Types of Phobia: Know Meaning, Types, Symptoms and List of Phobias

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 8, 2023, 14:37

Phobias are distinct from normal fear since they cause significant distress to the victim, often interfering with their daily life and routine. Some typical symptoms of a phobia include nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feelings of unreality, and being preoccupied with the source of fear.

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is an irrational fear of any object, place, animal, or situation. The word itself comes from the Greek word "Phobos," which means "fear" or "horror." People with phobias experience intense fear of objects or situations even when they pose no actual threat or harm.

Types of Phobias

A phobia is a common mental disease and comes in all shapes and sizes. The American Psychiatric Association classifies phobias into five broad categories:

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

There are hundred different types of phobias that fall within the above categories. Agoraphobia, a fear of places or situations, is common with its own unique diagnosis. There is also fear or fear itself called 'phobophobia' experienced by many.

List of Phobias

Phobias vary from person to person based on age, gender, and cultural experience, making the list quite long. Here's a glimpse of the ten most common phobias affecting people worldwide.


List of Phobias

Related Fear



Fear of open spaces



Fear of heights



Fear of flying



Fear of enclosed spaces



Fear of insects



Fear of Snakes



Fear of dogs



Fear of storms



Fear of needles


Social phobia

Fear of social interactions

List of Phobias in Description:

  • Acrophobia:

People with acrophobia suffer from an intense fear of height. While many people feel uneasy looking down from a tall building, the situation is extreme for people with acrophobia. Even everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or using the escalator become unbearable. The phobia is more likely to develop in children and adult females. It can be treated with exposure therapy.

  • Claustrophobia:

Claustrophobia is the irrational fear of being closed in or having no escape. The symptoms may be triggered when inside an elevator or even an aeroplane. It can also be provoked by wearing tight-necked clothes. Genetic factors or childhood trauma can lead to claustrophobia. Relaxation and visual exercises can help reduce the symptoms.

  • Ophidiophobia:

Snakes are dangerous creators, and many people are scared of them. But ophidiophobia is different from the simple fear of snakes. People with ophidiophobia panic just at the thought of snakes, even without being exposed to one. The fear can last for six months and affect the everyday life of the people suffering from it.

  • Cynophobia:

Cynophobia is the irrational fear of dogs. A negative prior experience with canines exacerbates the anxiety. The intense fear leads them to avoid places where they might encounter a dog. Exposure therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help manage this phobia.

  • Social phobia:

Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is the most common phobia. The condition causes extreme fear in a social setting. People with this phobia fear being judged or scrutinized, which causes them to avoid meeting new people or attending social gatherings. The phobia can affect the victim's ability to develop close relationships with people outside their family.

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FAQs about Types of Phobia

What is the fear of height called?

The fear of heights is called Acrophobia

What is the fear of insects called?

The fear of insects is called Entomophobia

What is the fear of fear called?

The fear of fear is called Phobophobia

What is the fear of dogs called?

The fear of dogs is called Cynophobia