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Fighting Phobias . . . The Things That Go Bump in the Mind

by Lynne Hall

- Overcome fear phobias as did this no more phobia couple!From 50 yards away, you see the animal approaching. Silently it watches you as it slinks ever so much closer with each padded step. Stay calm, you tell yourself. There's nothing to fear.

But suddenly, panic seizes you in a death grip, squeezing the breath out of you and turning your knees to Jell-O. Your heart starts slam-dancing inside your chest, your mouth turns to cotton, and your palms are so sweaty you'd swear they'd sprung a leak. You'd escape this terrifying confrontation, if only you could make your legs work!

Just what is this wild and dangerous animal making you hyperventilate and turning your legs to rubber? A man-eating tiger, hungry for a meal? A lioness bent on protecting her cubs? Guess again. That's Tabby, your neighbor's ordinary house cat, sauntering your way. Ridiculous, right? How can anyone experience so much fear at the sight of such an innocuous animal? If you're one of the thousands who suffer from galeophobia -- the fear of cats--or any one of hundreds of other phobias, sheer panic at the appearance of everyday objects, situations or feelings is a regular occurrence.

Irrational Fears

A phobia is an intense, unrealistic fear of an object, an event, or a feeling. An estimated 18 percent of the U.S. adult population suffers from some kind of phobia, and a person can develop a phobia of anything--elevators, clocks, mushrooms, closed spaces, open spaces. Exposure to these trigger the rapid breathing, pounding heartbeat, and sweaty palms of panic.

There are three defined types of phobias:

  • specific or simple phobias

    -- fear of an object or situation, such as spiders, heights or flying
  • social phobias

    -- fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social settings
  • agoraphobia

    -- fear of being away from a safe place.
No one knows for sure how phobias develop. Often, there is no explanation for the fear. In many cases, though, a person can readily identify an event or trauma--such as being chased by a dog--that triggered the phobia. What puzzles experts is why some people who experience such an event develop a phobia and others do not. Many psychologists believe the cause lies in a combination of genetic predisposition mixed with environmental and social causes.

Phobic disorders are classified as part of the group of anxiety disorders, which includes panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Several drugs regulated by the Food and Drug Administration are now being used to treat phobias and other anxiety disorders.


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Dogs, Snakes, Dentists . . .

A person can develop a specific phobia of anything, but in most cases the phobia is shared by many and has a name. Animal phobias--cynophobia (dogs), equinophobia (horses), zoophobia (all animals)--are common. So are arachnophobia (spiders) and ophidiophobia (snakes). And, of course, there's the fear of flying (pterygophobia), heights (acrophobia), and confined spaces (claustrophobia).

"One of the most common phobias is the fear of dentists [odontiatophobia]," says Sheryl Jackson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "People who suffer with this phobia will literally let their teeth rot out because they are afraid to go to a dentist."

Jackson says that most specific phobias do not cause a serious disruption in a person's life, and, consequently, sufferers do not seek professional help. Instead, they find ways to avoid whatever it is that triggers their panic, or they simply endure the distress felt when they encounter it. Some may also consult their physicians, requesting medication to help them through a situation, such as an unavoidable plane trip for someone who is phobic about flying.

Drugs prescribed for these short-term situations include benzodiazepine anti-anxiety agents. These medications include two approved for treating anxiety disorders: Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam). Beta blockers such as Inderal (propranolol) and Tenormin (atenolol), approved for controlling high blood pressure and some heart problems, have been acknowledged, partly on the basis of controlled trials, to be helpful in certain situations in which anxiety interferes with performance, such as public speaking.

Some phobias cause significant problems that require long-term professional help. "People usually seek treatment when their phobia interferes in their lives--the person who turns down promotions because he knows public speaking will be required, someone who must travel frequently but who is afraid of flying, or a woman who wants to have children but who has a fear of pain or blood. These are the people who seek long-term treatment," says Jackson.

While anti-anxiety medication sometimes may be used initially, systematic desensitization may also be an effective initial approach. Jackson explains that this non drug treatment works on the theory that the more a person is exposed to the object of his phobia, the less fear that object generates.

First, the patient and therapist establish a hierarchy of feared situations, from the least to the most feared. For someone who fears elevators, for example, stepping onto the elevator causes a certain level of anxiety; going up one flight causes another level of anxiety. With each additional flight the anxiety increases until it becomes intolerable.

Therapy begins with the patient and therapist practicing the least fearful event, riding out the anxiety until the physiological symptoms subside. This step is repeated until the anxiety level is acceptable. Then the person progresses to the next step in the hierarchy. Each successive step is repeated until the physical reactions and anxious mood decrease to the point where the person can step onto an elevator and ride to the top floor without fear or a panic attack.

