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Types of PhobiasSocial Phobias

Orrin hated eating in front of other people. It was so embarrassing. He was always worried that he'd do something gross like chew with his mouth open, spit out a piece of food, or spill on himself. Even worse, what if he started to choke? He pictured one of the teachers giving him the Heimlich maneuver in front of a cafeteria filled with people. He would die of embarrassment.

So that people couldn't watch him eating, Orrin stayed away from the cafeteria. Instead, he'd sneak off to somewhere private, like a bathroom stall or empty classroom, and eat his lunch there. He could usually wolf down some thing before someone came by — at least enough food to keep his stomach from growling until school let out. Then he'd go home where he could eat undisturbed.

A social phobia is a powerful fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of other people. The most common social phobia is public speaking. Others include the fear of being at parties, using a public restroom, or talking to an authority figure such as a teacher. A person with a social phobia feels as though he's not as skilled or talented as other people. He may feel as though every small mistake he makes is a terrible error. When he does something embarrassing or attention-getting, he often feels as though everyone in the room is staring at him, even when they aren't.

Again, a person with a social phobia knows his fear doesn't make sense, but he can't control it. The fear and anxiety are so powerful that the action, or even the thought of the action, can cause him to have a panic attack. The easiest way for him to cope with the fear is to avoid the situation that causes it.

Some Specific Phobias

An enormous number of specific phobias exist. Some of these, such as claustrophobia, may be familiar to you. Others, like alektorophobia, are probably unfamiliar.

Fear of being alone—monophobia

Fear of being cold—frigophobia

Fear of chickens—alektorophobia

Fear of children—paediphobia

Fear of churches—ecclesiaphobia

Fear of darkness—nyctophobia

Fear of demons—demonophobia

Fear of dogs—cynophobia

Fear of enclosed spaces—claustrophobia

Fear of fire—pyrophobia

Fear of flowers—anthophobia

Fear of flying, the air—aerophobia

Fear of fur—doraphobia

Fear of germs—spermophobia

Fear of ghosts—phasmophobia

Fear of hair—chaetophobia

Fear of heights—acrophobia

Fear of human beings—anthropophobia

Fear of itching—scabiophobia

Fear of leaves—phyllophobia

Fear of meat—carnophobia

Fear of meteors—meteorophobia

Fear of mirrors—eisoptrophobia

Fear of noise—phonophobia

Fear of number 13 — triskaidekaphobia

Fear of pregnancy—maieusiophobia

Fear of snow—chionophobia

Fear of travelling by train—siderodromophobia

Fear of water—hydrophobia

Fear of writing—graphophobia

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaPhobiasPhobias - Types of Phobias - Specific Phobias, Social Phobias, Not The Same As Shyness, Agoraphobia