Tuesday Trivia: What scares you?

J. H. Osborne • Oct 16, 2018 at 3:00 PM

This week's Tuesday Trivia: your worst fears, state-by-state.

According to a report released by YourLocalSecurity.com (a home security site):

• Tennessean's most-searched anxiety: fear of people (anthropophobia: morbid fear of social situations).

• Their neighbors in Virginia seem to be polar opposites. Their most-searched anxiety: fear of being alone (autophobia: morbid fear of isolation or abandonment).

How they were ranked

"The YLS team used Google’s autocomplete feature to find the 15 most common ways to end the phrases “why am I afraid of/to” and “why am I scared of/to.” Gathering data from Aug. 29, 2017, to Aug. 29, 2018, these phrases — and the respective scientific names of those fears — were then put into Google Trends to determine which phobias each state was searching more than any other state, according to a press release from the group, which included the following.

What is a phobia?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no real danger.

What do they mean when they say the study showed Texas is scared of “everything”?

The “fear of everything” is called panphobia (aka: omniophobia or pantophobia). While its description without context seems hyperbolic, it is most easily compared to generalized anxiety disorder.

To find each state’s phobia, YLS looked at what they were searching in common, everyday terms, since most people who are trying to learn about their fears and triggers are searching in terms of “why am I afraid of ____” rather than searching an actual phobia. Texas ranked the highest for searches like “why am I so scared of everything?”

Interest tidbits

• “Fear of people” and “fear of spiders” were most-searched in 11 states each, taking the awards for overall popularity.

• North Dakota and Wyoming are the only states without a top-searched fear.

• New Mexico is one of the sunniest states in the U.S. and the only one most afraid of the dark.

• Montana, a state with some tall peaks (including Granite Peak at 12,808 feet and Mount Wood at 12,661 feet), is most afraid of heights.

• California, home to Silicon Valley and Hollywood, has a fear of success.

• New York, which has one of the least licensed drivers per capita and the most taxi drivers, has a fear of driving.

• The fear of humans (anthropophobia) was one of the most Googled fears in the nation. Is that why we'd all rather stay in and watching Netflix?

• The fear of spiders also dominated the map. Makes sense — nearly one-third of Americans struggle with arachnophobia.

• A few of the phobias are rather heart-wrenching: fear of commitment, fear of love, fear of being alone. YLS suspects millennials helped boost these numbers.

• Their 2017 report showed that the five most-searched phobias in America were the fear of the unknown, fear of the number 13, fear of clowns, fear of (small, pattern-like) holes, and fear of the ocean. This year, they updated their methodology to "more accurately reflect the most common fears."

• Their 2018 report shows that fear of spiders and fear of people came out on top for the most-searched fears in America.

Wanna know more?

Take a peek at our map below to see what most spooks residents in your state. You’ll probably find that you can relate to at least one of the fears on the list. https://www.yourlocalsecurity.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/phobias-01-2-1.jpg

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