1. Health

Phobias From I-Z

A complete phobias list would be impossible, as it is possible to have a specific phobia of virtually anything in the world. Nonetheless, some phobias are more common than others. Here is an overview of both common and rare phobias from the end of the alphabet.

The fear of being stared at, known as scoptophobia or scotophobia, can be devastating. Some people with this fear go to great lengths to avoid social contact even with trusted loved ones.

The fear of doctors is surprisingly common. However, it is sometimes hard to distinguish a full-blown phobia from normal anxiety. Read on for tips on how to tell whether you have iatrophobia and how to cope with this limiting fear.

Illyngophobia, or fear of vertigo, may be related to acrophobia, or fear of heights. However, those with illyngophobia do not fear the height itself. Read on for more on this unique phobia.

Kleptophobia, or fear of theft, actually describes two distinct phobias. One is the fear of stealing, while the other is the fear of being stolen from. Read on for more on these often overlapping phobias.

Lilapsophobia, or fear of tornadoes and hurricanes, is related to astraphobia, or fear of storms. However, those with lilapsophobia worry that the storm will turn severe. Learn all about this unique phobia.

Mageirocophobia, or fear of cooking, can be divided into many types. Suffering from one or more types is relatively common, although a more severe phobia may encompass virtually all types. Read on to learn more.

Maskaphobia, or fear of masks, can take several different forms. Some people are afraid only of horror masks, while others fear even costumed characters. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.

Megalophobia can be generally defined as the fear of large objects. This fear may be specific to large animals, ships or other items, or may be more generalized. Megalophobia is often exploited in Halloween events such as Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2008. Read on for more on the myths and realities of this unusual phobia.

Who can forget Robin Williams as John Keating, encouraging his students to rip out the textbook pages on grading poetry? The film Dead Poets Society illustrated one of the main reasons that many fear poetry. Take a closer look at this surprisingly common phobia.

It is normal and prudent to take precautions against germs. However, mysophobia, or the fear of germs, takes normal caution to an extreme. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.

Mythophobia, or fear of folklore legends and stories, is a fairly common specific phobia. The phobia is often used in horror films and Halloween events, generally in a stylized manner. Read on for the facts behind the Hollywood presentation of mythophobia.

Fear of the dark is common in children, and often passes as they mature. If it persists for more than six months, fear of the dark should be professionally treated, as it can become crippling in older children and adults. Read on for more information on this common phobia.

The fear of snakes is relatively common, and over time it can become life-limiting. Read on for more information on the symptoms and treatments for this common phobia.

Ornithophobia, or fear of birds, is relatively common. However, the symptoms and severity can vary widely. Learn more about this interesting phobia.

Pediophobia, or fear of dolls, may take many forms. Some people are afraid of all dolls, while others fear only specific types. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.

The fear of ghosts, or phasmophobia, is often related to religious beliefs, yet it may also be a sign of disordered thinking. Complicated yet surprisingly common, phasmophobia is tricky to diagnose and treat.

Roller Coaster Phobia
Roller coaster phobia is surprisingly common, a fact that may seem unlikely these days, as theme parks compete to build "bigger, faster, and more extreme" coasters. What causes roller coaster phobia, and how can it be successfully managed?

Siderodromophobia, or fear of trains, is relatively uncommon. However, some believe that it is simply underreported. The 2009 crashes of the DC Metro and the Walt Disney World monorail may cause reported siderodromophobia cases to escalate. Learn more about this unique phobia.

Stage Fright
Stage fright is a subset of glossophobia, or fear of public speaking. It affects performers of all walks of life, from kids in school to professional actors. Read on for more on this common phobia.

The fear of death is ancient and primal. However, not all thanatophobia is the same. Read on for important information on the various causes and treatments for this common phobia.

Triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, is an ancient phobia. Yet some experts believe that is should not be considered a phobia at all. Read on for both sides of the debate.

Trypanophobia, or fear of needles, is a relatively common phobia. It affects an estimated 10% of Americans. The phobia is unusual, as it can cause low blood pressure and fainting rather than fast heart rate and panic.

Xenophobia, or fear of strangers, is an often-misunderstood and potential dangerous phobia. Learn more about the fear, its ties to racism and hate crimes, and ways of coping.

Agoraphobia is often defined as a fear of leaving home, but this is not quite accurate. Instead, agoraphobia may be seen as a fear of fear. Learn more about this relatively common, often devastating phobia.

