Top 10 Most Crippling Phobias


Everyone fears something. Whether it’s a child fearing the boogey man (bogyphobia) or even fear of the number 13 (triskadekaphobia). These two seem potentially unfounded fears, though there are real people who are particularly afraid of them. Certainly fears are crippling to the person with the phobia; however, there are also some potentially crippling fears that could halt someone in their tracks on a daily basis. To be included on this list, the reason for the phobia has to be something that a person can encounter every day. Don’t be afraid, read on. And if you have any top 10 lists, please submit them to

10. Chronophobia

watch hand wheel clock time hour alarm gauge furniture decor date clocks countdown management schedule deadline man made object home accessories

The fear of clocks might easily be overcome; however, the alternate definition of chronophobia is the fear of time. Time surrounds us, it binds us – sorry, Star Wars moment there. If a person were to rid herself of all reminders of time such as clocks that would be one thing. But fear has a way of creeping up on someone. As soon as she thought about the fact that time is slipping away, perhaps their sanity might as well.

9. Stasibasiphobia

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Most people might think that couch potatoes have this fear of standing up and walking. It’s not true; most couch potatoes are just averse to the idea. However, a person with stasibasiphobia could very well never get anything done in life, unless he was confined to a wheelchair. But what happens if that person is afraid of someone else standing up and walking? Does that mean the phobic must live in isolation in a sitting position for the rest of his life? What a drag!

8. Domatophobia

House Lights Turned on

Most Americans want four walls, three meals a day and a bed to sleep on. Unfortunately, most of those things are on this list as crippling phobias including domatophobia, fear of houses or being in a house. The only logical cure to this phobia would be to live in a cave or some other natural enclosure unless the fear doesn’t extend to apartments or condos. Either way, that’s a portion of the American Dream dashed.

7. Decidophobia

Direction, Away, Decision, Target, Directory, Junction

You just did it! You just made the decision to continue reading this list, which includes the phobia of making decisions, decidophobia. A person who cannot make a decision is likely to be eternally stuck in a rut. Unless something becomes second nature such as everyday routines, a person could be crippled by the simple decision of what to eat for breakfast.

6. Nyctophobia and Photophobia

Lamp, Light, Dark, Darkness, Abstractly Campfire

For these two fears, they are sides of the same coins like a Yin-Yang symbol – literally. Nyctophobia is the fear of night or darkness, while photophobia is the fear of light. Perhaps the only way to handle these fears is sleeping through the night or through the day, then again turning on all your lights might help a phobic handle the fear of darkness, not necessarily the electricity bill. On the flip side, a photophobic would have to live in the dark for the rest of his life – talk about being white as a sheet.

5. Anthropophobia and Lalophobia

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Like No. 6 on our list, these fears could potentially isolate the phobic for life. Anthropophobia is a fear of people while lalophobia is the fear of speaking. Maybe the hermit with domatophobia should get together with the anthropophobic. Nope, that wouldn’t work, because the hermit is still a person. And don’t forget that never being able to speak or be around another person certainly wouldn’t do well for social skills.

4. Urophobia

From here on out, this list becomes phobias of functions that humans must do to survive. And that means that the phobias, such as urophobia or the fear of urination, would put a cramp on anyone’s life style. A catheter might be a stop gap measure as long as someone else would agree to change the phobic’s bag. Either way, everyone has to release bodily waste and this fear could make bathrooms a very unpleasant experience no matter where the phobic is.

3. Somniphobia and Clinophobia

While you don’t necessarily have to be clinophobic to be somniphobic, it doesn’t really matter once you realize that going to sleep is never an option anymore! A person with somniphobia fears sleep while a person suffering from clinophobia fears beds. I’m sure a clinophobic could just sleep standing up. However, humans need the REM cycles of sleep to help digest their everyday thoughts and activities. Without sleep, a person could, potentially, slowly go insane due to fatigue and too many screws loose in the noggin. We all have nightmares, but can you imagine having a waking nightmare about going to sleep?

