A phobia is an extreme, fearful reaction to an object, animal, insect, feeling or circumstance – they are wide and varied, and often have no rational explanation. The vast majority of the populace have at least one phobia, and many people go as far as to seek help for conquering their phobia from medical professionals. So what are we all so afraid of?
The most common phobias tend to involve insects and creepy crawlies. Polls done in the United Kingdom suggest spiders are the most common source of phobias, and other many-legged creatures also cause fearful reactions. Mice are another common source of fear, as are their larger cousins, rats.
In terms of animals, dogs tend to rank high on the phobia-causing list. This can be any dog, not just a big, growling Alsatian – some people admit to being afraid of the meek and mild poodle! The other domestic favorite, cats, also contribute their fair share when it comes to phobias.
Other phobias are more based on situations. Many people are afraid of heights, which connects with another popular fear – the fear of flying in aircraft. Another common situational fear is crowded spaces, known as claustrophobia, with sufferers refusing to use lifts. Furthermore, some adults even confess to being afraid of the dark.
More interesting are the uncommon phobias. Amazingly, a phobia of buttons is fairly common, consigning thousands of people to a life with zips. Other odd phobias include mirrors, large structures in general and even humble cotton wool. When it comes to phobias, there really is something for everyone!