A phobia is an extreme irrational fear of or aversion to something. It can be to anything – an object, place, animal, colour, sound, action, etc. Examples are: Arachnophobia (spiders), Belonephobia (needles).
This is opposed to a rational fear – one which is a normal, beneficial response to something known to be dangerous or life threatening (like fear of polar bears or frostbite when on an Antarctic expedition) or as a result of trauma (fear of driving after surviving an horrific traffic accident). (more…)