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Fears & Phobias

Fears & Phobias

 “an external symbolic interpretation of an internal anxiety.”

A phobia is an intense and unrealistic fear which can interfere with the ability to socialize, work, or go about everyday life. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, a persistent fear of an object or situation that you may go to great lengths to avoid. The phobia is disproportionate to the actual danger that’s posed.

The main difference between a fear and a phobia is in the severity of the emotional reaction: a strong dislike of flying is a fear, whereas a pathological fear (an intense, uncontrollable, unendurable, physical fear) is considered to be a phobia


If a fear becomes very severe, you may try to control your environment to avoid the things that are causing you anxiety. This can be very distressing, and affect your everyday life.


There are different types of fears/phobias. There are thousands of phobias, if you can think of an object or situation, somebody will have a phobia surrounding it.  There is a full list of phobias at the bottom of the page.


Some very common phobias are:


Heights, water, germs or contamination

Having injections

Situations such as visiting the dentist, flying or going to the doctors

Dogs, spiders, snakes, wasps or other animals

Fear of vomit (emetophobia)


Performance anxiety


Social phobia


Some of these phobias relate only to the specific situation, such as going to the dentist or needles and you can build up lots of emotion in anticipation of such an event, others such as social phobia are more complex and will cause anxiety many times during each day.



If you have a complex phobia you may try to avoid situations like:


  • Being alone or being in public places such as restaurants and busy shopping centres
  • Travelling on public transport or anywhere when you can’t escape, causing panic attacks.
  • Going out or feeling shut in
  • Being anxious/having panic attacks in social situations for fear of humiliating or embarrassing yourself in front of others.


In severe cases, this can become very debilitating and may prevent you from carrying out everyday activities.


What causes phobias?

Phobias don’t have a single cause, but there are a number of associated factors. For example:


  • A phobia may be associated with a particular incident or trauma, either remembered or in the subconscious

This is the most commonly held belief by most people that have a phobia, that something that has happened in the past that has caused you to develop the phobia, for instance being shut in a lift has caused a fear of lifts, or a dog bite causing a phobia of dogs or being humiliated in front of others may cause a social phobia. Phobias with this cause can develop very quickly.


  • A phobia may be a learned response:

For example you may have been free of anxiety surrounding the particular object or situation, perhaps driving, and then you have a “near miss” and experience a strong anxiety response. Consequently you start avoiding driving whenever possible and the fear becomes larger and more significant until it becomes a full blown phobia. This can also be said about flying, hearing stories and seeing on the news of plane crashes etc then you develop a fear of flying. As you are so frightened of the perceived threat from the specific phobia, you will pay much more attention to bad information surrounding it. You will see things through your own set of belief systems and may be blind to the whole picture, seeing only danger or horror stories surrounding your phobia. Avoiding the situation or object of your phobia increases your belief that the situation or object is a threat, and makes your phobia worse. Relief is experienced when the object or situation is successfully avoided, then it becomes ever more stressful to be in that situation again.

With social phobia this may be “learned” from one or both parents. A socially phobic parent will often be very conscious of how their children are behaving, and may unwittingly “teach” them to fear social situations.

They may chastise the child through fear of being judged themselves and inadvertently teach the child to fear being judged themselves.


  • A phobia is thought to sometimes be genetic

There’s evidence to suggest that some people are born with a tendency to be more anxious than others. Someone who has a family member with a phobia is at an increased risk of developing the same phobia. Studies indicate that certain types of phobia such as blood have connections to other family members



If you have a phobia, continually trying to avoid what you’re afraid of will make the situation worse. If your feared object or situation cannot be avoided, it will cause you significant distress.

A phobia may be sustained by obsessive or badly managed thinking:


Wherever your phobia is coming from, it is very important to look at how you are thinking today. It may seem as though your phobia is just happening to you, but you are in fact creating it and maintaining it through your day to day thoughts and emotions. The more you pay attention to it, the worse it gets. Things like anticipatory anxiety as well as your natural stress response are at work. For instance, when you have a trip to the dentist, and a fear or phobia of dentists, you will build up lots of anxiety in advance of the appointment, so that a long time before you are even sat in the dentist’s chair, you are already in a state of panic. I will help you to see that you do have control over your thoughts and feelings, and can consequently gain control of them in order to overcome your phobia.


It may be important for you to address underlying issues which may but not always be found in painful past experience. These underlying causes may need to be worked on as part of a healing process to resolve phobias.

You could also need work on badly managed thinking. I use different techniques to help you overcome your phobia. Exposure therapy is not part of the help that I offer.

As you are a unique individual, I offer different approaches to help you resolve your fears and phobias. Analytical Hypnotherapy will allow you to find and resolve the root causes of the phobia, or to find and release the feelings which may be underlying your problem.

I also work with you to help you understand how your beliefs about how you feel are very real to you, and how they are affecting you as an individual. Then we work together to look more deeply at how we can address your beliefs to change. I gently teach you how to understand better your unique personality, and change unhelpful thinking in order to overcome your phobia, which may be combined with gentle hypnotherapy to teach you self relaxation techniques and allow you to relax yourself and focus on more helpful thinking.

