Merriam Webster defines a phobia as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation” (Merriam-Webster). However, of the millions of “illogical” phobias out there, some are much more common than others. One approximation, states that 31.1% of adults in the United States have, or have had at some point in their lives, one or more phobias (National Institute of Mental Health). These approximately one hundred million individuals mainly suffer from “common phobias” which tend to be related to fear of one or more animals for women–arachnophobia (fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), zoophobia (fear of all animals)–and heights for men–acrophobia (The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science). These fears are deemed by society as the most logical of the illogical, but there are many phobias that most would consider a joke upon first hearing of them. For example, linonophobia (the fear of string), arachibutyrophobia (the fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of one’s mouth), Optophobia (the fear of opening one’s eyes) are just a few of the unknown phobias that few people suffer from (All That’s Interesting).
“Any Anxiety Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder.shtml.
Curtis, G C, et al. “Specific Fears and Phobias. Epidemiology and Classification.” The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 1998, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9926096.“Phobia.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phobia.