Most Common Phobias

What is a phobia?

A phobia is an excessively strong and persistent fear of certain things or situations that are usually harmless.

Phobic children cry, scream or cling to their mother when they see a dog from a distance.

Fears can relate to many different things, but often it is animals, strangers, loud noises or crowds of people that cause strong fear. Other children develop an excessive fear of speaking in front of a group.

In most cases, the very idea of the object or situation alone triggers strong anxiety.

All affected children try to avoid the things or situations that cause fear.

Often the avoidance behavior leads to the fact that everyday procedures are aligned thereupon. For example, large detours are accepted in order not to have to pass by a house in which a dog could be in the garden.

Phobias are anxiety disorders that can trigger panic attacks. Some phobias are easy to diagnose, others are difficult to diagnose. Fortunately, there are treatment options that are tailored to the anxiety disorder in question. But which phobias are most common?


This is an anxiety disorder that relates to open spaces or public places. In other words, the opposite of claustrophobia. In extreme cases, phobias cannot leave the house. Especially crowds of people are the trigger of panic, because they do not see an escape.


It’s the widespread fear of spiders. Those who are not afraid of them certainly ask themselves: Why the hell are some afraid of these little creatures? The main fear is that those affected are afraid of a bite and the consequences. One suspects that this fear is the result of a childhood trauma. Or they copy the fear: If, for example, the mother shows the child that she is afraid of spiders, the child assumes her discomfort and perceives the spider as dangerous.


Fear of flying catches up with many of us, although flying is one of the safest forms of traffic. Panic can arise a few days before the flight. In addition to sweaty hands, panic attacks and tachycardia are common symptoms. Those affected are afraid of losing control and a possible plane crash.

This phobia is the opposite of free of vertigo – namely the fear of heights. Some people just look out of the window, others can’t stand on the balcony and look down. Dizziness, drowsiness and shortness of breath arise. Those affected are afraid of losing control and falling into the depths.

Social Phobia

Those affected are afraid of being evaluated negatively in social interactions. Usually this fear is expressed through embarrassingly touched or embarrassed behaviour. For the phobic it is a torture to speak in public. For example, they try to escape lectures or interviews.


Here the fear of vomiting exists. On the one hand you have to vomit yourself or on the other hand you have to experience it with another person. If the phobia is very pronounced, you can’t even talk about it and eating is also difficult.


Known as claustrophobia, this phobia is the fear of narrow and closed spaces. Whether in elevators, airplanes or long tunnels: Those affected feel imprisoned from which they cannot escape. They also think they can suffocate. From a psychological point of view, this panic shows defensive behavior patterns. Those affected usually feel absorbed in interpersonal relationships.


This phobia is the fear of getting infected. Panic consists in coming into contact with dirt and bacteria. Even a door handle can lead to coercive actions. They very often repeat their washing rituals to make sure they stay clean.


The fear of dentists or of treatment is also widespread. This phobia is usually caused by negative experiences. Patients are usually afraid of points or drilling. In extreme cases, patients avoid visiting the dentist for years.


With this phobia, those affected are afraid of serious illnesses. Although no objective findings point to these diseases, the phobics get into panic anxiety and often become depressed. Carcinophobia is an example of a hypochondriac disorder. There is an exaggerated fear of having one’s own cancer.

Also interesting: Do you suffer from nomophobia?

Phobias are pathological fears. The opposite is true of people who have an undeniable desire for something – dependency. According to a recent study, 560,000 people in Germany are addicted to the Internet. Almost half of them are said to be between 14 and 24 years old and use social networks such as Facebook & Co. excessively. But when do I become an addict? And what can I do about it?

Fears / Phobias

Younger children have many unrealistic fears. They are afraid of strangers, thunderstorms, loud noises, ghosts and much more.

Until your child can rationally explain the world to himself, he needs your understanding and protection to overcome his fears. As your child grows older, he or she will increasingly be able to distinguish between truly frightening and largely safe situations.

Differences in personality and temperament, which often last a lifetime, are perfectly normal. Some children are hardly afraid of any danger, others are very reserved and rather anxious about every new situation. However, some children also retain some unrealistic fears or suddenly develop new fears of things or situations that are actually harmless.

Others almost constantly have feelings of fear, under which they suffer massively, without being able to say exactly what they are actually afraid of. If such massive fears persist over a longer period of time, they are referred to as an anxiety disorder or phobia requiring treatment.

What is an anxiety disorder?

There are different types of anxiety disorder in children.

Some children have a pronounced fear of separation from their most important caregiver, usually the mother, for years. They persistently refuse to go to kindergarten or school and stay home alone, have nightmares about separation. They usually worry that something might happen to the mother if they are not with her.

Some children suffer from another form of anxiety disorder. For several weeks they have exaggerated worries about everyday events, are very tense and over-excitable, and complain of headaches and stomach pains with no organic cause.

In another type of anxiety disorder, which usually affects older children and adolescents, there is a sudden onset of severe anxiety with physical anxiety symptoms such as palpitations, sweating or trembling. In most cases, the affected children flee the place in a hurry and avoid it afterwards. After such a panic attack, they live in constant fear of a new one.