Why Do Phobias Matter?

Why Do Phobias Matter?

Phobias are a very real part of many peoples’ lives, but it is easy for the public to overlook them. Although phobias often seem comical to those who don’t share them, they aren’t a laughing matter for those for whom they’re very real. Here are the best phobia lists of 2017 to give you an idea of what happens with this phenomenon.


Yes, this may have been the name of a popular movie, but it’s also a term for a real phobia – fear of spiders. Arachnaphobia affects more women than men for reasons that are largely unknown. Painful bites, plus spiders’ presence in many scary movies, might be possible reasons for this fear among both genders. Spiders often tend to show up in unexpected places, causing many who fear them to take extra precautions in areas that tend to attract them.


The fear of snakes is one of the most common, and with venomous species and large constrictors that can eat people out in the world, it’s not difficult to see why they scare so many people. Severe ophidiophobes might refuse to live in some areas because of the snake population, and it’s not uncommon to hear about archaeologists who are afraid of these slithering creatures. Encountering large or aggressive snakes in tight areas with few escape routes sometimes adds to the fear.


Many people have a fear of elevators or other small spaces. Sometimes this fear originates with having been trapped in a small space. Claustrophobic people often avoid using elevators or getting into cramped spaces as much as possible. Those who fear small spaces often have to learn to do things in settings that require them to get used to a small space.


The fear of flying may affect as many as 25 million Americans. Even though millions of people fly safely every day, the fear of what might happen is enough to avoid airline travel or even a helicopter ride. Aerophobes are more likely to drive or take other grounds transportation, even at a great inconvenience, to avoid getting on a plane. Techniques that involve getting on a plane on the ground and gradually working up to a flight are often used to help people recover from this fear.


Although it is a word commonly seen in popular usage, xenophobia is a very real fear. Xenophobia is best known as a fear of anything that is unknown. People who share this phobia often have a lot of difficulty getting used to new experiences or even people. Learning to appreciate the beauty of different people and things is often a path to healing.


The fear of bridges may extend even to crossings that involve very small bridges. Both driving and walking across bridges are a problem for people with this fear. People with a fear of bridges are often known to drive well out of their way to avoid crossing a bridge on a highway. Drivers with bridge phobias may have to learn to overcome this fear to avoid a lot of needless hardship.


It’s unknown whether this fear has a total basis in horror movies or not, but many people are afraid of clowns. A coulrophobe not only doesn’t find clowns funny but might even avoid Halloween parties or events rather than encounter someone dressed as a clown. Crimes committed by people dressed as clowns or Halloween pranks gone bad probably haven’t helped the situation. Even a few celebrities have admitted to a fear of clowns.

Phobias are very real, and they’re not amusing or fun for those who live with them every day. However, knowing that even some of the more unusual phobias exist will go a long way towards helping loved ones or friends who have these fears. Knowing that they are not alone and that no one condemns them for their fears often makes a world of difference.

Related content:

  1. Overcoming Odontophobia