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A phobia is an excessive fear reaction that can result in distressing physical symptoms. Phobias are specific and related to a particular object or situation. Examples include flying, dogs or blood. Physical symptoms are similar to panic symptoms including increased heart rate, shaking or trembling, upset stomach and racing thoughts. The fear reaction is brought on automatically when faced with the triggering object or situation.

Types of Phobias:

A phobia can develop from virtually any object or situation. The specific names for different phobias are most commonly derived from taking the Greek word for the object or situation and adding -phobia as the ending. For this reason, no exhaustive list of all phobias exists. Phobias can be divided into four categories: natural environment, animals, medical and situations. Here is a short list of several of the most common phobias from each category.

Natural Environment:

  • acrophobia - fear of heights

  • hydrophobia - fear of water

  • nyctophobia - fear of darkness


  • trypanophobia - fear of needles/injections

  • hemophobia - fear of blood

  • iatrophobia - fear of doctors


  • claustrophobia - fear of enclosed spaces

  • aerophobia - fear of flying


  • cynophobia - fear of dogs

  • ophidiophobia - fear of snakes

  • arachnophobia - fear of spiders

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