Social Phobia
Social phobia is a complicated diagnosis that may incorporate several different specific fears. Learn more about social phobia and how it is managed and treated.

The fear of witchcraft dates back to the Inquisition, when those practicing earth-based religions were depicted as being in league with the devil. Although witches are no longer persecuted, fears and phobias of the practice remain.

Radiophobia, or the fear of radiation, is a tough fear to overcome. Here's a look at this surprisingly common phobia.

What Is the Fear of Numbers?
Number-related phobias range from a complete fear of all numbers to the fear of only those associated with specific myths. Number fears can have long-lasting impacts on school and job performance, and can be life-limiting.

What Is the Fear of Walking?
Stasibasiphobia includes any fear related to walking or standing, from walking in a crowd to concerns about falling. The fear is sometimes rooted in other mental health disorders.

What Is the Fear of Fire?
Pyrophobia is an ancient fear, likely dating to the first use of fire. A bit of fear is healthy, but uncontrolled pyrophobia can be extremely life-limiting. Here's what you should know.

What Is the Fear of New Things?
Neophobia, or the fear of new things, is a catch-all description for multiple specific phobias. Some people are afraid of new ideas or new foods, while others fear a change in routine.

What Is the Fear of Mirrors?
From the fear of ghosts to body image concerns, the fear of mirrors covers many different specific phobias. Learn more about this common fear.

What Is the Fear of Politics?
The fear of politics can seem overwhelming, particularly during the run-up to a major election. Whether you are afraid of casting your ballot or of what might happen if your preferred candidate loses, just taking some time out from the news can help you maintain your sanity.

Medical Phobias
A surprising number of different phobias can have an impact on your decision to delay even routine medical care. Yet preventive medicine is crucial to good health. Here's a look at the issues.

Ostraconophobia, or the fear of shellfish, includes a range of specific phobias. Some people are afraid of food poisoning or allergies, while others have religious concerns.

What Is the Fear of the Number 8?
The number 8, like all numbers, is nearly impossible to avoid. Fortunately, the fear of the number 8 is relatively rare and often mild.

Vampire Phobias
Modern pop culture depicts vampires as sparkly and moral, or at least suave and sophisticated. Yet the creatures continue to spark waves of panic in rural villages. Why are vampires so frightening, and why do ancient legends endure?

What Is the Fear of Phobias?
Phobophobia, or the fear of phobias, is sometimes tricky to diagnose and treat. The fear is sometimes linked to other phobias or anxiety disorders, but may also occur on its own.

The fear of zombies is tied to ancient lore and modern Hollywood. Even the Centers for Disease Control has capitalized on the hype with a website offering suggestions for surviving a zombie apocalypse. But why are we so afraid?

The fear of zombies is tied to ancient lore and modern Hollywood. Even the Centers for Disease Control has capitalized on the hype with a website offering suggestions for surviving a zombie apocalypse. But why are we so afraid?

What Is the Fear of Vacuum Cleaners?
Although common in pets and small children, the fear of vacuum cleaners is rare in adults. Often tied to the fear of noise, the phobia can also stand on its own.

Fear of Loud Noises
The fear of loud noises may be rooted in the startle response. For some people, though, the fear develops into a full-blown phobia. In others, the fear is indicative of another health issue.

What Is the Fear of Monsters?
Like the fear of the dark and the fear of strangers, the fear of monsters is a common childhood phase. Most kids get through it with a minimum of stress, but for some children and adults, the phobia can be devastating.

Fear of Submerged Objects
From natural occurrences such as rocks, logs and animals to man-made items including submarines and litter, the fear of submerged objects encompasses many different specific triggers.

Monster Phobias
Monster phobias run the gamut from a child's fear of the bogeyman to adult fears of vampires or ghosts. Why do mythical creatures have such a hold on otherwise rational people?

Physical Phobias
Physical phobias include all phobias relating to our own bodies. Why do we fear our bodies, and what other issues are often involved? Find out here!

Movement-Related Phobias
In physically healthy people, movement related fears are often life-limiting. These phobias may be linked to other disorders, but often exist independently. Learn more about these devastating fears.

What Is the Fear of Smells?
Also known as osmophobia, the fear of smells may occur alone or in conjunction with migraine headaches. The specific triggers vary widely from person to person.

