A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger.
The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.
When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. Phobias are among several anxiety disorders, which also include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Some phobias such as arachnophobia and ophidiophobia however, may arise more easily due to an evolutionary trait that conditioned humans to fear certain creatures that could cause them harm.
Phobias are extremely common.
Sometimes they start in childhood for no apparent reason; sometimes they emerge after a traumatic event; and sometimes the develop from an attempt to make sense of an unexpected and intense anxiety or panic.
There are three classes of phobias:
- social phobia
- specific phobia
The most common kind is social phobia.
A social phobia can make someone feel scared of being embarrassed in front of other people.
Phobia is also used in a non-medical sense for aversions of all sorts.
These terms are usually constructed with the suffix -phobia. If someone does not take steps to overcome a phobia, it can last for years, and can cause considerable disruption to daily life.
Brain chemicals, genetics and traumatic experiences also appear to influence the development of phobias.
A phobia is not a psychosis.
When someone is diagnosed with a psychosis, such as schizophrenia, they may have hallucinations and delusions, which are experiences that other people don’t share because they can’t hear or see them. The best treatment for phobia is a psychological treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy.
Causes of Phobias
The common causes and risk factor’s of Phobias:
- Both genetic and environmental factors.
- Fear of watching some scary movies in TV.
- Observing fearful reactions by others.
- Imagining some dangerous situations that never happens in real time.
Symptoms of Phobias
Some sign and symptom related to Phobias are as follows:
- Feeling faint.
- A choking sensation.
- Fast breathing (hyperventilation).
- Numbness or tingling sensations.
- Trembling or shaking.
Treatment of Phobias
- The most frequently used form of therapy for the treatment of specific phobias is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called systematic desensitization or exposure therapy.
- Another type of exposure therapy called participant modeling is also helpful. In participant modeling, the therapist models healthy ways of interacting with the object you fear.
- Hypnotherapy for specific phobias consists of systematic desensitization and other therapeutic techniques conducted under hypnosis by a clinical hypnotherapist.
- Virtual reality exposure therapy may be uded in some cases.