The “type” of phobia a person experiences is determined by the focus of that person’s fear. There are 3 primary types of phobias – all of which are painfully fear-producing for the sufferer.
Typically, those with phobias avoid any thought or sight of the stimulus that triggers a panic attack. “When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body.”(Job 21:6)
Different Specific Types of Phobia (formerly called Simple Phobias):
- A Fear of a Specific Object or Situation: This type of phobia is marked by a persistent fear experienced in the presence of or in the anticipated encountering of the object or situation that is feared. Examples of feared objects: elevators, spiders, knives, snakes, cats, fire, insects. Examples of feared situations: flying, heights, darkness, driving over bridges or through tunnels.
- Zoophobia is fear of animals, characterised by a sense of danger even in the presence of nonthreatening animals.
- Acrophobia is fear of heights, characterized by a feeling of extreme insecurity and of falling even when there is no danger of doing so.
- Claustrophobia is fear of closed spaces, characterized by a sense of being smothered in a confined environment.
- Social Phobias (sometimes called Social Anxiety Disorders)
- A Fear of Embarrassment is characterised by a paralysing fear of appearing stupid or being judged as shameful in a social situation. Examples: A persistent fear of social situations such as initiating and maintaining a conversation, eating in public, attending a party; also a persistent fear of performance situations such as stage fright and fear of public speaking.
- Agoraphobia: It literally means “a fear of the marketplace.” A “Fear of Fear” (when … out in open spaces). This phobia is a fear of having a panic attack out in a place where escape could be difficult or embarrassing. It comes as a result of repeated panic attacks and is the fear of having another panic attack. Therefore, any situation that could cause a sense of panic is avoided. Example: Being so afraid of having a panic attack in a public place or in a strange place that a person becomes homebound or even room bound. In the Bible, these words reflect this paralysing fear …“I so feared the crowd and so dreaded the contempt of the clans that I kept silent and would not go outside.” (Job 31:34)