What's your greatest fear? Snakes, spiders, flying, public speaking? You might just be afraid of these, but what if that fear became unrealistic and triggered serious anxiety and depression? That's when it becomes a phobia.
There are three types of phobias, according to Harvard Health:
- Specific phobia (simple phobia): This is the most common type, like when someone has a specific fear of animals (arachnophobia, i.e., fear of spiders) or people, (coulrophobia, i.e., clowns).
- Social anxiety disorder (formerly called "social phobia"): People with social anxiety disorder fear social situations (public speaking, for instance, or using a public restroom).
- Agoraphobia: This is the fear of crowds and open spaces, like concerts and large events.
We can determine many phobias without much trouble based on their terminology. Hydrophobia is the fear of water; hemophobia is the fear of blood. But others aren't so easy.