All phobia types

List of Phobias: How Many Are There?

A phobia is an irrational fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm. The word itself comes from the Greek word“phobos,” which means “fear” or “horror.”

Hydrophobia, for example, literally translates to fear of water.

When someone has a phobia, they experience intense fear of a certain object or situation. Phobias are different from regular fears because they cause significant distress, possibly interfering with life at home, work, or school.

People with phobias actively avoid the phobic object or situation, or they endure it with intense fear or anxiety.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), the American Psychiatric Association outlines several of the most common phobias.

Agoraphobia, a fear of places or situations that trigger fear or helplessness, is singled out as a particularly common fear with its own unique diagnosis. Social phobias, which are fears related to social situations, are also singled out with a unique diagnosis.

Phobias come in all shapes and sizes. Because there are an infinite number of objects and situations, the list of specific phobias is quite long.

According to the DSM-5, specific phobias typically fall within five general categories:

  • fears related to animals (spiders, dogs, insects)
  • fears related to the natural environment (heights, thunder, darkness)
  • fears related to blood, injury, or medical issues (injections, broken bones, falls)
  • fears related to specific situations (flying, riding an elevator, driving)
  • other (fear of choking, loud noises, drowning)

These categories encompass an infinite number of specific objects and situations.

There’s no official list of phobias beyond what’s outlined in the DSM-5, so clinicians and researchers create names for them as the need arises. This is typically done by combining a Greek (or sometimes Latin) prefix that describes the phobia with the phobia suffix.

For example, a fear of water would be named by combining “hydro” (water) and “phobia” (fear).

There’s also such a thing as a fear of fears (phobophobia). This is actually more common than you might imagine.

People with anxiety disorders sometimes experience panic attacks when they’re in certain situations. These panic attacks can be so uncomfortable that people do everything they can to avoid them in the future.

For example, if you have a panic attack while sailing, you may fear sailing in the future, but you may also fear panic attacks or fear developing hydrophobia.

Studying specific phobias is a complicated process. Most people don’t seek treatment for these conditions, so cases largely go unreported.

These phobias also vary based on cultural experiences, gender, and age.

Here’s a look at some phobias that have been identified.

achluophobiafear of darkness
acrophobiafear of heights
aerophobiafear of flying
algophobiafear of pain
alektorophobiafear of chickens
agoraphobiafear of public spaces or crowds
aichmophobiafear of needles or pointed objects
ailurophobiafear of cats
amaxophobiafear of riding in a car
androphobiafear of men
anginophobiafear of angina or choking
anthophobiafear of flowers
anthropophobiafear of people or society
aphenphosmphobiafear of being touched
arachnophobiafear of spiders
arithmophobiafear of numbers
astraphobiafear of thunder and lightning
ataxophobiafear of disorder or untidiness
atelophobiafear of imperfection
atychiphobiafear of failure
autophobiafear of being alone
bacteriophobiafear of bacteria
barophobiafear of gravity
bathmophobiafear of stairs or steep slopes
batrachophobiafear of amphibians
belonephobiafear of pins and needles
bibliophobiafear of books
botanophobiafear of plants
cacophobiafear of ugliness
catagelophobiafear of being ridiculed
catoptrophobiafear of mirrors
chionophobiafear of snow
chromophobiafear of colors
chronomentrophobiafear of clocks
cibophobiafear of food
claustrophobiafear of confined spaces
coulrophobiafear of clowns
cyberphobiafear of computers
cynophobiafear of dogs
dendrophobiafear of trees
dentophobiafear of dentists
domatophobiafear of houses
dystychiphobiafear of accidents
entomophobiafear of insects
ephebiphobiafear of teenagers
equinophobiafear of horses
gamophobiafear of marriage or commitment
genuphobiafear of knees
glossophobiafear of speaking in public
gynophobiafear of women
heliophobiafear of the sun
hemophobiafear of blood
herpetophobiafear of reptiles
hydrophobiafear of water
hypochondriafear of illness
iatrophobiafear of doctors
insectophobiafear of insects
koinoniphobiafear of rooms full of people
leukophobiafear of the color white
lilapsophobiafear of tornadoes and hurricanes
lockiophobiafear of childbirth
mageirocophobiafear of cooking
megalophobiafear of large things
melanophobiafear of the color black
microphobiafear of small things
mysophobiafear of dirt and germs
necrophobiafear of death or dead things
noctiphobiafear of the night
nosocomephobiafear of hospitals
nyctophobiafear of the dark
obesophobiafear of gaining weight
octophobiafear of the number 8
ombrophobiafear of rain
ophidiophobiafear of snakes
ornithophobiafear of birds
papyrophobiafear of paper
pathophobiafear of disease
pedophobiafear of children
philophobiafear of love
phobophobiafear of phobias
podophobiafear of feet
pogonophobiafear of beards
porphyrophobiafear of the color purple
pteridophobiafear of ferns
pteromerhanophobiafear of flying
pyrophobiafear of fire
samhainophobiafear of Halloween
scolionophobiafear of school
selenophobiafear of the moon
sociophobiafear of social evaluation
somniphobiafear of sleep
tachophobiafear of speed
technophobiafear of technology
tonitrophobiafear of thunder
trypanophobiafear of needles or injections
venustraphobiafear of beautiful women
verminophobiafear of germs
wiccaphobiafear of witches and witchcraft
xenophobiafear of strangers or foreigners
zoophobiafear of animals