2. Phagophobia

And the final piece of our American Dream is having three square meals a day. But what if you had phagophobia, the fear of eating? There are people – in hospitals – who live on liquid diets. But to go without food must be torturous on a daily basis, unless of course, you’re a phagophobic. It must be hard for a phobic like this to go out on a date since he would obviously not ask his date out for dinner. And the holidays must also get awful lonely without the company and great food!

1. Anemophobia

Gas Mask, Phone, Woman, Human, Press, Journalist

Catch your breath, especially if you have anemophobia, the fear of air. A person could be scared every moment of her life. Sure eating, sleeping and all the other fears on this list could cripple people on a daily basis, but not potentially for every moment of your waking life. There are a number of methods to counter phobias, all of which seem like they would fail miserably contingent on how paralyzed a phobic is of air. Outside of living in a bubble with a controlled atmosphere, nothing comes to mind to counter such a phobia. Even a little fresh air to help cleanse the mind wouldn’t help in this case.

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  1. Rita Chanthaboury on

    Photophobia isn’t fear of light. It is a sensitivity to light/physical symptom.

    Heliophobia is the fear of light.

  2. I know how it sounds, but I am terrified that if I am in a body of water, such as creeks, ponds, oceans, etch, that if my feet aren’t touching the floor that a dead person will grab my feet. It is most likely because they need my help with unresolved issues from life. Surely I am not the only person ever to have this irrational fear.

  3. What about phobias of needles? While avoiding needles at all costs you also put your health in constant danger. Pretty much you have to decide wether the risk of discovering you have something like cancer is worth having to go through the horrorfying ordeal of your phobia

  4. Better late than never.
    I must offer kudos to the author of this list! Well done!

    Not a comment, but a question…
    I am wondering if anyone knows what ‘the fear of wheelchairs’ might be called?
    Also, ‘the fear of being disabled’, or ‘of seeing disabled folks’?

  5. “Anemophobia” is fear of wind or drafts or “moving air,” NOT all air

    “Anemo” is from the Greek for wind.

  6. I saw an episode of “Intervention” where a woman had a fear of swallowing. She would chew on the food to get the flavor and then spit out the remaining substance. She surgically had a bag inserted to her abdomen with a PICC line running outside of her body. She would then puree any kind of food, no matter what it was and had this humongous syringe containing the puree and would literally inject it into the PICC line. The medical term is called Dysphagia. It all stemmed from when she was a child and was molested by her uncle and performed oral sex on him, hence the reason for her fear of swallowing.

  7. The people with these kind of phorias need to see a doctor that specializes in in such fears so they can hopfuly be cured

  8. I didn’t know about a lot of phobias on the list. But Some of them sound very absurd. It would be nice that you add some real cases where someone has it. I think that Anemophobia deserves the first spot.

  9. College Freshman on

    I just looked up my fears and it turns out I have both phasmaphobia (fear of ghosts) and kinemortophobia (fear of zombies)!! Weird for me to have, but I really caused myself to have them…

  10. serdar samanl? on

    Somniphobes fear of dying in their sleep which can be caused by fire, earthquake, flood, gas leak or airplanes crashing into their houses. Also if you have sleep apnea (when you stop breathing in your sleepP you can die during sleep.

  11. the worst fear to have is panphobia no it is not the fear of pans it is the fear of EVERYTHING!!!!!! how could someone live like that and they wont kill themselves because they are afraid to die!!!!!!

  12. i have a fear of being buried alive,A SERIOUS FEAR, i refuse to be buried when i die(not that theres anything i can do bout cuz they think ill be dead! ) 😛 think about theyll all think ur dead but uve just been druged or something, and u wake up un dead tons (litearally) of hard dirt that u cant get out of, and also i havewatever that fear called were ur scared of confineed spaces so i get even more FREAKED OUT!!!!!!!

