Other Common Phobias

social phobias

Phobias that are most common in society.

Social phobias can severely disrupt normal life, interfering with school, work, or social relationships. The dread of a feared event can begin weeks in advance and be quite debilitating.

The following are some of the more common phobias that we have consulted for:
Arachnophobia (spiders), Aviatopophobia (flying), Hydrophobia (water), Acrophobia (heights), Claustrophobia (enclosed spaces), Agorophobia (open spaces), Demophobia (crowds), Nyctophobia (darkness), Odontophobia (dentists), Glossophobia (speaking in public), Aichmophobia (needles), Thanatophobia (death or dying).

The above social phobias are almost always indirect – this means that they are usually indirectly linked to an unresolved emotional conflict.

All the other phobias in this common phobia section, are usually direct phobias.

I’ve grouped the phobias above together, because they usually symbolise a situation where the sufferer feels out of control. If you think about it, there are very few situations in life that could symbolise a feeling of being out of control…… …flying in a tin can at 400 miles an hour, two miles up in the sky …lying on a dentists couch, with him about to stick a needle in you … in a completely dark room, can’t even see your own hand in front of you … caught up in a large crowd of people, being dragged along with them …… you get the picture!


This is a fear of being sick, aka: phagophobia, vomitophobia, vomit phobia, sickness phobia.

Associated fears: gagging, seeing others being sick, choking on food, pregnancy (due to possibility of morning sickness), drowning, and social phobia.

We have treated well over two hundred people with Emetophobia – so it must be a very common Phobia indeed!. This Phobia seems to effect more women than men, and tends to have a very disabling effect on the sufferer; quite often the person has to avoid all places where there is a possibility of themselves (or others) being sick: pubs, restaurants, clubbing, eating in front of others etc. Because of the link between eating and being sick, the sufferer tends to be a little obsessive about what and where they will eat.

A lot of sufferers tend to view being sick as horrible, dirty, yucky etc, and so it is quite common for emetophobics to also have fears of other situations where they might feel the same way: going to the toilet (number twos), or the inability to urinate in front of others (shy bladder), or even just being a little bit sweaty. Nearly all the sufferers we have helped, have also had Social Phobia (see below). (Sometimes called emetophobia, emetephobia, sick phobia, sickness phobia, vomiting phobia, fear of vomiting, fear of gagging, fear of swallowing, fear of choking, globus hystericus).

How can hypnotherapy resolve this phobia?


This is a fear of going to the loo (passing faeces) aka: toilet phobia.

A fear of anything related to shit/shitting/faeces, toilets, public toilets, being heard going to the toilet, feeling unclean or dirty generally. Another fairly common phobia. Typically the sufferer would find it difficult (if not impossible) to use a public loo. A lot of the time the fear is specifically of losing bowel control – in public. Quite often the sufferer has very precise routines they have to adhere to – in order to be able to go to the loo.

Sometimes people with coprophobia/coporophobia use laxatives to avoid the feeling of going to the loo, and sometimes they might even auto-disempact – which I hope is self explanatory!

How can hypnotherapy resolve this phobia?


This is a fear of embarrassing, or humiliating on the spot type situations (in public), aka: social anxiety, social anxiety disorder, fear of being judged.

SOCIAL PHOBIA is probably the most common phobia there is; a pervasive fear of any situation where the sufferer is likely to feel on the spot, embarrassed, humiliated or judged – for example: dinner parties, public speaking, interviews, appearing in court, singing, stuttering, etc.

Associated symptoms: sensitivity to criticism, negative self image, fear of rejection, difficulty in being assertive and feelings of inferiority . On a more general level, the social phobic worries continuously about how others see them, and what others may think about them – it is not surprising then that the sufferer usually spends a lot of time creating the image they want others to see. Usually the social phobic is quite adept at concealing their anxiety from others, although there is quite often a difficulty in maintaining eye contact.

In a clinical setting (in the U.S.A.) somewhere between 3 and 13% of people had social phobia. Social phobia generally starts in the mid -teens (although it often follows on from just being shy) or can be triggered off by a particularly embarrassing event. As with all phobias, stress (or the lack of it) will have a significant effect on the strength of the anxiety created. In the D.S.M.4 (the Mental Health Bible) the main criteria for social phobia is listed as: a marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he/she will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.

Some symptoms that may appear alongside (or be caused by) social phobias or social anxiety are:
  • A fear of public speaking
  • fear of talking on the telephone
  • fear of writing in front of someone (even signing a cheque!)
  • Blushing, or a fear of blushing
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • A lack of confidence
  • Working too hard (to please others)
  • Setting unachievably high standards (and feeling bad when they are not met)
  • A preoccupation with how you look: perfecting an image you want others to see (NOT vanity – this is about trying to blend in)
  • Certain twitches or tics
  • Shy bladder (men) not being able to pee, when on the spot
  • Certain sexual inhibitions – due to performance anxiety
  • Repeated failure of driving test – due to performance anxiety
  • A persistent fear of failure, or not making the grade

Basically, any situation in life where you might feel embarrassed, on the spot, judged, silly, out of control etc etc

How can hypnotherapy resolve this phobia? click here


This is the inability to urinate in front of others, aka: paruresis, stage fright, toilet anxiety, toilet phobia.

Shy bladder is one of the most common symptoms that men consult us for. Men with shy bladder (and it is usually only men who get shy bladder – for obvious reasons) have a great difficulty peeing in front of other people, or in a place that they are unfamiliar with. As with all phobias, the severity of the symptoms can change from person to person, and also fluctuate depending on the persons stress level, i.e. some men find it a little difficult to pee in a crowded toilet, some can only pee in their own toilet (causing great difficulties – because the person has to come home from work, just to have a pee). Due to the embarrassing nature of the symptom, it is rare that a man would consult his G.P. with the problem – and because of this, there is very little written on the subject.

If you are suffering from social phobias please contact us for a ‘free initial consultation’. If your phobia has not been listed please remember that the list is not exhaustive and we can still help even though there is no reference.