What Is the Fear of Rejection?
A mild fear of rejection can put us on edge, potentially stopping us from performing our best. More severe phobias, however, can literally stop us in our tracks.

What Is the Fear of Travel?
The fear of travel, or hodophobia, is often life-limiting, preventing us from exploring new destinations or moving to new cities. In more severe cases, we may have trouble leaving home at all.

What Is the Fear of Being Alone?
The fear of being alone, known as monophobia, encompasses many separate fears. From the fear of living alone to the fear of dining alone, the phobia may be life-limiting.

What Is the Fear of Train Tracks?
Although it is sometimes part of a general fear of trains, the fear of train tracks is often an entirely different fear. Some people worry about falling onto the tracks, while others are afraid of being pushed.

What Is the Fear of Death Symbols?
Necrophobia, or the fear of death symbols, can have life-limiting effects. Is it related to other death fears? What's so scary about death-related items, anyway?

Sometimes confused with the fear of choking, phagophobia is the specific fear of swallowing. It is often caused by a poor experience, but may occur on its own.

What Is the Fear of Choking?
The fear of choking, known as pseudodysphagia, is intensely personal. Some people are afraid of choking while eating, while others fear choking at the dentist's office.

What Is the Fear of Magic?
Although the fear of magic has been prevalent through the ages, there are different types of magic fears. Whether you are afraid of the supernatural or simply of bizarre magic stunts, here's what you should know.

What Is the Fear of Technology?
Technophobia is an ancient fear that seems to emerge whenever society makes rapid advances in technology. Why are these advances frightening? How does the fear of technology prevent us from exploiting its full potential?

What Is the Fear of Hospitals?
Although the fear of hospitals is often related to other medical phobias, that is not always the case. Sometimes the fear of hospitals is linked to fears of death and even the supernatural.

What Is the Fear of Butterflies and Moths?
Although butterflies and moths are harmless, many people fear them. From swarming behaviors to a more generalized fear of insects, the causes are different for everyone.

What Is the Fear of the Woods?
Sometimes known as xylophobia or hylophobia, the fear of the woods is often complicated by other phobias. In addition, some people have realistic concerns about entering the woods. By definition, a rational fear is not a phobia.

The fear of sexual perversion may stem from many different root causes, although religious and cultural background often play a large role. Understanding and communication are the keys to successfully navigating this phobia within a relationship.

Fear of Vulnerability
Although the fear of vulnerability is often devastating, it can be overcome. The trick is in learning to love and accept yourself.

Fear of Intimacy
The fear of intimacy blocks many of us from going after the relationships that truly matter. We may push and pull our partners, leading to confusion and hurt feelings. Fortunately, there is hope.

The fear of kissing is sometimes a simple matter of inexperience. For some people, though, the fear goes much deeper. Here's a look at the issues that may be involved.

What Is the Fear of Winter Driving?
Although it is extremely common, the fear of winter driving does not have an official phobia name. The fear is often, but not always, rooted in other related fears.

Winter Phobias
Some phobias are more likely to occur during the winter months. Winter-related phobias range from fears of cold or snow to the fear of driving in inclement weather.

Koumpounophobia, or the fear of buttons, can be life-limiting. Over time, some people begin to fear other types of buttons such as phone buttons, as well as small button-shaped items such as coins.

Sertraline, sold under the brand name Zoloft, is sometimes used to treat social phobia and other phobias. An SSRI, sertraline is best known as an antidepressant.

Taijin Kyofusho
Similar to social phobia, taijin kyofusho is specific to the Japanese culture.

The fear of genital retraction, or koro, is unusual in that it often appears as a form of mass hysteria. It is most common in Asian males but is occasionally reported in females and those of other cultural backgrounds.

Olfactory Reference Syndrome
Similar to bromidrophobia, or the fear of body odors, olfactory reference syndrome also has a great deal in common with OCD. Learn the similarities and differences.

In the West, jiko-shisen-kyofu, or fear of one's own glance, is often considered a specific phobia. In Japan, however, it is a subset of taijin kyofusho, a culturally-bound social phobia.

A subtype of taijin kyofusho, or a specific Japanese form of social phobia, shubo-kyofu resembles dysmorphophobia, but has several important differences.

Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is surprisingly common. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely life-limiting. Here you will find information on diagnosing and treating this common phobia.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.