  13. What about Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – a fear of long words!

    Well, imagine the situation…

    everytime you get an attack of it you'd have to explain what caused it thereby triggering another attack.

    Poor B**tard.

  14. to helena

    the topic is about phobias that could cripple or harm people

    having necrophobia can't harm (or kill) a person, instead it will help you to avoid of being dead because you are afraid of dying

  15. I agree that hydrophobia should be on this list. Now mind you I'm not completely hydrophobic–I still shower, and swim in pools and stuff. But I can't do any live body of water. I can go to the beach if its JUST sand, but if theres anything else in the water I can't stand it. And deep water especially freaks me out, whenever I accidentally flip to a Titanic or shark documentary on TV I freak. Ichthyophobia (fear of fish) goes hand in hand with this for me.

    But most of all, I think there should be a word for fear of whales. I haven't been able to find one yet, nor have I encountered someone else who shares this fear, but seriously they are the freakiest things in existence. They scare the heck out of me.

    • My sister has a phobia of whales and dolphins (though she loves to swim)

      I have a phobia of clowns and puppets. In middle school I punched a guy dressed as a clown in school in the balls, and ran. Scared the fudge out of me, but my friends always thought it was awesome…

      • that would suck especially dolphins well there every where in the oceans, toy stores well I guess the solution is to live in the desert. I guess she would get tormented a lot personally I have a interest in dolphins and my mum does too. what happens if one comes up in a text book or on the news I mean the fear of dolphins should have been added to the list.

  16. Weird Phobias on

    Very good site, excellent content, I will recommend to my group of readers in the university, I found very interesting article on the internet, including this …

    Weird phobias that control your life…..: The humongous list of phobias that you can have find anywhere shares the same characteristics, like the fear of dentist or doctor. Phobias and Fears are emotional reactions to an uncomfortable situation that causes physical and mental responses. Some of the symptoms that affect all of these weird phobias and fears like fear of success or fear of long words include:

    1) Horror, terror, confusion, fear and uncontrollable feelings of panic

    2) Unawareness that phobias and fears go beyond.

    3) Acceleration of heart beat, extreme sweating, trembling, breathing problems.

  17. What about twids like myself who have an abnormal fear of driving in heavy traffic or on freeways?

    Never had any anxiety or panic attacks until the freeways in San Diego started turning into LA….so I moved to Central Oregon, where I then discovered I hated to drive with the 18 wheelers too. So now I am in Tennessee, and find that country roads brought me back to my senses….

  18. Phobophobia is the fear of fears. Hydrophobia – not aquaphobia – is the fear of water. (If you saw Ol' Yeller, you'll recall the term used as a substitute for rabies because the fear/aversion accompanies the disease.) Agoraphobia is the fear of wide open spaces and keeps people indoors, while claustrophobia keeps people out of confined spaces like phone booths, confessionals and elevators… In a Scattergories game one night, my dad, two brothers and I all answered "Stupidity" for the "fear" category beginning with an "S" – not snakes or spiders, folks. Stupidity. (We're fairly bright people.)

  19. Oh oh oh. And another fear that sucks epically? Fear of fear. YES THAT'S RIGHT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I'm afraid of being scared. It makes you so so so suspicious. And it also sucks. But OMG nowhere nears as much as necrophobia -shudders-

  20. Um. Excuse me. You've forgotten the worst phobia ever. NECROPHOBIA. I'd like some freaking representation here, man!!

    Necrophobia, the phobia of death and dying, is TERRIFYING, as it's not even a fear. Because death is inevitable. You can't do anything about it. I can't do anything about it. MAKE A FREAKING ADDITION TO THE LIST DAMNIT!!!!! omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg

  21. I have climacophobia, a fear of climbing or going down stairs. Escalators are ok as long as they are working. If they aren't working I can't climb them, it is 10x worse. Luckily I've learned to manage it.

