The answer to the question of what is the most common phobia in the world is not quite simple. The most obvious answer would be to say that social phobias are the most common types of fears. However, multiple specific fears fall into that group. For example, fear of public speaking would be one of them, and anxiety disorder would be another.
While this large group can be considered the most common, oar goal in this article is to focus on a specific phobia. And once again, the answer is not simple. It would be extremely hard to try and determine the exact one phobia that is the most common. It would be impossible to organize research of that scale that would give us the correct answer to that question. However, we can narrow it down to two phobias, and those are arachnophobia and acrophobia.
Arachnophobia is defined as an irrational and intense fear of spiders, but also other arachnids, for example, scorpions. The most common method of treatment is via exposure therapy. This means that the doctors present the person with various pictures of spiders, or in some cases, with living spiders. There are multiple symptoms of arachnophobia. People that suffer from it often feel uncomfortable in areas that could possibly be home to spiders. It is especially noticeable in areas that have visible signs of the presence of spiders.
The people who have arachnophobia may refuse to enter a room or an area if they notice a spider. They might have a panic attack that they need to overcome before being able to enter the room even if the spider is gone. There are cases of people running and screaming with extreme emotional outbursts because of arachnophobia. Other symptoms may include having trouble breathing, extreme sweating, increased heart rate, and many more. Some people may even faint! Arachnophobia is nothing to be made light of.
Acrophobia is an irrational fear of heights. The important thing here is that many people feel uncomfortable when they are extremely high up. However, acrophobia appears even when people are not especially high up. It is a part of a group of phobias that are called space and motion discomfort. The phobias in that group not only have similar causes, but the treatments are almost the same as well. Acrophobia is convincingly the most common one, however.
As previously mentioned, a large majority of people are known to feel fear when they get exposed to heights. This is known as the fear of falling. This should not be confused with acrophobia. People who have acrophobia can often have panic attacks in high places, which can cause a situation that is hard to get out of. It is hard to get people down to safety if they start experiencing things like these. It is presumed that anywhere from 2 to 5% of the population in the world suffers from acrophobia. According to research, this phobia is more common in women, with twice as many women suffering from it than men.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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