The USA Network TV Show star Adrian Monk has an incredible number of documented fear phobias!

 

Everyone's Looking at Me!

Social phobia is a complex disorder, characterized by the fear of being criticized or humiliated in social situations. There are two types of social phobias: circumscribed, which relates to a specific situation such as "stage fright," and generalized social phobia, which involves fear of a variety of social situations.

People suffering from social phobia fear the scrutiny of others. They tend to be highly sensitive to criticism, and often interpret the actions of others in social gatherings as an attempt to humiliate them. They are afraid to enter into conversations for fear of saying something foolish, and may agonize for hours or days later over things they did say.

"I always believed that everybody else knew the secret to enjoying themselves in social situations, that I was the only one who was so afraid," says Lorraine from Birmingham, Ala., who asked that her last name not be used. "For a long time, I avoided as many situations as possible, even talking on the telephone. After a while, the loneliness and boredom would overwhelm me, and I would try again. I wanted to have fun, but I never really enjoyed myself because of the anxiety I felt. I always believed that others were looking at me and judging me."

Many people with social phobia are so sensitive to the scrutiny of others that they avoid eating or drinking in public, using public restrooms, or signing a check in the presence of another. Social phobia may often be associated with depression or alcohol abuse.

Neurotransmitter-receptor abnormalities in the brain are suspected to play a part in the development of social phobias. Neurotransmitters are substances such as nor epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin that are released in the brain. The substance then either excites or inhibits a target cell. Disorders in the physiology of these neurotransmitters are thought to be the cause of a variety of psychiatric illnesses.

Negative social experiences, such as being rejected by peers or suffering some type of embarrassment in public, and poor social skills also seem to be factors, and social phobia may be related to low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, and feelings of inferiority.

Treatment can include cognitive-behavior therapy and medications, though no drug is approved specifically for social phobia. In addition to the anti-anxiety drugs and beta-blockers, medications may include the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor antidepressants Nardil (phenelzine) and Parnate (tranylcypromine), and serotonin specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and Luvox (fluvoxamine). Of the latter four drugs, Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil are approved for depression; Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, and Zoloft are approved for obsessive-compulsive disorder; and Paxil is approved for panic disorder.

Chris Sletten, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and behavioral medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic, says the use of SSRIs with behavior therapy is becoming more popular in the treatment of social phobia. Because there are fewer side effects associated with these drugs and a very low addiction potential, practitioners are more comfortable prescribing them. Plus, the antidepressant action of these drugs is helpful in treating patients who suffer from depression in addition to social phobia, he says.

"My therapist prescribed Prozac, and it has been an absolute godsend for me," Lorraine says. "After only a couple of months taking it, those voices in my head, the ones that always assured me that everyone was judging me--and finding me lacking--just seemed to shut up. I didn't feel high or drugged in any way. I felt like I always thought a "normal" person would feel. It's not a complete cure, of course. I still feel anxiety in social situations. But I don't avoid them as much. In fact, I actually pick up the phone now and ask friends to dinner, and I can relax enough to have fun. It's a whole new life for me."

The Wide Open Spaces

Agoraphobia comes from Greek, meaning literally "fear of the marketplace," but it usually is defined as a fear of open spaces. Sletten says it stems more from the fear of being someplace where you will not be able to escape. It is closely identified with panic disorder, and in many cases, agoraphobia is directly related to the fear of experiencing a panic attack in public.

A person with panic disorder suffers sudden bouts of panic for no apparent reason. These attacks can occur anywhere at any time. One minute everything is fine, the next the person is engulfed by a feeling of terror. The heart races, breathing comes in gasps, and the entire body trembles. The attack may last only minutes, but its memory is etched indelibly in the brain, and the anticipation of another causes almost as much terror as the attack itself.

People who suffer agoraphobia avoid places and situations where they feel escape would be difficult in case an attack occurs. This could be anywhere--the grocery store, a shopping mall, the office. As the fear of an attack increases, the agoraphobic's world narrows to only a few places where he or she feels safe. In the most severe cases, this is limited to the home.

Agoraphobia is the most disabling of all the phobias, and treatment is difficult because there are so many associated fears--the fear of crowds, of elevators, of traffic. As with social phobias, treatment involves behavioral therapy combined with anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, or both. Paxil has received FDA approval for use in treating panic disorders with or without agoraphobia, and at press time, Zoloft was being considered for this additional use.

"The most important thing for people with phobias to remember," says Sletten, "is that phobic disorders do respond well to treatment. It's not something they have to continue to suffer with."