Phobias are typically treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both:

  • Exposure therapy. During exposure therapy, which is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a psychologist to learn how to desensitize yourself to the object or situation that you fear. The goal is to improve your quality of life so that you’re no longer hindered or distressed by your fear.
  • Antianxiety medication. Your doctor may recommend certain anxiety-reducing medications that can help you through exposure therapy. While these medications aren’t exactly a treatment for phobias, they can help make exposure therapy less distressing.
  • Other medications. Your clinician might also prescribe beta-blockers and benzodiazepines to manage feelings of anxiety or panic.

Phobias are persistent, intense, and unrealistic fears of a certain object or situation. Specific phobias are related to certain objects and situations. They typically involve fears related to animals, natural environments, medical issues, or specific situations.

While phobias can be extremely uncomfortable and challenging, therapy and medication can help. If you think you may have a phobia that’s causing a disruption in your life, speak with your doctor for an evaluation and treatment options.

Symptoms, Treatment, Definition, Hydrophobia, and More

What is aquaphobia?

Most of us have some degree of fear when it comes to water. Typically, we overcome those fears or learn ways to cope with them. But if you have aquaphobia, or the fear of water, you live with a persistent and abnormal amount of fear and anxiety that prevents you from even getting close to water.

Aquaphobia is a specific phobia. This is an irrational fear of something that doesn’t cause much danger. You may have aquaphobia if you find that any source of water causes you an excessive amount of anxiety. This can include a swimming pool, a lake, an ocean, or even a bathtub.

Aquaphobia is often mistaken for another phobia called hydrophobia. Even though they both involve water, aquaphobia and hydrophobia aren’t the same.

Hydrophobia is an aversion to water that develops in humans during the later stages of rabies.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that specific phobias affect 19.2 million adults in the United States. Women are twice as likely to experience them than men.

Many adults who live with a specific phobia, such as aquaphobia, begin developing symptoms related to their fear in childhood or adolescence.

Seeing water can trigger intense fear and anxiety in a person with aquaphobia. This could be a very small amount of water, like what’s found in the bathroom sink, or a large body of water, such as an ocean. The amount of water isn’t what causes the phobia. It’s the water itself that creates the fear and resulting anxiety.

Some of the more common symptoms of aquaphobia include:

  • an immediate feeling of intense fear, anxiety, and panic when thinking about water
  • a persistent, excessive, or unreasonable fear when exposed to water
  • recognizing that the fear of water is excessive or out of proportion to the actual threat
  • avoidance of water
  • sweating
  • rapid heartbeat
  • tight chest and difficulty breathing
  • nausea
  • dizziness or fainting

The causes of specific phobias aren’t well-understood. However, there’s some evidence that phobias can be genetically inherited. If you have a family member who has a mental health condition, such as anxiety or other phobias, you may be at risk of developing a phobia.

Aquaphobia is often caused by a traumatic event during childhood, such as a near-drowning. It can also be the result of a series of negative experiences. These typically happen in childhood and aren’t as severe as a traumatic experience.

The Mayo Clinic also suggests that changes in brain function may also play a role in developing specific phobias.

Doctors use the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to help them diagnose mental health conditions.

Currently, the DSM-5 doesn’t have a specific diagnosis or category for aquaphobia. Instead, it identifies a fear of water under the diagnosis for specific phobia.