  22. Decidophobia seems a little stupid. Are you afraid to make the decision to be afraid of it? 😉

  23. oh oh i jest remembered globaphobia fear of

    balloons 🙂 but i figured out how to counter act

    it a thumb tack;)

  24. one of my friends has a fear of boats. we oculdnt find the name for it so we called it 'titaniphobia' named after the Titanic, although it sorta sounded like a fear of titanium. im philaphobic: fear the romance! do it!

  25. I think we are all sometimes ridden by Chronophobia. Time and lack of it can drive ya crazy.

  26. Hello Top Tenz,,

    The post is really awesome…no doubt the chain is elongating…!!

    I have some equally good solutions for a few phobia's mentioned here…do find them on my blog.

    I guess this will also provee to be an answer to all other discussion on board….!

  27. I have a fear of spiders. but thats because my brother got bit by a brown recluse in elementary school. Luckily he was alright in the end. And I have a weird fear of hrights. I can go on roller coasters, but I shake and flip out on almost anything else that is high (even ladders!)

  28. what about Trichopathophobia… fear of hair? as a sufferer I must say it's pretty awful. hair is everywhere.

  29. I had a fear of heights and I jumped off a 100 foot cliff into water and conquered it also had a fear of spiders and got over it by raisind daddy long legs. Phobias can be overcome.

  30. Shopped!!!!!!11 Haha I've wanted to act like one of those idiots lol

    Great lovef it =P

  31. This has been the most popular post for Top Tenz so far (only 2 months). I'm not sure to be happy for the success or sad for the realization that there are so many odd phobias out there affecting our lives on a daily basis.

    Danny – love your site too. Thanks for the comment. If you ever want to contribute a list you would be a welcomed writer.

  32. I have a fear of ticks…I'm not sure if that's classified under Arachnophobia? It literally prevents me from doing anything if I think there will be ticks involved. My mind goes into some sort of rage…

    • its entonophobia… i think i might have it but only when i see them in person… cuz i will refuse to go anywhere close to the place i saw it on i will get paranoid and freaking out and get light headed…its terrible

  33. i'm terrified of poison ivy (the plant itself, not the reaction) and called it toxicodendrophobia since it didn't seem to have a real name. for eric, it could be laridaephobia. or a grammatically correct version since i suck at making words.

    glad i'm afraid of something less…socially crippling than the stuff in the article. sheesh.

  34. Phobia is also used in a non-medical sense for aversions of all sorts. These terms are usually constructed with the suffix -phobia. A number of these terms describe negative attitudes or prejudices towards the named subjects

      • Its called Laridaphobia, my best friend has it. It’s hard for him to go outside at lunch, because where we go to school, theres loads of seagulls. He ends up having a panic attack. I have a phobia of wasps, amusment rides, chewing gum and ink on my skin. I used to have a phobia of stickers and many other things. I don’t just mean little things, i mean major breakdown sort of fears.

  35. Actially phobia does mean fear. Its fromm greek, phobos, meaning fear.

    They call something like avoidibg light a phobia, because you do fear it. You fear that it will give you pain, something most people want to ignore.

    One very big one was missing from your list- aquaphobia (a symptom of rabies).

    A fear of water. That would be a tough one.

    As for Anemophobia, couldnt they just live off an oxygen tank? Its not air, techincally.

  36. The term "phobia" doesn't exactly mean "fear" – at least not in all cases. It means something more like "an aversion to". For instance, when someone is suffering from a migrane headache, a common symptom is photophobia: they can't stand the light because it causes additional pain, but they aren't actually afraid of the light. Most phobias occur in varying degrees. What we call "pet peeves" might qualify as very minor phobias.

  37. You have to mention Hipopotomanastrasaquipedaliophobia – Fear OF Long Words. (i think thats how you spell it)

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  39. Do they all roll-up into vitaphobia, a fear of life? Personally, I have vilisaphobia, a fear of cheapskates. It's personal.