Fighting Fear: The 7-Billion-Dollar Price Tag

And how much do we spend to overcome it?

Survey reveals big money goes into overcoming our fears

September 22, 2016: Approximately 34.2 million Americans have a phobia, and every year they collectively spend more than $7 billion to overcome these fears with various treatments, according to a recent survey by, a rapidly growing savings website.

The survey asked 1,000 random people across the country how much money they spent in the last 12 months on the treatment of their fears. 29.2 percent of respondents reported spending between $101 and $1,000. 18 percent said that they spend at least $1,001.

That is an estimated $7.09 billion after factoring in the phobic population.

Most Popular Fear Treatments

The vast majority of respondents reported using several treatment methods for their phobias. However, the number one method was self-help.

More than 33.2 percent stated that they self-educate to combat their fears, while only 15.8 percent sought professional help, including exposure therapy, hypnotherapy and virtual reality therapy.

24.3 percent of respondents reported using independent exposure therapy. 20 percent reported using books, and 12.8 percent reported using videos.

Purchasing out of Fear

The cost of treatment is not the only financial impact that fears have on people. Survey respondents also reported that their fears forced them to make certain purchases. The most common was pest control services, which was reported by 22 percent of all respondents.

Among men, the number one purchase was insurance (18 percent). And among women, it was cleaning products (28 percent).

Other Effects of Fear

Our fears don’t only affect us financially, but in many other aspects of our lives as well.

According to the survey, 13.4 percent of respondents reported losing a job due to their fear, and 6.1 percent gave up a promotion. A staggering 19.2 percent lost a relationship.

The number one reported effect of fear is the loss of confidence (40 percent), followed by self-esteem (35 percent) and a normal life (26 percent).

What Are Our Greatest Fears?

The number one fear in America is not the fear of spiders or the fear of clowns.

It’s the fear of personal failure. These include financial loss, unemployment and being alone. 31 percent of respondents reported having a fear in this category.

30.2 percent said their fear had to do with insects. 29.4 percent have a personal anxiety such as fear of clowns, heights and flying. 25.5 percent have a fear of reptiles, and 25.3 percent have a fear of social situations, such as sex, relationships and public speaking.

The top fear among both women and 18- to 34-year-olds was the fear of insects.

The Halloween Effect

An interesting fact revealed by’s research unrelated to the survey reponses is that the number of google searches that include the words “fear” and “phobia” normally reach their apex around the end of October each year.

Right before Halloween.

For more details on the fear survey, check out the infographic here:And the cost of overcoming them


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Steve Cuffari

Steve is a writer, researcher and avid traveler from NYC. His favorite products to save money on are travel, food and beverage and tech gear. If you have any questions or suggestions, just email him:

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