Lynne Hall is a writer in Birmingham, Alabama

Fighting phobias article reprinted with permission of US Food and Drug Administration

  • Ablutophobia: Fear of washing or bathing.
  • Acarophobia: Fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching.
  • Acerophobia: Fear of sourness.
  • Achluophobia: Fear of darkness.
  • Acousticophobia: Fear of noise.
  • Acrophobia: Fear of heights.
  • Aerophobia: Fear of drafts, air swallowing, or airbourne noxious substances.
  • Aeroacrophobia: Fear of open high places.
  • Aeronausiphobia: Fear of vomiting secondary to airsickness.
  • Agateophobia: Fear of insanity.
  • Agliophobia: Fear of pain.
  • Agoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Fear of leaving a safe place.
  • Agraphobia: Fear of sexual abuse.
  • Agrizoophobia: Fear of wild animals.
  • Agyrophobia: Fear of streets or crossing the street.
  • Aichmophobia: Fear of needles or pointed objects.
  • Ailurophobia: Fear of cats.
  • Albuminurophobia: Fear of kidney disease.
  • Alektorophobia: Fear of chickens.
  • Algophobia: Fear of pain.
  • Alliumphobia: Fear of garlic.
  • Allodoxaphobia: Fear of opinions.
  • Altophobia: Fear of heights.
  • Amathophobia: Fear of dust.
  • Amaxophobia: Fear of riding in a car.
  • Ambulophobia: Fear of walking.
  • Amnesiphobia: Fear of amnesia.
  • Amychophobia: Fear of scratches or being scratched.
  • Anablephobia: Fear of looking up.
  • Ancraophobia or Anemophobia: Fear of wind.
  • Androphobia: Fear of men.
  • Anemophobia: Fear of air drafts or wind.
  • Anginophobia: Fear of angina, choking or narrowness.
  • Anglophobia: Fear of England, English culture, etc.
  • Angrophobia: Fear of anger or of becoming angry.
  • Ankylophobia: Fear of immobility of a joint.
  • Anthrophobia or Anthophobia: Fear of flowers.
  • Anthropophobia: Fear of people or society.
  • Antlophobia: Fear of floods.
  • Anuptaphobia: Fear of staying single.
  • Apeirophobia: Fear of infinity.
  • Aphenphosmphobia: Fear of being touched. (Haphephobia)
  • Apiphobia: Fear of bees.
  • Apotemnophobia: Fear of persons with amputations.
  • Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
  • Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders.
  • Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers.
  • Arrhenphobia: Fear of men.
  • Arsonphobia: Fear of fire.
  • Asthenophobia: Fear of fainting or weakness.
  • Astraphobia or Astrapophobia: Fear of thunder and lightning.
  • Astrophobia: Fear of stars and celestial space.
  • Asymmetriphobia: Fear of asymmetrical things.
  • Ataxiophobia: Fear of ataxia (muscular incoordination)
  • Ataxophobia: Fear of disorder or untidiness.
  • Atelophobia: Fear of imperfection.
  • Atephobia: Fear of ruin or ruins.
  • Athazagoraphobia: Fear of being forgotton or ignored or forgetting.
  • Atomosophobia: Fear of atomic explosions.
  • Atychiphobia: Fear of failure.
  • Aulophobia: Fear of flutes.
  • Aurophobia: Fear of gold.
  • Auroraphobia: Fear of Northern lights.
  • Autodysomophobia: Fear of one that has a vile odor.
  • Automatonophobia: Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues.
  • Automysophobia: Fear of being dirty.
  • Autophobia: Fear of being alone or of oneself.
  • Aviophobia or Aviatophobia: Fear of flying.
  • Bacillophobia: Fear of microbes.
  • Bacteriophobia: Fear of bacteria.
  • Ballistophobia: Fear of missiles or bullets.
  • Bolshephobia: Fear of Bolsheviks.
  • Barophobia: Fear of gravity.
  • Basophobia or Basiphobia: Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.
  • Bathmophobia: Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
  • Bathophobia: Fear of depth.
  • Batophobia: Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
  • Batrachophobia: Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
  • Belonephobia: Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
  • Bibliophobia: Fear of books.
  • Blennophobia: Fear of slime.
  • Bogyphobia: Fear of bogies or the bogeyman.
  • Botanophobia: Fear of plants.
  • Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia: Fear of body smells.
  • Brontophobia: Fear of thunder and lightning.
  • Bufonophobia: Fear of toads.
