Types of phobias: exploring fear disorders
Phobias have long been part of the collective unconscious of the West . Even those people who have never experienced a phobia in any of its forms, know that the human being is capable of developing an irrational fear of practically everything that can be perceived or imagined: clowns, spiders, concrete colors, etc. But ... would it not be more appropriate to talk about types of phobias than "phobias" as if they form a single unit?
This is precisely what makes phobias such an interesting topic: there are as many of them as there are elements in our habitat and our cultures. That is, they are practically endless , and it is always surprising to see to what extent there may be people who, at a certain moment in their lives, develop an atrocious fear of things, ideas or living beings that can hardly be described as dangerous. For example, in this article you have some examples of strange phobias.
What are the types of phobias that exist?
TThis variety makes it difficult to make a "mental map" about phobias and know which are the most common . In fact, it is impossible to have access to a completely exhaustive and detailed classification of phobias, because the variety of these is very possibly infinite, and therefore it is useless to try to create an exhaustive classification with all types of phobias: there will always be some It will leave the schemes. Anything or thought is prone to generate an irrational fear under certain circumstances.
However, they can be drawn general classifications about the types of phobias . They may not be perfect or totally exhaustive, but at least they are useful and allow a rough idea of how these irrational fears often express themselves. Thus, a classification of classes of phobias that include the most common could be the one we offer below.
1. Specific phobias
The types of phobias that belong to the category of specific phobias they have in common that what generates fear is a situation, object or concrete . That is, something that can be easily identified and separated from the rest. In addition, the DSM IV manual distinguishes between five subtypes of specific phobias: those related to blood and injections, phobias triggered by animals, those related to natural environments, situation phobias and the category "other specific phobias".
1.1. Animal phobia, or zoophobia
Here I would enter all those phobias related to living beings with worse image, such as spiders or snakes , but technically any one of those types of phobias can be included in this category whose trigger is an animal, be it a hummingbird, a raccoon, a crab or any of the possibilities offered by evolution.
Three types of phobias specific to this category that deserve an honorable mention for their commonness are ophidhophobia, arachnophobia and cynophobia, snake phobia, spider phobia and dog phobia, respectively. It may be useful in certain cases to have some respect for these animals for their ability to harm us, but of course spiders and dogs are numerous enough to make them too afraid to be very counterproductive.
Other examples of animal phobia are found in anxiety disorders such as musophobia, or fear of mice, as well as in hypophobia or escolechiphobia.
1.2. Blood phobia, or hematophobia
One of the great classics and that, according to some studies, seems one of the most common types of phobias. But nevertheless, the blood phobia presents a particularity that distinguishes it from the rest: it often leads to fainting . You can read more about this topic in the article dedicated to this phenomenon.
1.3. Natural environment phobias
1.3.1. Acrophobia, or fear of heights
The fact of being more or less high with respect to the place we perceive as "ground" or base of the place in which we have climbed has an evident relation with the danger to which we expose ourselves. The higher the height, the greater the risk of dying in the event of a fall. However, sometimes the fear of heights can be so severe and disabling that it can be considered a type of phobia related to the natural environment. This is especially relevant if we take into account that in the cities sudden changes in height are frequent, especially in buildings.
1.3.2. Astraphobia, or fear of storms
Storms are often associated with a lot of things that can be quite scary , and when in addition to a traumatic component linked to past experiences, the existence of astraphobia is not strange at all.This is a type of phobia that can give special problems, because the noise of storms pierces walls and makes it calmer to be complicated.
1.3.3. Pluviofobia, fear of rain
One of the strangest types of phobias, since in this case the phobic stimulus is rain itself, an element that hardly poses a real risk beyond the floods.
1.4. Situation phobias
1.4.1. Aerophobia, or fear of flying in airplanes
Airplane phobia is possibly the most frequent situational phobia . Not only is there the component of fear of dying in the event that the surrounding machinery fails, but also the fact of being in a small space with many strangers piled up makes stress difficult to reduce.
1.4.2. Claustrophobia, fear of closed spaces
Narrow places or with walls very close to each other generate a sense of anguish in many people, but they can also cause some to enter a state of panic. The claustrophobia is one of the types of phobia most known for the seriousness that supposes to fear this type of spaces in the societies in which great part of the life is realized inside buildings and enclosed enclosures.
1.4.3. Amaxophobia, or fear of driving
The irrational fear of driving is, one of the unpleasant surprises that many people discover when they have to make their first practical classes of car (the other surprise is the estimate of the money they are going to spend on them). But amaxophobia is especially dangerous among all types of phobias, because it prevents prudent driving and puts one's own life and that of others at risk. You can read more about amaxophobia in this article.
2. Social phobia
A different category of phobias types than what we have seen so far is the one that h ace reference to social interaction . Social phobias can be very varied, appear only in certain contexts and not in others and based on different reasons, such as fear of aggression that can be triggered or fear of marginalization.
One of the frequent symptoms among people suffering from social phobia is erythrophobia, which is the fear of blushing. You can delve into the causes, symptoms and treatments for social phobia by reading this article.