Fears and Phobias

Fear or Phobia?

Hypnotherapy for Fears and PhobiasUsually you can live with a mild fear. Many of us don’t like speaking to a group for example, but do it anyway, as part of our work or community involvement.

But when you get to the stage that you will do anything to avoid the object of your fear, or your fear stops you doing something you would really like to do, such as fly to a different country, then it’s a phobia.

How do Fears and Phobias start?

It is said that we are born with two natural fears, of heights and loud noises. But as we grow we will learn from our environment. If our parents are fearful, we are likely to be fearful of the same things. We can probably work around these fears or find that we eventually grow out of them.

Phobias are different. Often we can’t remember when they began, but they are usually associated with a time of high emotion. If, as a young child you are happily playing and accidentally put your hand on a wasp and get stung, it will not only hurt but give you an unpleasant surprise. Your heightened feelings may be reinforced by the fuss that is made over your tears and dealing with the sting, or by someone not coming to reassure you. It doesn’t really matter how it happens but you will be forming a link between wasps, pain and unpleasant feelings.

That association, especially if you are young, can easily become ‘hard-wired’ into your subconscious mind. Then, trying to look after you, every time you see a wasp, your mind will trigger the fight or flight response: your heart rate will increase, you may sweat, and you'll be ready to run. This isn’t so useful if you’re in an important meeting and a wasp is lazily climbing up the window, or if you want to teach your children that wasps aren’t so bad if you leave them alone.

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Treatment for Fears and Phobias

I have worked with many clients who have fears and/or phobias. The aim of the work is to relieve the hold that your fear has on you and show you how to build up your positive resources so that in the future your phobic subject no longer has the same effect. Sometimes just one or two sessions can resolve the problem. For other clients it can take a little longer. Obviously everyone is different so I cannot guarantee that all clients will have exactly the same result as those cited in my testimonials. This is why it is important to come for an initial consultation and decide for yourself.

Give me a call on 01206 299 724 if you would like to learn more about treatment for fears and phobias or email me via my contact page.

For more information on specific fears see:

Fear of Dentists and Dental Treatment

Fear of Horse Riding

Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of Spiders (arachnophobia)

Top Ten Phobias

In no particular order:-

  • Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
  • Sociophobia – fear of social situations
  • Aerophobia – fear of flying
  • Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces
  • Claustrophobia – fear of enclosed spaces
  • Emetophobia – fear of vomiting
  • Acrophobia – fear of heights
  • Cancerphobia – fear of cancer
  • Brontophobia – fear of lightning and thunderstorms
  • Necrophobia – fear of death

For the curious among you here is a comprehensive list of phobias extracted from Wikipedia

  • Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning.
  • Acrophobia, Altophobia – fear of heights.
  • Agoraphobia - fear of places or events where escape is impossible or when help is unavailable.
  • Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse.
  • Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (as a needle, knife or a pointing finger).
  • Algophobia – fear of pain.
  • Agyrophobia – fear of crossing roads.
  • Androphobia – fear of men.
  • Anglophobia - hatred or fear of England or the English people.
  • Anthropophobia – fear of people or being in a company, a form of social phobia.
  • Anthophobia – fear of flowers.
  • Aquaphobia, Hydrophobia – fear of water.
  • Astraphobia, Astrapophobia, Brontophobia, Keraunophobia – fear of thunder, lightning and storms; especially common in young children.
  • Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying.
  • Bacillophobia, Bacteriophobia, Microbiophobia – fear of microbes and bacteria.
  • Catoptrophobia - fear of mirrors or of one's own reflection.
  • Chorophobia - fear of dancing.
  • Cibophobia, Sitophobia – aversion to food, synonymous to Anorexia nervosa.
  • Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces.
  • Coulrophobia – fear of clowns (not restricted to evil clowns).
  • Decidophobia – fear of making decisions.
  • Dental phobia, Dentophobia, Odontophobia – fear of dentists and dental procedures
  • Dysmorphophobia, or body dysmorphic disorder – a phobic obsession with a real or imaginary body defect.
  • Emetophobia – fear of vomiting.
  • Ergasiophobia, Ergophobia – fear of work or functioning, or a surgeon's fear of operating.
  • Erotophobia – fear of sexual love or sexual questions.
  • Erythrophobia – pathological blushing.
  • Gelotophobia - fear of being laughed at.
  • Gephyrophobia – fear of bridges.
  • Genophobia, Coitophobia – fear of sexual intercourse.
  • Gerascophobia – fear of growing old or ageing.
  • Gerontophobia – fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly.
  • Glossophobia – fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
  • Gymnophobia – fear of nudity.
  • Gynophobia – fear of women.
  • Haptephobia – fear of being touched.
  • Heliophobia – fear of sunlight.
  • Hemophobia, Haemophobia – fear of blood.
  • Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – fear of the number 666.
  • Hodophobia - fear of travel, driving.
  • Hoplophobia – fear of weapons, specifically firearms (Generally a political term but the clinical phobia is also documented).
  • Ligyrophobia – fear of loud noises.
  • Lipophobia – fear/avoidance of fats in food.
  • Megalophobia - fear of large/oversized objects.
  • Mysophobia – fear of germs, contamination or dirt.
  • Necrophobia – fear of death, the dead.
  • Neophobia, Cainophobia, Cainotophobia, Cenophobia, Centophobia, Kainolophobia, Kainophobia – fear of newness, novelty.
  • Nomophobia – fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
  • Nosophobia – fear of contracting a disease.
  • Nyctophobia, Achluophobia, Lygophobia, Scotophobia – fear of darkness.
  • Osmophobia, Olfactophobia – fear of smells.
  • Paraskavedekatriaphobia, Paraskevidekatriaphobia, Friggatriskaidekaphobia – fear of Friday the 13th.
  • Panphobia – fear of everything or constantly afraid without knowing what is causing it.
  • Phasmophobia - fear of ghosts, spectres or phantasms.
  • Phagophobia – fear of swallowing.
  • Phobophobia – fear of having a phobia.
  • Phonophobia – fear of loud sounds.
  • Pyrophobia – fear of fire.
  • Radiophobia – fear of radioactivity or X-rays.
  • Sociophobia – fear of people or social situations
  • Scopophobia – fear of being looked at or stared at.
  • Somniphobia – fear of sleep.
  • Spectrophobia – fear of mirrors and one's own reflections.
  • Taphophobia – fear of the grave, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive.
  • Technophobia – fear of technology (see also Luddite).
  • Telephone phobia - fear or reluctance of making or taking phone calls.
  • Tetraphobia – fear of the number 4.
  • Tokophobia – fear of childbirth.
  • Tomophobia – fear or anxiety of surgeries/surgical operations.
  • Traumatophobia – a synonym for injury phobia, a fear of having an injury
  • Triskaidekaphobia, Terdekaphobia – fear of the number 13.
  • Trypanophobia, Belonephobia, Enetophobia – fear of needles or injections.
  • Workplace phobia – fear of the work place.
  • Xenophobia – fear of strangers, foreigners, or aliens.

Specific Animal phobias

  • Ailurophobia – fear/dislike of cats.
  • Apiphobia, Melissophobia - fear of bees.
  • Arachnophobia – fear of spiders.
  • Chiroptophobia – fear of bats.
  • Cynophobia – fear of dogs.
  • Entomophobia – fear of insects.
  • Equinophobia, Hippophobia – fear of horses.
  • Herpetophobia - fear of reptiles.
  • Ichthyophobia – fear of fish.
  • Musophobia – fear of mice and/or rats.
  • Ophidiophobia – fear of snakes.
  • Ornithophobia – fear of birds.
  • Scoleciphobia – fear of worms.
  • Selachophobia - fear of sharks.
  • Zoophobia – a generic term for animal phobias.

Non-psychological conditions

  • Hydrophobia – fear of water (a symptom of rabies). Photophobia – hypersensitivity to light causing aversion to light
  • Phonophobia – hypersensitivity to sound causing aversion to sounds.
  • Osmophobia – hypersensitivity to smells causing aversion to odours.

Biology, chemistry

Biologists use a number of -phobia/-phobic terms to describe predispositions by plants and animals against certain conditions. For antonyms, see here.

  • Acidophobia/Acidophobic – preference for non-acidic conditions.
  • Heliophobia/Heliophobic – aversion to sunlight.
  • Hydrophobia/Hydrophobic – a property of being repelled by water.
  • Lipophobicity – a property of fat rejection
  • Ombrophobia – avoidance of rain
  • Photophobia - a negative phototaxis or phototropism response, or a tendency to stay out of the light
  • Superhydrophobe – the property given to materials that are extremely difficult to get wet.
  • Thermophobia – aversion to heat.