  • Cacophobia: Fear of ugliness.
  • Cainophobia or Cainotophobia: Fear of newness, novelty.
  • Caligynephobia: Fear of beautiful women.
  • Cancerophobia or Carcinophobia: Fear of cancer.
  • Cardiophobia: Fear of the heart.
  • Carnophobia: Fear of meat.
  • Catagelophobia: Fear of being ridiculed.
  • Catapedaphobia: Fear of jumping from high and low places.
  • Cathisophobia: Fear of sitting.
  • Catoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors.
  • Cenophobia or Centophobia: Fear of new things or ideas.
  • Ceraunophobia: Fear of thunder & lighting.
  • Chaetophobia: Fear of hair.
  • Cheimaphobia or Cheimatophobia: Fear of cold. (Frigophobia, Psychophobia)
  • Chemophobia: Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals.
  • Cherophobia: Fear of gaiety.
  • Chionophobia: Fear of snow.
  • Chiraptophobia: Fear of being touched.
  • Chirophobia: Fear of hands.
  • Cholerophobia: Fear of anger or the fear of cholera.
  • Chorophobia: Fear of dancing.
  • Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia: Fear of money.
  • Chromophobia or Chromatophobia: Fear of colors.
  • Chronophobia: Fear of time.
  • Chronomentrophobia: Fear of clocks.
  • Cibophobia or Sitophobia or Sitiophobia: Fear of food.
  • Claustrophobia: Fear of confined spaces.
  • Cleithrophobia or Cleisiophobia: Fear of being locked in an enclosed place.
  • Cleptophobia: Fear of stealing.
  • Climacophobia: Fear of stairs, climbing or of falling downstairs.
  • Clinophobia: Fear of going to bed.
  • Clithrophobia or Cleithrophobia: Fear of being enclosed.
  • Cnidophobia: Fear of stings.
  • Cometophobia: Fear of comets.
  • Coimetrophobia: Fear of cemeteries.
  • Coitophobia: Fear of coitus.
  • Contreltophobia: Fear of sexual abuse.
  • Coprastasophobia: Fear of constipation.
  • Coprophobia: Fear of feces.
  • Coulrophobia: Fear of clowns.
  • Counterphobia: The preference by a phobic for fearful situations.
  • Cremnophobia: Fear of precipices.
  • Cryophobia: Fear of extreme cold, ice or frost.
  • Crystallophobia: Fear of crystals or glass.
  • Cyberphobia: Fear of computers or working on a computer.
  • Cyclophobia: Fear of bicycles.
  • Cymophobia: Fear of waves or wave like motions.
  • Cynophobia: Fear of dogs or rabies.
  • Cypridophobia, Cypriphobia, Cyprianophobia, or Cyprinophobia : Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.
  • Decidophobia: Fear of making decisions.
  • Defecaloesiophobia: Fear of painful bowels movements.
  • Deipnophobia: Fear of dining or dinner conversations.
  • Dementophobia: Fear of insanity.
  • Demonophobia or Daemonophobia: Fear of demons.
  • Demophobia: Fear of crowds. (Agoraphobia)
  • Dendrophobia: Fear of trees.
  • Dentophobia: Fear of dentists.
  • Dermatophobia: Fear of skin lesions.
  • Dermatosiophobia or Dermatophobia or Dermatopathophobia: Fear of skin disease.
  • Dextrophobia: Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
  • Diabetophobia: Fear of diabetes.
  • Didaskaleinophobia: Fear of going to school.
  • Dikephobia: Fear of justice.
  • Dinophobia: Fear of dizziness or whirlpools.
  • Diplophobia: Fear of double vision.
  • Dipsophobia: Fear of drinking.
  • Dishabiliophobia: Fear of undressing in front of someone.
  • Domatophobia or Oikophobia: Fear of houses or being in a house.
  • Doraphobia: Fear of fur or skins of animals.
  • Doxophobia: Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.
  • Dromophobia: Fear of crossing streets.
  • Dutchphobia: Fear of the Dutch.
  • Dysmorphophobia: Fear of deformity.
  • Dystychiphobia: Fear of accidents.
  • Ecclesiophobia: Fear of church.
  • Ecophobia: Fear of home.
  • Eicophobia or Oikophobia: Fear of home surroundings.
  • Eisoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror.
  • Electrophobia: Fear of electricity.
  • Eleutherophobia: Fear of freedom.
  • Elurophobia: Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia)
  • Emetophobia: Fear of vomiting.
  • Enetophobia: Fear of pins.
  • Enochlophobia: Fear of crowds.
  • Enosiophobia or Enissophobia: Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism.
  • Entomophobia: Fear of insects.
  • Eosophobia: Fear of dawn or daylight.
