What are you scared of? Now that Halloween is behind us, we can have a discussion about what truly terrifies you, and I am not speaking about ghosts and all other monsters that go "bump in the night". I am talking about actual fears. Things out here in the real world that make you want to hide under your bed and never come out.
If you think you are alone in your phobia, you are probably wrong. Here are the 10 most common phobias experienced by the average person.
1. Being enclosed in a small space.
Also known as claustrophobia, 43% of people say they are at least a little scared of being trapped in a small space over a period of time. This is the opposite of the fear of heights (to which we will get to later), where people overestimate just how far up they are. With claustrophobia, you underestimate how much space you have around you.
2. Needles, getting your shots.
24% of people say that they are at least a little afraid of getting a needle, and you can count me in with them. This fear is also called trypanophobia, and it wasn't even recognized as such until 1994. They really have no idea what can cause this particular phobia to rear its head, but some think it might have something to do with genetics.
A whopping 52% of people say that they are afraid of snakes at some level. Considering that the majority of snakes are completely harmless, it is somewhat surprising that this is the second most common fear of humans. It has been suggested that this is hardwired into humans when they are born, as opposed to something that is learned over time. Considering most people never see anything more dangerous than your common garter snake, there may be something to this theory.
4. Large Crowds.
There are a number of different phobias that are related to being scared of large crowds, or being trapped in one, agoraphobia is the most common. 21% of people say they are at least a little scared of being around large crowds. This phobia can be so severe that it will even stop some people from leaving their homes. Panic attacks are the most common symptom of this particular fear.
Musophobia is the sixth most common fear among human beings, with 26% of people being at least a little afraid when they come across either a rat or a mouse. Very little research has been done into this area, but some theorize that it is a conditioned response to being startled, or that there is a subconscious knowledge that mice and rats can carry disease.