Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that afflicts over 12 percent of all Americans during their lifetimes.

People who suffer from them feel terror, dread or panic when confronted with the feared object, situation or activity. Many have such an overwhelming desire to avoid the source of fear that it interferes with their jobs, family life and social relationships.

They may lose their jobs because they can't go to business lunches for fear of eating in front of others. They may quit a job in a high-rise office to work on the ground floor because they fear elevators. They may become so fearful of leaving their homes that they live like hermits.

The following are common types:


(social anxiety disorder) is the fear of situations in which a person can be watched by others, such as public speaking, or in which the behaviors which arise from the person's feelings might prove embarrassing, such as eating in public. It begins in late childhood or early adolescence.

Simple :

(specific type) is the fear of specific objects or situations that cause terror. The condition can begin at any age. Examples are fear of snakes, fear of flying, or fear of closed spaces. Some of these fears are often normal in early childhood.


the fear of being alone or in a public place that has no escape hatch (such as a public bus), is the most disabling because victims can become housebound. The illness can begin any time from late childhood through early adulthood and, left untreated, worsens with time.

They are very common, and there are many different types.

For a more complete list go to:

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