  • Ephebiphobia: Fear of teenagers.
  • Epistaxiophobia: Fear of nosebleeds.
  • Epistemophobia: Fear of knowledge.
  • Equinophobia: Fear of horses.
  • Eremophobia: Fear of being oneself or of lonliness.
  • Ereuthrophobia: Fear of blushing.
  • Ergasiophobia: 1) Fear of work or functioning. 2) Surgeon's fear of operating.
  • Ergophobia: Fear of work.
  • Erotophobia: Fear of sexual love or sexual questions.
  • Euphobia: Fear of hearing good news.
  • Eurotophobia: Fear of female genitalia.
  • Erythrophobia, Erytophobia or Ereuthophobia: 1) Fear of redlights. 2) Blushing. 3) Red.
  • Febriphobia, Fibriphobia or Fibriophobia: Fear of fever.
  • Felinophobia: Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, Gatophobia)
  • Francophobia: Fear of France, French culture. (Gallophobia, Galiophobia)
  • Frigophobia: Fear of cold, cold things. (Cheimaphobia, Cheimatophobia, Psychrophobia)
  • Galeophobia or Gatophobia: Fear of cats.
  • Gallophobia or Galiophobia: Fear France, French culture. (Francophobia)
  • Gamophobia: Fear of marriage.
  • Geliophobia: Fear of laughter.
  • Geniophobia: Fear of chins.
  • Genophobia: Fear of sex.
  • Genuphobia: Fear of knees.
  • Gephyrophobia, Gephydrophobia, or Gephysrophobia: Fear of crossing bridges.
  • Germanophobia: Fear of Germany, German culture, etc.
  • Gerascophobia: Fear of growing old.
  • Gerontophobia: Fear of old people or of growing old.
  • Geumaphobia or Geumophobia: Fear of taste.
  • Glossophobia: Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
  • Gnosiophobia: Fear of knowledge.
  • Graphophobia: Fear of writing or handwriting.
  • Gymnophobia: Fear of nudity.
  • Gynephobia or Gynophobia: Fear of women.
  • Hadephobia: Fear of hell.
  • Hagiophobia: Fear of saints or holy things.
  • Hamartophobia: Fear of sinning.
  • Haphephobia or Haptephobia: Fear of being touched.
  • Harpaxophobia: Fear of being robbed.
  • Hedonophobia: Fear of feeling pleasure.
  • Heliophobia: Fear of the sun.
  • Hellenologophobia: Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology.
  • Helminthophobia: Fear of being infested with worms.
  • Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia: Fear of blood.
  • Heresyphobia or Hereiophobia: Fear of challenges to official doctrine or of radical deviation.
  • Herpetophobia: Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things.
  • Heterophobia: Fear of the opposite sex. (Sexophobia)
  • Hierophobia: Fear of priests or sacred things.
  • Hippophobia: Fear of horses.
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: Fear of long words.
  • Hobophobia: Fear of bums or beggars.
  • Hodophobia: Fear of road travel.
  • Hormephobia: Fear of shock.
  • Homichlophobia: Fear of fog.
  • Homilophobia: Fear of sermons.
  • Hominophobia: Fear of men.
  • Homophobia: Fear of sameness, monotony or of homosexuality or of becoming homosexual.
  • Hoplophobia: Fear of firearms.
  • Hydrargyophobia: Fear of mercurial medicines.
  • Hydrophobia: Fear of water or of rabies.
  • Hydrophobophobia: Fear of rabies.
  • Hyelophobia or Hyalophobia: Fear of glass.
  • Hygrophobia: Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture.
  • Hylephobia: Fear of materialism OR the fear of epilepsy.
  • Hylophobia: Fear of forests.
  • Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobia: Fear of responsibility.
  • Hypnophobia: Fear of sleep or of being hypnotized.
  • Hypsiphobia: Fear of height.
  • Iatrophobia: Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors.
  • Ichthyophobia: Fear of fish.
  • Ideophobia: Fear of ideas.
  • Illyngophobia: Fear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down.
  • Iophobia: Fear of poison.
  • Insectophobia : Fear of insects.
  • Isolophobia: Fear of solitude, being alone.
  • Isopterophobia: Fear of termites, insects that eat wood.
  • Ithyphallophobia: Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
  • Japanophobia: Fear of Japanese.
  • Judeophobia: Fear of Jews.
  • Kainolophobia: Fear of novelty.
  • Kainophobia: Fear of anything new, novelty.
  • Kakorrhaphiophobia: Fear of failure or defeat.
  • Katagelophobia: Fear of ridicule.
  • Kathisophobia: Fear of sitting down.
