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Phobia: Types of Phobia, Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The human mind can experience different types of disturbances; These alterations are known as disorders. These disorders modify brain functioning and create -among other things- irrational fears and fears, which we commonly know as phobia.

What is phobia?

Phobia is a type of psychological disorder characterized by intense and progressive fear, accompanied by panic attacks and episodes of extreme anxiety in an irrational way before an object, animal, person or specific situations that trigger this extreme fear.  

Those who suffer from some type of phobia may experience a deep sense of fear or panic when they encounter the focus of their fear , either personally, through images, sounds or simply in their imagination. These individuals have a great need to stay out of everything that can trigger their anxiety and fear.

A phobia begins to be considered as such when a person begins to organize his life with the intention of avoiding the focus of his fear at all costs. Often people with this disorder realize that their fear is irrational, but there is nothing they can do about it.


It is estimated that phobias can be triggered by genetic factors, environmental factors, psychological or other external factors.

People whose parents have manic-type disorders, such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder , among others; they are more likely to suffer from some type of phobia. The same happens with the environmental factor, where if a child grows up under the influence of their parents’ phobias, they will probably tend to suffer from the same phobias that were instilled by them.

 The  traumatic events , such as distressing events be about to fall from a high altitude or an episode of drowning is or situations that generate a level of stress high, also may be responsible for the onset of phobias in an individual.

People with ongoing medical conditions or health problems often have phobias. A high percentage of the population develops phobias after traumatic brain injuries. People who suffer from depression and people who abuse psychoactive substances are prone to suffer from a greater number of phobias compared to the rest.

Types of phobia

Below we will show you a list of different types of phobias, ranging from the best known to those that we did not believe could exist.

  • Agoraphobia: fear of open spaces, fear of being in places where it is difficult to escape, such as in crowds.
  • Social phobia : fear of relating to other people.
  • Acrophobia: fear of heights, vertigo .
  • Musophobia: fear of mice.
  • Glossophobia: fear of public speaking.
  • Claustrophobia: fear of closed spaces
  • Dendrophobia:  fear of trees.
  • Philphobia:  fear of love.
  • Genuphobia : fear of the knees.
  • Photophobia: fear and intolerance of light.
  • Hematophobia:  fear of blood, wounds, and other medical procedures.
  • Atazagoraphobia: fear of forgetting.
  • Homophobia: aversion towards homosexuals.
  • Lacanophobia:  fear of vegetables.
  • Necrophobia: phobia of death and the dead.
  • Nyctophobia: fear of the dark.
  • Psychrophobia:  fear of cold.
  • Tafiophobia:  fear of being buried alive.
  • Koumpounophobia: fear of buttons.
  • Arachnophobia: fear of spiders.
  • Bromidrosiphobia:  aversion to body odor.
  • Herpetophobia: fear of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Theophobia: fear of religion and gods.
  • Chromatophobia : fear of colors.
  • Clerophobia:  excessive aversion against the clergy.
  • Trypophobia : aversion to very close geometric figures.
  • Barophobia:  fear of gravity.
  • Olphidophobia: fear of snakes.
  • Aerophobia: fear of flying.
  • Ergophobia:  fear of going to work.
  • Astraphobia: fear of storms and lightning.
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How does the phobia occur?

In our brain we have different areas that fulfill certain functions . Some of these areas, such as the prefrontal cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, store and remember dangerous events or events that have been potentially lethal for the individual, therefore, if the subject is confronted again with a Similar event, these brain areas remind you of what happened in the past and cause the body to react in the same way. This brain function is a fundamental pillar in the survival of the human being.

Although the traumatic or disturbing event can be hidden in the unconscious through any of the defense mechanisms , each time the subject experiences a similar situation this memory will emerge to consciousness as if it had never disappeared.

Symptoms of the phobia episode

  • Rapid pulse, tachycardia
  • prolonged alertness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to speak
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Vertigo
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Feeling insecure
  • Repetitive intrusive thoughts
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Fatigue
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Sense of impending doom

Excessive phobia can also be an indicative symptom of schizotypal personality disorder, paranoid disorder, or schizophrenia.


One of the most commonly used treatments for this disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this involves exposure to the focus of fear in a controlled space, in this way it is sought that the patient can change their vision and belief regarding the source that triggers the disorder. phobia. There are new techniques in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that include virtual reality so that patients are exposed to their focus of fear in a safer and more comfortable way.

Other treatments used to control phobias are drugs such as antidepressants or anxiolytics; these will be more effective if they are complemented with therapy.

Some people choose to implement natural methods to try to control the symptoms generated by this disorder, for example: taking natural herbal teas that work as tranquilizers, doing relaxation exercises and implementing conscious breathing.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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