Let me tell you, other phobics, I get it. I have long lamented the fact that you cannot Google "arachnophobia" without spider pictures popping up in the results. But, in the spooky spirit of Halloween, we are putting on our brave faces to bring you a few of the top-searched phobias on Yahoo this month, their explanations, and how to conquer them.
Agoraphobia: The fear of anticipated situations. An actual, diagnosable anxiety disorder all its own, this is often a fear of being panicked in a specific location or when in an enclosed space.
Xenophobia: The fear of the unknown. But, in practice, this has become a fear of anything — or anyone — that appears strange or "foreign."
Trypophobia: The fear of holes. For some, it only shows up when the holes are in skin or there are a lot of little ones clustered together. For others, just looking at a pothole in the road can make their skin crawl. As explained in this SciShow video, trypophobia isn't currently recognized as a real phobia, despite the fact that around 15% of people probably feel it to at least some degree.
Although all of these things can be plenty terrifying, the good news is that exposure therapy works both reliably and quickly to treat persistent, irrational fears. The theory is that after having to talk about, look at, or in some cases touch, the objects they fear, people become more comfortable with them. Participants can be freed of even lifelong phobias in just a few hours. And, we have both the behavioral evidence and brain scans to prove it. Sometimes, the best way to get over a fear is to look it right in the eyes — all eight of them.