  • Kenophobia: Fear of voids or empty spaces.
  • Keraunophobia: Fear of thunder and lightning.
  • Kinetophobia or Kinesophobia: Fear of movement or motion.
  • Kleptophobia: Fear of stealing.
  • Koinoniphobia: Fear of rooms.
  • Kolpophobia: Fear of genitals, particularly female.
  • Kopophobia: Fear of fatigue.
  • Koniophobia: Fear of dust. (Amathophobia)
  • Kosmikophobia: Fear of cosmic phenomenon.
  • Kymophobia: Fear of waves. (Cymophobia)
  • Kynophobia: Fear of rabies.
  • Kyphophobia: Fear of stooping.
  • Lachanophobia: Fear of vegetables.
  • Laliophobia or Lalophobia: Fear of speaking.
  • Leprophobia or Lepraphobia: Fear of leprosy.
  • Leukophobia: Fear of the color white.
  • Levophobia: Fear of things to the left side of the body.
  • Ligyrophobia: Fear of loud noises.
  • Lilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • Limnophobia: Fear of lakes.
  • Linonophobia: Fear of string.
  • Liticaphobia: Fear of lawsuits.
  • Lockiophobia: Fear of childbirth.
  • Logizomechanophobia: Fear of computers.
  • Logophobia: Fear of words.
  • Luiphobia: Fear of lues, syphillis.
  • Lutraphobia: Fear of otters.
  • Lygophobia: Fear of darkness.
  • Lyssophobia: Fear of rabies or of becoming mad.
  • Macrophobia: Fear of long waits.
  • Mageirocophobia: Fear of cooking.
  • Maieusiophobia: Fear of childbirth.
  • Malaxophobia: Fear of love play. (Sarmassophobia)
  • Maniaphobia: Fear of insanity.
  • Mastigophobia: Fear of punishment.
  • Mechanophobia: Fear of machines.
  • Medomalacuphobia: Fear of losing an erection.
  • Medorthophobia: Fear of an erect penis.
  • Megalophobia: Fear of large things.
  • Melissophobia: Fear of bees.
  • Melanophobia: Fear of the color black.
  • Melophobia: Fear or hatred of music.
  • Meningitophobia: Fear of brain disease.
  • Menophobia: Fear of menstruation.
  • Merinthophobia: Fear of being bound or tied up.
  • Metallophobia: Fear of metal.
  • Metathesiophobia: Fear of changes.
  • Meteorophobia: Fear of meteors.
  • Methyphobia: Fear of alcohol.
  • Metrophobia: Fear or hatred of poetry.
  • Microbiophobia: Fear of microbes. (Bacillophobia)
  • Microphobia: Fear of small things.
  • Misophobia: Fear of being contaminated with dirt of germs.
  • Mnemophobia: Fear of memories.
  • Molysmophobia or Molysomophobia: Fear of dirt or contamination.
  • Monophobia: Fear of solitude or being alone.
  • Monopathophobia: Fear of definite disease.
  • Motorphobia: Fear of automobiles.
  • Mottephobia: Fear of moths.
  • Musophobia or Murophobia: Fear of mice.
  • Mycophobia: Fear or aversion to mushrooms.
  • Mycrophobia: Fear of small things.
  • Myctophobia: Fear of darkness.
  • Myrmecophobia: Fear of ants.
  • Mysophobia: Fear of dirt or filth.
  • Mythophobia: Fear of myths or stories or false statements.
  • Myxophobia: Fear of slime. (Blennophobia)
  • Nebulaphobia: Fear of fog. (Homichlophobia)
  • Necrophobia: Fear of death or dead things.
  • Nelophobia: Fear of glass.
  • Neopharmaphobia: Fear of new drugs.
  • Neophobia: Fear of anything new.
  • Nephophobia: Fear of clouds.
  • Noctiphobia: Fear of the night.
  • Nomatophobia: Fear of names.
  • Nosocomephobia: Fear of hospitals.
  • Nosophobia or Nosemaphobia: Fear of becoming ill.
  • Nostophobia: Fear of returning home.
  • Novercaphobia: Fear of your step-mother.
  • Nucleomituphobia: Fear of nuclear weapons.
  • Nudophobia: Fear of nudity.
  • Numerophobia: Fear of numbers.
  • Nyctohylophobia: Fear of dark wooded areas, of forests at night
  • Nyctophobia: Fear of the dark or of night.
  • Obesophobia: Fear of gaining weight.(Pocrescophobia)
  • Ochlophobia: Fear of crowds or mobs.
  • Ochophobia: Fear of vehicles.
  • Octophobia : Fear of the figure 8.
  • Odontophobia: Fear of teeth or dental surgery.
  • Odynophobia or Odynephobia: Fear of pain. (Algophobia)
  • Oenophobia: Fear of wines.
  • Oikophobia: Fear of home surroundings, house.
  • Olfactophobia: Fear of smells.
  • Ombrophobia: Fear of rain or of being rained on.
  • Ommetaphobia or Ommatophobia: Fear of eyes.
  • Oneirophobia: Fear of dreams.
  • Oneirogmophobia: Fear of wet dreams.
  • Onomatophobia: Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
  • Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes. (Snakephobia)
  • Ophthalmophobia: Fear of being stared at.
  • Opiophobia: Fear medical doctors experience of prescribing needed pain medications for patients.
  • Optophobia: Fear of opening one's eyes.
  • Ornithophobia: Fear of birds.
  • Orthophobia: Fear of property.
  • Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia: Fear of smells or odors.
  • Ostraconophobia: Fear of shellfish.
  • Ouranophobia: Fear of heaven.
  • Pagophobia: Fear of ice or frost.
  • Panthophobia: Fear of suffering and disease.
  • Panophobia or Pantophobia: Fear of everything.
  • Papaphobia: Fear of the Pope.
  • Papyrophobia: Fear of paper.
  • Paralipophobia: Fear of neglecting duty or responsibility.
  • Paraphobia: Fear of sexual perversion.
  • Parasitophobia: Fear of parasites.
  • Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th.
  • Parthenophobia: Fear of virgins or young girls.
  • Pathophobia: Fear of disease.
  • Patroiophobia: Fear of heredity.
  • Parturiphobia: Fear of childbirth.
  • Peccatophobia: Fear of sinning. (imaginary crime)
  • Pediculophobia: Fear of lice.
  • Pediophobia: Fear of dolls.
  • Pedophobia: Fear of children.
  • Peladophobia: Fear of bald people.
  • Pellagrophobia: Fear of pellagra.
  • Peniaphobia: Fear of poverty.
  • Pentheraphobia: Fear of mother-in-law. (Novercaphobia)
  • Phagophobia: Fear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten.
  • Phalacrophobia: Fear of becoming bald.
  • Phallophobia: Fear of a penis, esp erect.
  • Pharmacophobia: Fear of taking medicine.
  • Phasmophobia: Fear of ghosts.
  • Phengophobia: Fear of daylight or sunshine.
  • Philemaphobia or Philematophobia: Fear of kissing.
  • Philophobia: Fear of falling in love or being in love.
  • Philosophobia: Fear of philosophy.
  • Phobophobia: Fear of phobias.
  • Photoaugliaphobia: Fear of glaring lights.
  • Photophobia: Fear of light.
  • Phonophobia: Fear of noises or voices or one's own voice; of telephones.
  • Phronemophobia: Fear of thinking.
  • Phthiriophobia: Fear of lice. (Pediculophobia)
  • Phthisiophobia: Fear of tuberculosis.
  • Placophobia: Fear of tombstones.
  • Plutophobia: Fear of wealth.
  • Pluviophobia: Fear of rain or of being rained on.
  • Pneumatiphobia: Fear of spirits.
  • Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia: Fear of choking of being smothered.
  • Pocrescophobia: Fear of gaining weight. (Obesophobia)
  • Pogonophobia: Fear of beards.
  • Poliosophobia: Fear of contracting poliomyelitis.
  • Politicophobia: Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians.
  • Polyphobia: Fear of many things.
  • Poinephobia: Fear of punishment.
  • Ponophobia: Fear of overworking or of pain.
  • Porphyrophobia: Fear of the color purple.
  • Potamophobia: Fear of rivers or running water.
  • Potophobia: Fear of alcohol.
  • Pharmacophobia: Fear of drugs.
  • Proctophobia: Fear of rectum.
  • Prosophobia: Fear of progress.
  • Psellismophobia: Fear of stuttering.
  • Psychophobia: Fear of mind.
  • Psychrophobia: Fear of cold.
  • Pteromerhanophobia: Fear of flying.
  • Pteronophobia: Fear of being tickled by feathers.
  • Pupaphobia : fear of puppets.
  • Pyrexiophobia: Fear of Fever.
  • Pyrophobia: Fear of fire.
  • Radiophobia: Fear of radiation, x-rays.
  • Ranidaphobia: Fear of frogs.
  • Rectophobia: Fear of rectum or rectal diseases.
  • Rhabdophobia: Fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized.
  • Rhypophobia: Fear of defecation.
  • Rhytiphobia: Fear of getting wrinkles.
  • Rupophobia: Fear of dirt.
  • Russophobia: Fear of Russians.
  • Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween.
  • Sarmassophobia: Fear of love play. (Malaxophobia)
  • Satanophobia: Fear of Satan.
  • Scabiophobia: Fear of scabies.
  • Scatophobia: Fear of fecal matter.
  • Scelerophibia: Fear of bad men, burglars.
  • Sciophobia Sciaphobia: Fear of shadows.
  • Scoleciphobia: Fear of worms.
  • Scolionophobia: Fear of school.
  • Scopophobia or Scoptophobia: Fear of being seen or stared at.
  • Scotomaphobia: Fear of blindness in visual field.
  • Scotophobia: Fear of darkness. (Achluophobia)
