We are all afraid of something. But when that fear is overwhelming, far-fetched, and specific, we refer to it as a phobia. Phobias are more common than we think, so much so that we can create a “dictionary” of fears. These are the 3 most common phobias starting with the letter “A.”

Dictionary of Fears: 3 Most common phobias starting with the letter "A."
Dictionary of Fears: 3 Most common phobias starting with the letter “A.”
Original photos from canva.com. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

A phobia is an overwhelming and pronounced fear of something specific. This can include an intense fear of an object, place, situation, animal, or feeling. Phobias are the most common mental illness in women and the second most common mental illness in men.

Phobias stem from an exaggerated sense of danger. These fears are usually unfounded and much less realistic than they are perceived to be by the individual. For this reason, phobias are considered a type of anxiety disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias affect 10% of the U. S population. These irrational and persistent fears affect twice as many women as they do on men. Also, phobias usually emerge during childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood. Their symptoms are felt most intensely when the person is in close contact with the source of the phobia.

Dozens of phobias have been identified. There are so many, in fact, that you could create a “dictionary” of these fears. There are phobias that start with nearly every letter of the alphabet. Here are the most common phobias that begin with the letter “A.”

Common “A” Phobia #1: Achluophobia

Most common phobias starting with the letter "A."#1 in the Dictionary of Fears: Achluophobia
Most common phobias starting with the letter “A.”#1 in the Dictionary of Fears: Achluophobia
Original photos from canva.com. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Achluophobia is the irrational and exaggerated fear of darkness. Its symptoms may vary, depending on the person and the level of fear. People with achluophobia experience anxiety or sometimes panic attacks. A person with achluophobia has this fear even when it is time to sleep. A person suffering from this phobia may avoid dark places, or even sleep with the lights turned on.

Common “A” Phobia #2: Acrophobia

Most common phobias starting with the letter "A." #2 in the dictionary of fears: Acrophobia
Most common phobias starting with the letter “A.” #2 in the dictionary of fears: Acrophobia
Original photos from Canva.com. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Acrophobia is the unrealistic and irrational fear of heights. According to the American Psychiatric Association, this phobia affects six percent of the population. People with acrophobia usually avoid tall buildings. This phobia commonly leads to panic attacks and can severely impact one’s ability to travel and socialize. This fear is categorized as a phobia of space and motion discomfort. The underlying fear likely relates to a perceived risk of falling from up high.

Common “A” Phobia #3: Aerophobia

Most common phobias starting with "A." #3: in the Dictionary of Fears: Aerophobia
Most common phobias starting with “A.” #3: in the Dictionary of Fears: Aerophobia
Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Aerophobia is the irrational and pronounced fear of flying, even though airplanes are considered the safest mode of transportation. It is estimated that between 10% and 40% of adults in the U.S. suffer from this phobia. Symptoms may include trembling, disorientation, and panic attacks.

People with this phobia experience severe anxiety, even when they have flown before. Most people even experience symptoms prior to flight. Aerophobia may actually be several phobias combined, such as the height at which the plane travels or the fear of being in an enclosed space. Most often, though, aerophobia stems from anxiety over not having control of the situation.


These are just three of the most common phobias beginning with the letter “A.” There are so many known phobias that we can essentially list them as part of a “dictionary” of fears.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any phobias? If so, how do they impact your life? Let us know below and check back as we make our way through the dictionary of phobias.