobia you suffer from, as there are effective treatments available.
The following is a list of social phobias and agoraphobia:
- Social phobia– fear of social scrutiny or fear of being embarrassed. This is the most common form of phobia, and can be very debilitating. Avoiding social interactions can make you homebound, and this has devastating consequences for your career, relationships, and your personal well-being.
- Stage fright– fear of performing on stage. Stage fright is also known as performance anxiety, a form of social phobia, as the person on stage has a fear of embarrassment and/or social scrutiny. Surprisingly, there are some musicians, actors/actresses, and other performing artists who have stage fright, or performance anxiety. Obviously, the successful performing artists with this phobia have overcome their affliction, and continue to work on this.
- Glossophobia– fear of public speaking. Glossophobia is also known as speech anxiety, a form of social phobia, where there is a fear of social scrutiny, or fear of being embarrassed.
- Agoraphobia– fear of open spaces, fear of places where escape may be difficult, or fear of places where you may have a panic attack. Agoraphobia often occurs with panic disorder. Agoraphobia can severely affect your functioning.
The following is a list of some different types of specific phobia:
- Arachnophobia– fear of spiders.
- Aviophobia– fear of flying. It is also known as flying/flight phobia or aerophobia.
- Acrophobia– fear of heights.
- Claustrophobia– fear of closed spaces; fear of being confined and unable to escape.
- Ophidiophobia– fear of snakes.
- Suriphobia– fear of mice.
- Cynophobia– fear of dogs.
- Ailurophobia– fear of cats.
- Aquaphobia– fear of water.
- Gephyrophobia– fear of bridges. People with this phobia may fear that the bridge may collapse when they cross it.
- Mysophobia– fear of germs and contamination. Mysophobia is an obsession associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Hemophobia– fear of blood. It is also known as blood phobia.
- Needle phobia– fear of injections or hypodermic needles.
- Odontophobia– fear of dental procedures. Also known as dentophobia and dental phobia.
- Tokophobia– fear of pregnancy and childbirth. This phobia is commonly overlooked.
These are some phobias associated with anxiety disorder. For more information on phobias and anxiety, read my book on anxiety, Anxiety Protocol.