  • Scriptophobia: Fear of writing in public.
  • Selachophobia: Fear of sharks.
  • Selaphobia: Fear of light flashes.
  • Selenophobia: Fear of the moon.
  • Seplophobia: Fear of decaying matter.
  • Sesquipedalophobia: Fear of long words.
  • Sexophobia: Fear of the opposite sex. (Heterophobia)
  • Siderodromophobia: Fear of trains, railroads or train travel.
  • Siderophobia: Fear of stars.
  • Sinistrophobia: Fear of things to the left, left:handed.
  • Sinophobia: Fear of Chinese, Chinese culture.
  • Sitophobia or Sitiophobia: Fear of food or eating. (Cibophobia)
  • Snakephobia: Fear of snakes. (Ophidiophobia)
  • Soceraphobia: Fear of parents-in-law.
  • Social Phobia: Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.
  • Sociophobia: Fear of society or people in general.
  • Somniphobia: Fear of sleep.
  • Sophophobia: Fear of learning.
  • Soteriophobia : Fear of dependence on others.
  • Spacephobia: Fear of outer space.
  • Spectrophobia: Fear of specters or ghosts.
  • Spermatophobia or Spermophobia: Fear of germs.
  • Spheksophobia: Fear of wasps.
  • Stasibasiphobia or Stasiphobia: Fear of standing or walking. (Ambulophobia)
  • Staurophobia: Fear of crosses or the crucifix.
  • Stenophobia: Fear of narrow things or places.
  • Stygiophobia or Stigiophobia: Fear of hell.
  • Suriphobia: Fear of mice.
  • Symbolophobia: Fear of symbolism.
  • Symmetrophobia: Fear of symmetry.
  • Syngenesophobia: Fear of relatives.
  • Syphilophobia: Fear of syphilis.
  • Tachophobia: Fear of speed.
  • Taeniophobia or Teniophobia: Fear of tapeworms.
  • Taphephobia Taphophobia: Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.
  • Tapinophobia: Fear of being contagious.
  • Taurophobia: Fear of bulls.
  • Technophobia: Fear of technology.
  • Teleophobia: 1) Fear of definite plans. 2) Religious ceremony.
  • Telephonophobia: Fear of telephones.
  • Teratophobia: Fear of bearing a deformed child or fear of monsters or deformed people.
  • Testophobia: Fear of taking tests.
  • Tetanophobia: Fear of lockjaw, tetanus.
  • Teutophobia: Fear of German or German things.
  • Textophobia: Fear of certain fabrics.
  • Thaasophobia: Fear of sitting.
  • Thalassophobia: Fear of the sea.
  • Thanatophobia or Thantophobia: Fear of death or dying.
  • Theatrophobia: Fear of theatres.
  • Theologicophobia: Fear of theology.
  • Theophobia: Fear of gods or religion.
  • Thermophobia: Fear of heat.
  • Tocophobia: Fear of pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Tomophobia: Fear of surgical operations.
  • Tonitrophobia: Fear of thunder.
  • Topophobia: Fear of certain places or situations, such as stage fright.
  • Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia: Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned.
  • Traumatophobia: Fear of injury.
  • Tremophobia: Fear of trembling.
  • Trichinophobia: Fear of trichinosis.
  • Trichopathophobia or Trichophobia or Hypertrichophobia: Fear of hair. (Chaetophobia)
  • Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number 13.
  • Tropophobia: Fear of moving or making changes.
  • Trypanophobia: Fear of injections.
  • Tuberculophobia: Fear of tuberculosis.
  • Tyrannophobia: Fear of tyrants.
  • Uranophobia: Fear of heaven.
  • Urophobia: Fear of urine or urinating.
  • Vaccinophobia: Fear of vaccination.
  • Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful women.
  • Verbophobia: Fear of words.
  • Verminophobia: Fear of germs.
  • Vestiphobia: Fear of clothing.
  • Virginitiphobia: Fear of rape.
  • Vitricophobia: Fear of step-father.
  • Walloonphobia: Fear of the Walloons.
  • Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft.
  • Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.
  • Xenoglossophobia: Fear of foreign languages.
  • Xenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreigners.
  • Xerophobia: Fear of dryness.
  • Xylophobia: 1) Fear of wooden objects. 2) Forests.
  • Xyrophobia:Fear of razors.
  • Zelophobia: Fear of jealousy.
  • Zeusophobia: Fear of God or gods.
  • Zemmiphobia: Fear of the great mole rat.
  • Zoophobia: Fear of animals.

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