If you suspect you have aquaphobia, make an appointment with your doctor. They’ll be able to refer you to a mental health specialist who can diagnose and treat your phobia.

Based on the criteria from the DSM-5, a mental health specialist will likely diagnose aquaphobia (or a specific phobia) if you have experienced the symptoms listed above for at least six months.

Part of the diagnosis also includes ruling out other mental health conditions, such as:

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • panic disorder

Since aquaphobia is considered a specific phobia, it’s treated most commonly with two forms of psychotherapy: exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The preferred treatment method is exposure therapy. During this type of therapy, you’ll be repeatedly exposed to the source of the phobia — in this case, water. As you’re exposed to water, your therapist will keep track of your reactions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations in order to help you manage your anxiety.

With cognitive behavioral therapy, you’ll learn to challenge your thoughts and beliefs about your fear of water. As you learn to challenge your fears, you’ll also develop strategies to cope with those thought patterns and beliefs.

In addition to professional treatment, there are also several self-care techniques you can practice at home. Mindfulness-based strategies, daily physical activity, yoga, and deep breathing are all helpful strategies when treating phobias.

In the later stages of treatment, you may decide to work with a specially trained swim instructor who can help you learn to feel comfortable swimming.

Your doctor might also prescribe medications to treat some symptoms of anxiety and panic. But the Mayo Clinic notes these aren’t used long term. Rather, medications can help during initial treatment and for specific reasons.

A treatment plan that includes psychotherapy — along with the support of loved ones — can help you learn to manage your phobia successfully.

If you suspect that you have aquaphobia, make an appointment to see your doctor. They can help you find the treatment that will work best for you.

Fears (phobias)

Fears (phobias, simple phobias) are, as it were, an integral part of the personality of an anxious and suspicious structure and represent a fear of any objects, animals, insects:

  • eichmophobia - fear of sharp objects,
  • arachnophobia - fear of spiders,
  • herpetophobia - fear of snakes,
  • glenophobia - fear of the look of a doll,

or special situations:

  • agoraphobia - fear of open spaces,
  • anthropophobia - fear of people, crowds,
    • incl. syphilophobia,
    • strokeophobia,
    • infarctophobia,
    • cancerophobia,
    • cardiophobia,
  • hypsophobia - fear of heights,
  • homocidophobia - fear of committing murder,
  • Dentophobia - fear of dental intervention,
  • dermatophobia - fear of contracting a skin disease,
  • claustrophobia - fear of closed spaces,
  • maniophobia - fear of insanity,
  • mysophobia - fear of pollution,
  • monophobia - fear of being alone,
  • nosophobia - fear of injury, incurable disease, infection,
  • oxyphobia - fear of sharp objects,
  • pettophobia - fear of society,
  • sitophobia - fear of eating,
  • scoptophobia - fear of seeming ridiculous, attracting attention to oneself,
  • suicidophobia - fear of committing suicide,
  • thanatophobia - fear of sudden death,
  • taphephobia - fear of being buried alive,
  • phobophobia - fear of fear,
  • ereitophobia - fear of blushing,

as well as pantophobia - an all-encompassing obsessive fear.

Some of them, such as agoraphobia, are classified into separate diagnostic categories, the rest are combined into a group of simple phobias.

The diagnosis of simple phobia is usually established after exclusion of agoraphobia and social phobia. A simple phobia, as a rule, is not accompanied by a vegetative complex, although suddenly falling into a phobic situation can provoke a panic attack.

Current and forecast.

Phobias can be observed in a variety of nosological units - from neurotic reactions to schizophrenia. The prognosis in each case is determined individually and directly depends on the nosological form - phobias can either disappear, or gradually compensate, or, on the contrary, progress (mainly within the various forms of schizophrenia).


Of the pharmacological preparations for phobias, benzodiazepine (especially triazole) tranquilizers and blockers of beta-adrenergic receptors are most often used, less often - serotonergic and tricyclic antidepressants, reversible MAO inhibitors.

Of the psychotherapeutic methods, behavioral and rational psychotherapy are mainly used, as well as neurolinguistic programming.

