Whether we like to admit it or not, the vast majority of people are scared of something.
Even those who claim not to be frightened of anything are likely to have a weakness in some respects, but just what are the most common phobias in the UK?
What are we really all scared of?
Ahead of Halloween coming up at the end of this month, Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire has done some digging and by using Google Search Data for the past four years, has uncovered the 20 most common phobias in the UK based on what people are searching for.
Some of the entries on the list are fairly recognisable and are perhaps the sort of fears that everyone somewhat harbours slightly, but some of the phobias are pretty unique and may even be unheard of.
This top 10 list shows that trypophobia is, by far, the most commonly-searched phobia in the UK.
This fear of small holes and irregular patterns can seem strange to non-sufferers, but those search figures clarify that it’s a very real and serious phobia. It’s also something that product designers and developers have had to take into account as last year’s new iPhone model reportedly triggered a lot of people’s trypophobia, which probably sales figures.
Claustrophobia, hypochondria and agoraphobia took up the next three spots on the list and all of these conditions are medically recognised by the NHS, having huge impacts on people’s lives.
Further down the list comes some of the more specific phobias and recognisable phobias.
Arachnophobia and coulrophobia – a fear of spiders and clowns, respectively – are phobias that most people can certainly sympathise with sufferers on if they’re ever unfortunate enough to encounter an eight-legged beast, or a two-legged, red-nosed entertainer.
As well as looking at the country as a whole, Oakwood Theme Park also looked at how the most common phobias vary from region to region in an attempt to see if certain phobias are more likely to occur in certain parts of the country.
This has revealed that the North West is one of three regions in the UK where ergophobia – a fear of work – made the top 20 list.
What are the top 10 biggest fears and phobias here in the North West then?
When it comes to the fears and phobias most searched for among residents of the North West, it appears that many entires found on the UK-wide top 10 list also feature, with trypophobia again taking the top spot.
Common phobias such as claustrophobia, arachnophobia and acrophobia also feature.
- Trypophobia – Fear of Holes
- Agoraphobia – Fear of Leaving the House
- Hypochondria – Fear of Illness
- Claustrophobia – Fear of Enclosed Spaces
- Thalassophobia – Fear of the Sea
- Domatophobia – Fear of the House
- Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders
- Acrophobia – Fear of Heights
- Photophobia – Fear of Light
- Hydrophobia – Fear of Water
Does this sound about right?
By looking at the percentage increase of Google searches from 2016 to now, it was also found that every entry in the UK-wide top 10 phobia list had gone up by at least 82%.
Trypophobia was actually the slowest growing fear, followed closely by hypochondria, arachnophobia and agoraphobia.
In fact, it’s the persistent fear of the sea, thalassophobia, which is the fastest-growing fear and it’s also worth noting that nomophobia – a fear of being without a mobile device – also appears lower down the list and is expected to increase quite significantly in modern day society.
For more information, visit the Oakwood Theme Park website here.