Phobias are one of the leading causes of mental illnesses in the United States of America. According to research, about 8% of people in the nation have some or the other sort of phobia. Also, it is believed that women are more prone to phobias as compared to men of the same age group.
You will experience a deep sense of dread or fear when you confront your source of concern. This fear can be related to any situation, place, or object. Phobias are not like the general psychological disorder, and often links to something particular.
People with phobias often realize that their sense of fear is unreasonable, but are helpless about it.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Phobias?
- A sense of unmanageable anxiety
- An urge to avoid your source of fear at all costs
- Unable to function appropriately, when exposed to the underlying cause of your fear
- A sense of realization that all of your fear is unreasonable, irrational, and exaggerated The feeling is often amalgamated with incapability to manage things
What Are The Symptoms Of Phobias?
Some of the symptoms common across many different types of phobias are listed below:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Abnormal breathing
- A choking sensation
- Pins and needles
- Butterflies in the stomach
- Dry mouth
- Chest pain or tenderness
- Mental confusion and disorientation
People having phobia often think about their source of fear and get a sense of anxiety. The parents of children having a phobia have reported that they usually cry and try to hide themselves behind something to get rid of their fear.
Phobias can be categorized into two main categories:
1. Specific Phobias
It is an unreasonable fear resulting due to the presence of a specific situation or object. It causes little to no danger and usually develops during childhood and vanishes away with the growing age of persons.
Some of the most common types of specific phobias include:
- Animal Phobia: Animal phobias are often termed as zoophobia. In this, a person experiences intense irrational fear when exposed to a particular animal.
- Environmental Phobia: Environmental phobias happen when a person gets involved in a specific natural event or situation. It includes some of the phobias like astraphobia and acrophobia.
- Situation Phobia: It is a fear that links to a specific situation. For example: visiting a dentist.
- Bodily Phobia: It happens due to an intrusive medical procedure or when you witness an accident or an injury.
2. Complex Phobias
Complex phobias affect much more than specific phobias and persist for several years. These phobias generally develop during adulthood and make entire life devastating. It associates with a deep-rooted fear about specific events or situations.
There are many types of complex phobias. Of which some of the most prevalent ones include social phobia and agoraphobia.
Let us discuss them in brief:
- Social Phobia: It is also called social anxiety disorder. In this, the person has an intense fear of attending social events and can lead to self-isolation.
Social phobia can be so severe that it makes some of the most straightforward interactions very difficult. For example, answering a phone call or ordering food in a restaurant seems very difficult and leaves you panicked.
People having social phobia tries their level best to avoid public situations.
- Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces. People with this kind of phobia generally fear being a part of large crowds. They usually avoid social events altogether and prefer staying inside home whatever the case may be.
When there is an unavoidable circumstance, and the people with agoraphobia need to attend some social situations, they can get a panic attack.
Also Read: Phobia - An Everlasting Fear
How Are Phobias Treated?
Anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants can help manage your feeling of fear to some extent. The doctor can prescribe you some medicines along with a professional therapy for optimum results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is one of the most popular treatment alternatives for phobias. In this treatment, you will be exposed to your source of fear in a well-monitored setting. Gradually, it will reduce your anxiety and improve the condition.
The therapy focuses mainly on determining and transforming negative thoughts, non-adaptive beliefs, and adverse reactions to the phobic state of affairs.
The latest CBT techniques make use of virtual reality to reveal people to their sources of fear without a hitch.
If you have some kind of phobia, seek medical assistance as it can worsen over time. With proper treatment, you would be able to manage the symptoms and sustain a productive and fulfilling life.
Is It Possible To Prevent Phobias?
Yes, you can prevent phobias by expanding knowledge of people on this particular type of illness. You can involve a child’s teacher or guardian as it is known to be very effective in reducing the risk of phobias.
People can consider the following tips.
- Desensitize yourself
- Try biofeedback
- Attend a support group
Tags: How to help someone with a phobia, How to remove phobia from the mind, How to overcome fear