Types of phobias | Clinic prof. Preobrazhensky

Home / Neuroses, depressions, fears / Types of phobias

The concept of phobia

The concept of "phobia" is on everyone's lips, but not everyone can coherently explain what exactly it is. Translated from Greek, "phobia" means "fear, fear." In reality, fears and phobias are very close, but there are significant differences between them. Fear is a natural protective function of the body in the face of a real danger, physiologically manifested in the release of hormones into the blood, heart palpitations, vegetative dysfunctions, etc. An interesting fact can help to understand the nature of fear - a person is born absolutely fearless. Small children are not afraid to fall from a height, drown in a bathtub or touch a fire with their fingers. Only later with experience does the feeling of fear come, and, in general, these fears are useful. Basically, the feeling of such fear helps to get away from dangerous situations or prevent them. This feeling of fear is quite conscious and controlled by common sense and logic.
Phobias are fears that are characterized by a very significant stability, are not based on common sense (irrational) and are constantly present in the human psyche. Moreover, these fears are most often not in front of a real threat, but fears “within us”. Phobias, unlike fears, are very difficult to control thinking and common sense.

How to distinguish a phobia from a "simple" fear

Consider the difference between fear and phobia using a real example. There are enough people who are afraid to ride the subway. If the cause of fear is fear, it must be caused by certain negative experiences in the past. For example, a person once became ill in the subway. If the reason is fear, then the person will prefer to move around the city by land transport, but if necessary, he will still go down to the subway. Naturally, this will be accompanied by certain experiences, but will be controlled by common sense and logical thinking. In the case of a phobia, the problems will be much more significant, depending on the severity of the phobia. In the mildest cases, a person will still go down to the subway, but any, even the most insignificant, car stops between stations will cause a pre-panic and panic state. In the most difficult cases, a person will not be able to force himself to go down to the subway even in case of emergency, contrary to logic and common sense, and any attempts to force it by other people can cause severe psychological trauma.

Is it relevant? According to world statistics, every eighth inhabitant of the planet Earth has phobias. Thus, phobias as a type of neurotic disorders (neurosis, depression, fears) are a widespread phenomenon.

Types of phobias. Classification of phobias

More than 500 types of phobias have been described so far. The most common of these are social phobia and agoraphobia.

  • Social phobia is a type of phobia, which is characterized by a pronounced fear of being in the very center of attention of strangers, behaving in such a way that it will cause humiliation or embarrassment. This type of phobia manifests itself in social everyday situations - during a meeting with friends, lunch in a cafe, the need to speak at a meeting, and others.
  • Agoraphobia - a type of phobia associated with "helplessness if you suddenly feel bad." This type of phobia manifests itself in the fear of traveling unaccompanied, being among strangers.

All other types of phobias are classified into the group of so-called isolated phobias. Below are examples of just a few of them.

Phobias of animals or insects:

  • - cynophobia - fear of dogs;
  • - gatophobia - fear of cats;
  • - arachnophobia - fear of spiders;
  • - ophidophobia - fear of snakes.

Phobias associated with situations:

  • - claustrophobia - fear of closed space;
  • - ochlophobia - fear of crowded places;
  • - monophobia - fear of being alone with oneself;
  • - xenophobia - fear of foreigners, strangers.

Phobias associated with natural forces:

  • - acrophobia - fear of heights;
  • - nyctophobia - fear of darkness, night;
  • - aquaphobia - fear of water;
  • - pyrophobia - fear of fire;
  • - thalassophobia - fear of the sea.

Health-related phobias:

  • - odontophobia - fear of dental treatment;
  • - bacillophobia - fear of microorganisms;
  • - cardiophobia - fear of cardiovascular diseases;
  • - hematophobia - fear of the sight of blood.

Phobias associated with states and actions:

  • - stasibasiphobia - fear of vertical position and walking;
  • - stasiphobia - fear of standing;
  • - lalophobia - fear of speaking;
  • - tremophobia - fear of trembling;
  • - basilophobia - fear of walking;
  • - amaxophobia - fear of driving.

Phobias related to objects:

  • - hyalophobia - fear of glass;
  • - macrophobia - fear of large objects;
  • - microphobia - fear of small objects;
  • - computer phobia - fear of computers;
  • - Belonephobia - fear of piercing objects.

Contact a specialist

Book a consultation

tel. 242-82-65

Make an appointment

Yuri Lvovich Muchnik


Doctor of the highest category. More than 35 years experience. Works at the Clinic. prof. F.F. Preobrazhensky since 2001

Symptoms of phobias

Symptoms of phobias are quite diverse. To establish a diagnosis of phobias, at least two of the following anxiety symptoms must be present, and one of them must be in the top four:

Learn more