Do You Know the Real Names of These Phobias?



By: Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Fear helped our ancestors stay alive at a time when giant beasts roamed the Earth. Today survival is a littler simpler, but many of these fears are so ingrained that humans can't quite shake them, despite all the protections of modern life. Match these phobias to their technical names to test your fear IQ!

Many adults suffer from arachnophobia - a fear of what critters?

People with arachnophobia fear arachnids - that's spiders and scorpions. The fear is so common that it inspired a 1990 black comedy, starring John Goodman and Jeff Daniels.


If you have cynophobia, you're afraid of what - which is a shame, given that there are nearly 90 million of them in the U.S. alone?

People with cynophobia fear dogs, which can make going out difficult, thanks to the nearly 90 million pet dogs in the U.S. This fear can stem from a variety of factors, but often begins in early childhood.


Afraid of heights? You've got....

People with acrophobia are afraid of heights. This phobia is one of the more common non-associative fears - that means it's something you're born with, not something you develop. Women are about twice as likely as men to have this condition.


If you've got claustrophobia, you're afraid of what?

Terrified of small spaces or feeling restricted? You may suffer from claustrophobia. This fear is similar to cleithrophobia, or the fear of being trapped.


The movie "Jaws" made many viewers develop mean cases of galeophobia - a fear of what?

Scared of sharks? Thank the 1975 horror classic "Jaws," - or an innate fear of sharks, known as galeophobia.


Germophobes are more scientifically described by what term?

If you find yourself washing your hands excessively to chase away unwanted germs, you just may have a case of mysophobia, which is closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fortunately, both cognitive behavioral theory and hypnosis have been shown to help treat these conditions.


The 2017 advertisements for the TV series "American Horror Story" freaked out many trypophobes because of the presence of what spooky objects?

People with trypophobia have an intense fear of patterns or clusters of holes, so something as simple as a sponge could make their hearts race. A 2013 study published in "Psychological Science" found that as many as 10 percent of Americans could have this condition.


What is your greatest fear if you've got thanatophobia?

It's only natural to be a bit apprehensive about your end of days, but if you obsessively fear your own demise, you may suffer from thanatophobia. One of the most effective ways to treat this condition is to meet it head on; rather than ignoring your fear, face it with the help of a trained therapist.


Which of these Hitchcock movies should you avoid if you have ornithophobia?

In the 1963 horror flick "The Birds," a group of aggressive birds engage in brazen attacks on local citizens. While this film is scary enough for the average viewer, people suffering from ornithophobia - fear of birds - should probably pick something else to watch.


If you have pyrophobia, you're afraid of which element?

Pyromaniacs love watching things go up in flames, so it makes sense that people with pyrophobia are afraid of fire.


Which of these professions should you avoid if you suffer from hemophobia?

Doctors routinely deal with blood - something that strikes fear in the heart of people with hemophobia. The British television series "Doc Martin" tackles this very topic, featuring a local village doctor with an intense fear of all things blood.


If you have xenophobia, which of these are you most likely to be afraid of?

Immigration and refugees rank high among hot topics in politics and the media. Fortunately, true xenophobes - people who suffer from a fear of strangers or foreigners - are less common than you might expect.


Fear the slither of a snake? You may have which phobia?

Ophidiophobia is an irrational fear of snakes, while people with herpetophobia have a broader fear which includes all reptiles and amphibians.


Avoid famous cartoon characters like Felix, Garfield and Heathcliff if you've got what phobia?

Remember when Lucy was trying to diagnose Charlie Brown in the "Charlie Brown Christmas Special"? One of the ideas she threw out was ailurophobia. Turns out, this condition - which involves a fear of cats-- wasn't what had Charlie Brown so down in the 1965 classic show.


Someone who's afraid to leave the house might suffer from which condition?

People with agoraphobia are afraid of crowds and open spaces. Many are so overwhelmed by their condition that they are afraid to leave their homes at all.


What do you fear if you have aerophobia?

Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is incredibly common. About one in six adults claim to have this fear, despite the fact that 992 people died in 2014 in plane crashes, compared to 1.24 million who died in car crashes.


Forget Pennywise; for people with globophobia, "It" is scary because of what?

Globophobia is an irrational fear of balloons. People with this condition may fear anything from the smell to the texture to the inevitable loud pop the balloon can make if it bursts. Fear of the pop is also known as phonophobia.


Eleven percent of the U.S. has nyctophobia - a fear of what?

Afraid of things that go bump in the night? Blame your genetics. Nyctophobia has deep roots, which is to be expected, given that our ancestors were much more vulnerable to predators in the cover of darkness.


If you believe that the only thing to fear is fear itself, you just might have what condition?

In a very famous speech by FDR, he declared that the only thing to fear is fear itself. If you're totally scared of being scared, you may suffer from phobophobia - which translates to "fear of fear."


Singer Taylor Swift boldly proclaims that the number 13 is her lucky number. That means she probably doesn't suffer from which phobia?

Fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia. If you're afraid of Friday the 13th in particular, you may have paraskevidekatriaphobia. In some Asian nations, where the number 4 is considered unlucky, those with a fear of the number 4 are said to suffer from tetraphobia.


Ok, so you're vaguely scared of everything. You must have....

Are you afraid of nothing in particular, yet everything in the whole wide world? This condition is known as panophobia, and shares many features with generalized anxiety disorder.


What does hippotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia indicate a fear of?

This 15-syllable mouthful is a very appropriate term used to describe a fear of long words.


What are you scared of if you have somniphobia?

Some people who are afraid to fall asleep may suffer from somniphobia. This condition can be caused or increased by things like nightmares or sleep apnea.


What are you afraid of if you have pediophobia?

There's a reason horror films like "Child's Play" and "Annabelle" have evil dolls in a starring role. It's because many people are naturally afraid of the dolls and their frozen faces, especially people suffering from pediophobia.


What is glossophobia?

The fear of public speaking -- also known as glossophobia - is one of the more common phobias. It's one specific form of a broader social phobia. "Glossa" is Greek for "tongue."


Tons of people are afraid of doctors, but only a few are actually diagnosed with which fear of medical care?

People with latrophobia have a debilitating fear of going to the doctor. This can be caused by a variety of factors, from fear of needles to fear of the unknown - or even fear of a deadly diagnosis.


Do ghosts send shivers up your spine? Perhaps you suffer from this condition.

People who are afraid of ghosts - isn't that all of us? - are said to have phasmophobia, while sanguivoriphobia is a fear of vampires.


Which of these is most likely to scare you if you have ligyrophobia?

Ligyrophobia is the fear of loud noises, including things like fire alarms and speakers. This condition is often linked to agoraphobia - the fear of open spaces or crowds.


Which holiday would you skip out on if you suffered from samhainophobia?

In Celtic tradition, samhain is a day when the spirits were able to slip into the mortal world. Today, we celebrate this day as Halloween, though people with samhainophobia may avoid the holiday.


Which of these do you fear if you have ergophobia?

Lazy, burned out or just plain tired of your job? It's possible you have ergophobia - an unusual or excessive fear or aversion to work.


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