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What Is a Phobia?

A phobia is defined as the unrelenting fear of a situation, activity, or thing that causes one to want to avoid it. Phobias afflict more than 6 million people in the United States. Women tend to be twice as likely to suffer from a phobia compared to men.

Different Types of Phobias?

There are several types of phobias, including social, situational, animal, and specific phobias (fear of particular items or objects). While the list of phobias is almost endless, we'll take a look at some of the most common phobias on the next slides.

Social Phobia

Also known as social anxiety disorder, social phobia is an excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations. Examples include fears of public speaking, meeting new people, and other social situations.


Agoraphobia is a fear of in a situation from which one either cannot escape or from which escaping would be difficult or humiliating. Agoraphobia tends to run in families and for some people, may have a clear genetic factor.


Claustrophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of closed spaces, as in elevators, tunnels, or any other confined space. This type of fear is excessive and quite common.

CoulrophobiaCoulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. It is not uncommon among children, but is also sometimes found in teenagers and adults as well.


Zoophobia is a term that encompasses fears of specific types of animals.


Acrophobia is an abnormally excessive and persistent fear of heights.


An abnormal and persistent fear of flying is called aerophobia. This phobia generally develops after a person witnesses a plane crash or loses a family member in a plane crash or accident.

Blood-Injection-Injury Phobias

Blood-injection-injury phobias consist of several specific phobias including fear of blood, injury phobia, and fear of receiving an injection.

DidaskleinophobiaDidaskleinophobia, school phobia is itself a symptom of anxiety disorder in childhood. It is also known as separation anxiety which is an inappropriate fear of leaving their parents, a person or place of trust or home for example.

TriskaidekaphobiaTriskaidekaphobia isfearof the number13.It is asuperstitionand related to a specific fear ofFriday the 13th.