You will find yourself in a safe, confidential environment.


If you would like to contact me please either email me or call me for a FREE CONSULTATION so that I can get to know you a little better and discuss the type of therapy that will suit you best. There is no selling, no obligation and I can give you a better idea of how therapy works and what it involves.

Below is a full list of phobias:

  • Ablutophobia– fear of bathing, washing or cleaning
  • Acousticophobia – fear of noise – a branch of phonophobia
  • Acrophobia – fear of heights
  • Agoraphobia – fear of open places
  • Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse
  • Agrizoophobia – fear of wild anilmals, a branch of zoophobia
  • Agryophobia – fear of crossing the street
  • Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)
  • Ailurophobia – fear of cats
  • Algophobia– fear of pain
  • Amaxophobia, ochophobia, motorphobia, hamaxophobia – fear of riding in a car
  • Amychophobia– fear of being scratched
  • Anthophobia– fear of flowers
  • Anthropophobia– fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia
  • Antlophobia– fear of floods
  • Aquaphobia– fear of water. Distinct from hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies
  • Arachnophobia– fear of spiders
  • Astraphobia– fear of thunder and lightning
  • Atelophobia– fear of not being good enough or imperfection[citation needed]
  • Atychiphobia, kakorrhaphiophobia – fear offailure
  • Automatonophobia– fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being
  • Autophobia– fear of isolation[3]
  • Aviophobia, aviatophobia – fear of flying


  • Barophobia– fear of gravity
  • Bathmophobia– fear of stairs or slopes
  • Blood-injection-injury type phobia– a DSM-IV subtype of specific phobias


  • Chaetophobia– fear of hair
  • Chemophobia– fear of chemicals
  • Cherophobia– fear of happiness
  • Chiroptophobia– fear of bats
  • Chlorophobia– fear of the color green[4]
  • Chromophobia, chromatophobia – fear ofcolors
  • Chronophobia– fear of time and time moving forward
  • Chrysophobia– fear of the color orange[4]
  • Cibophobia,sitophobia – aversion to food, synonymous to anorexia nervosa
  • Claustrophobia– fear of having no escape and being closed in
  • Cleithrophobia– fear of being trapped[5]
  • Climacophobia– fear of climbing
  • Coimetrophobia– fear of cemeteries
  • Colorphobia- fear or a strong aversion towards a particular color
  • Coprophobia- fear of feces or defecation[6]
  • Coulrophobia– fear of clowns (not restricted to evil clowns)
  • Cyanophobia– fear of the color blue[4]
  • Cyberphobia– fear of or aversion to computers and of learning new technologies
  • Cynophobia– fear of dogs


  • Decidophobia– fear of making decisions
  • Dementophobia- fear of becoming insane
  • Demonophobia, daemonophobia – fear ofdemons
  • Dendrophobia– see hylophobia
  • Dentophobia, odontophobia – fear ofdentists and dental procedures
  • Dysmorphophobia, orbody dysmorphic disorder – a phobic obsession with a real or imaginary body defect


  • Ecclesiophobia– fear of churches
  • Eurotophobia- fear of female genitals
  • Eleutherophobia- fear of freedom
  • Emetophobia– fear of vomiting
  • Enochlophobia– fear of crowds
  • Ergophobia, ergasiophobia – fear of work or functioning, or asurgeon’s fear of operating
  • Erotophobia– fear of sexual love or sexual abuse
  • Erythrophobia, erytophobia, ereuthophobia – fear of the colorred, or fear of blushing


  • Frigophobia– fear of becoming too cold


  • Gamophobia- fear of cohabitation, marriage or nuptials
  • Gelotophobia– fear of being laughed at
  • Gephyrophobia– fear of bridges
  • Genophobia, coitophobia – fear ofsexual intercourse
  • Gerascophobia– fear of growing old or aging
  • Gerontophobia– fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly
  • Globophobia– fear of balloons
  • Glossophobia– fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak
  • Gymnophobia– fear of nudity
  • Gynophobia– fear of women


  • Halitophobia– fear of bad breath
  • Haphephobia– fear of being touched
  • Harpaxophobia– fear of being robbed
  • Hedonophobia- fear of obtaining pleasure
  • Heliophobia– fear of the sun or sunlight
  • Hemophobia, haemophobia – fear ofblood
  • Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia– fear of the number 666
  • Hoplophobia– fear of firearms
  • Hylophobia, dendrophobia – fear oftrees, forests or wood
  • Hypnophobia, somniphobia – fear of sleep


  • Ichthyophobia– fear of fish, including fear of eating fish, or fear of dead fish


  • Kinetophobia, kinesophobia – fear of movement
  • Kleptophobia, cleptophobia – fear ofstealing or being robbed
  • Koinoniphobia– fear of rooms or shared spaces
  • Koumpounophobia – fear of buttons[7]


  • Leukophobia– fear of the color white
  • Lilapsophobia– fear of tornadoes or hurricanes


