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The most prevalent phobias in the world

A phobia indicates an irrational and persistent fear and revulsion of certain situations, objects, activities, animals or people, which can sometimes be limiting and can have an impact on our everyday life.

Almost everyone has a more or less pronounced phobia, but while some are very rare and particular, others are widespread.

The 'World Mental Health Survey Initiative', a collaborative project of the WHO, Harvard University and the University of Michigan, has ranked the most widespread phobias.

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Some phobias are much more common than you think
A phobia is an irrational and persistent fear and revulsion of certain situations, objects, activities, animals or people, which can sometimes be limiting and can have an impact on everyday life. Almost everyone has a more or less pronounced phobia: while some are very rare and particular, others are widespread. The 'World Mental Health Survey Initiative', a collaborative project of the WHO, Harvard University and the University of Michigan, has ranked the most widespread phobias.
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Aerophobia
Fear of flying afflicts more than 1% of the population. Those who suffer from it tend not only to feel terror when travelling in an aircraft, but also at the mere thought of having to fly. In fact, aerophobes often only travel by plane when strictly necessary.
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Brontophobia
Almost 2% of the world's population is afraid of the thunderous sound of thunder and lightning. Those who suffer from brontophobia try to escape the fear itself: in practice, both children and adults seek shelter anywhere where they can neither hear nor see a thunderstorm in progress.1
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Claustrophobia
Lifts, small rooms, tunnels: there are many people who cannot stand the idea of being in closed or confined spaces, more than 2% of the population. This phobia causes a general feeling of unease that awakens archetypal fears such as loneliness and helplessness.
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Thalassophobia
Thalassophobia is the fear of large bodies of water such as seas, oceans, lakes or even swimming pools and results in a fear of diving into the water, often when it is deep and dark, but in some cases also when the seabed is visible. Many people who are affected by this fear (in total more than 2% of the population) refuse to take a bath in the sea even where the water is shallow, immersing their ankles at most.
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Acrophobia
Slightly less than 3% of the world's total population is terrified of high places such as skyscrapers, cable cars or bridges at great heights. This fear is heightened in the presence of overhangs and near heights, such as on balconies. The symptoms are the classic phobias: tachycardia, trembling, excessive sweating and in severe cases panic attacks.
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Hemophobia
Approximately 3% of people are frightened of blood: just the sight of it could risk leading to fainting. Studies conducted recently have traced some possible causes of this phobia: often the reasons lie in childhood or adolescent traumas.
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Animal phobia
Arachnophobia (spiders), entomophobia (insects), ornithophobia (birds), ophidiophobia (snakes): animal-related fears are the most widespread in the world, afflicting almost 4% of the population. In the most severe cases, those who are afraid of a specific animal may even frighten themselves with a fake reproduction of the animal in question.
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