I’ve read countless articles discussing fears and phobias. Being a horror writer, I make it my business to know what frightens people the most. In fact, you can find lists ranking the world’s most crippling phobias everywhere: magazines, websites, newspapers, blogs and so on. We often hear that the number one phobia is public speaking but I wonder if that is really accurate.
I’m not trying to contradict scientific research or anything but I have my own theory. For the most part, regardless of the trigger, the root of fear for most people is death. Say for example, someone suffers from Aerophobia (fear of flying) ultimately, they are afraid that the plane will crash and they will die. Likewise, Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) or even Cynophobia (fear of dogs) center around being bitten, increasing the probability of dying. Ultimately, if you factor in all of the potential causes of death that subsequently result in a phobia of its own, and combine that with Thanatophobia or Thantophobia (fear of death or dying) I think it will exceed the number of people who suffer from Glossophobia (fear of public speaking).With that being said, I think that Agliophobia, (fear of pain) should rank the highest. We all know and recognize that, in the end, we are mortal and we will eventually die. The fear factor usually revolves around the pain we may have to endure. Naturally, we would rather go peacefully, perhaps in our sleep, but no one wants to suffer a long, painful agonizing death. I do not fear dying but when the time comes, I'd sure like it to be quick and painless.