  • Macrophobia- fear of waiting
  • Mechanophobia– fear of machines
  • Melanophobia– fear of the color black
  • Melissophobia– fear of bees
  • Methyphobia– fear of alcohol
  • Monophobia– fear of being alone or isolated or of one’s self
  • Musophobia, murophobia, suriphobia – fear ofmice or rats
  • Myrmecophobia– fear of ants
  • Mysophobia– fear of germs, contamination or dirt


  • Necrophobia– fear of death or the dead
  • Neophobia, cainophobia, cainotophobia, centophobia, kainolophobia, kainophobia – fear ofnewness, novelty
  • Nomophobia– fear of being out of mobile phone contact
  • Nosocomephobia– fear of hospitals
  • Nosophobia– fear of contracting a disease
  • Nostophobia, ecophobia – fear of returning home
  • Nyctophobia, achluophobia, lygophobia, scotophobia – fear of darkness


  • Oikophobia– fear of home surroundings and household appliances
  • Omphalophobia– fear of navels
  • Oneirophobia– fear of dreams
  • Ophthalmophobia– fear of being stared at
  • Osmophobia, olfactophobia – fear ofodors


  • Panphobia– fear of everything or constant fear of an unknown cause
  • Parasitophobia – delusion of having a parasite infestation (Delusional parasitosis)
  • Peniaphobia– fear of poverty
  • Pediophobia– fear of dolls (a branch of automatonophobia: fear of humanoid figures)
  • Phagophobia– fear of swallowing
  • Phallophobia- fear of erections
  • Pharmacophobia– fear of medications
  • Phasmophobia– fear of ghosts or phantoms
  • Philophobia– fear of love
  • Phobophobia– fear of fear itself or of having a phobia
  • Phonophobia– fear of loud sounds or voices
  • Pogonophobia– fear of beards
  • Pornophobia– fear of pornography
  • Prosophobia– fear of progress
  • Pupaphobia– fear of puppets
  • Pyrophobia– fear of fire


  • Radiophobia– fear of radioactivity or X-rays


  • Sanguivoriphobia– fear of vampires
  • Scriptophobia– fear of writing in public or of trying to write
  • Scopophobia– fear of being looked at or stared at
  • Sexophobia– fear of sexual organs or sexual activities
  • Siderodromophobia– fear of trains or railroads
  • Sociophobia– fear of people or social situations
  • Spectrophobia– fear of mirrors
  • Stasiphobia– fear of standing or walking
  • Stygiophobia, stigiophobia, hadephobia – fear of Hell


  • Taphophobia, taphephobia – fear of thegrave, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive
  • Technophobia– fear of advanced technology (see also Luddite)
  • Telephone phobia– fear or reluctance of making or taking telephone calls
  • Tetraphobia– fear of the number 4
  • Thalassophobia– fear of the sea, or fear of being in the ocean
  • Thanatophobia– fear of dying
  • Theophobia– fear of religion or gods
  • Thermophobia– fear of heat
  • Tokophobia– fear of childbirth or pregnancy
  • Toxiphobia– fear of being poisoned
  • Traumatophobia– a synonym for injury phobia: fear of having an injury
  • Trichophobia – delusional fear of something in the roots of the hair that stops it from growing,[8]or fear of hair loss
  • Triskaidekaphobia, terdekaphobia – fear of the number 13
  • Trypanophobia, belonephobia, enetophobia – fear of needles or injections
  • Trypophobia– fear of holes or textures with a pattern of holes[9]
  • Turophobia – fear of cheese[
  • Tyrannophobia- fear of an oligarchy or dictatorship


  • Uranophobia, ouranophobia – fear of Heaven


  • Workplace phobia– fear of the workplace


  • Xanthophobia– fear of the color yellow
  • Xenophobia– fear of strangers, foreigners, or aliens
  • Xylophobia, hylophobia, ylophobia – fear of trees, forests or wood


  • Zoophobia – fear of animals



There are also a number of animal phobias:

  • Agrizoophobia– fear of wild animals
  • Ailurophobia– fear/dislike of cats
  • Apiphobia– fear/dislike of bees (also known as melissophobia, from the Greek melissa “bee”)
  • Arachnophobia– fear/dislike of spiders and other arachnids
  • Batrachophobia– fear/dislike of frogs and other amphibians
  • Chiroptophobia– fear/dislike of bats
  • Cynophobia– fear/dislike of dogs
  • Entomophobia– fear/dislike of insects
  • Equinophobia, hippophobia – fear/dislike ofhorses
  • Herpetophobia– fear/dislike of reptiles or amphibians
  • Ichthyophobia– fear/dislike of fish
  • Murophobia– fear/dislike of mice or rats
  • Ophidiophobia– fear/dislike of snakes
  • Ornithophobia– fear/dislike of birds
  • Ranidaphobia– fear/dislike of frogs
  • Scoleciphobia– fear of worms
  • Selachophobia– fear of sharks
  • Zoophobia– fear of animals

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