If you were afraid of big dogs, dark rooms, or the deep end of the pool as a kid, then you had a pretty typical childhood. After all, learning how to deal with these common childhood fears is all part of growing up. But can certain specific childhood phobias also say something about you as an adult? As it turns out, these old fears may continue to affect you in some interesting ways.
To start, however, it's important to straighten out the difference between fears and phobias. An intense, extreme fear — a phobia — will likely interfere with a kid's daily life, according to Parents. Although fears are pretty universal, phobias only affect about 3 to 5 percent of kids, as further explained in Parents. If you had a phobia as a child, then your parents probably remember the events well. It was probably a pretty big deal. (If your own child appears to be struggling with a phobia, then seek help from your pediatrician or a child psychologist.)
Although many people can overcome these early phobias, sometimes they continue into adulthood. For instance, an early phobia of spiders may translate into a lifelong fear of all arachnids, according to Today's Parent. However, it doesn't mean these fears have to last forever. Most phobias are very treatable with techniques such as talk therapy, exposure therapy, and sometimes medication, according to the Mayo Clinic. Read on to see how your childhood phobia might continue to affect your adult life as well, and remember that treatment is an option at any age.