An abnormal degree of anxiety and fear provoked by one situation or object, leading to excessive steps to avoid that object or situation.

Several people have a special panic, including a anxiety about dogs or heights, that’s Sometimes disturbing. Yet, a phobia goes much further than this, Fully being a constant panic or stress that interrupts standard life.

A phobia is a fear or nervousness which has been carried to extremes – we and the sufferer understand it is irrational. A man with a phobia has such a powerful desire to prevent contact with a dreaded object or situation it interferes with ordinary life. About 1 in 20 individuals has a phobia. Most phobias have their origins in youth and the difficulty typically grows in late childhood, adolescence or early adult life.

Being exposed to the issue of the phobia causes a panic response with crippling stress’, perspiration and a fast pulse. Even though conscious this extreme fear is irrational, a person with a phobia still feels stress that can be relieved only by preventing the dreaded object or scenario. The demand to do this may Interrupt routines and restrict the man’s ability to get involved in day to day tasks.

Types of Phobia

Phobias take a variety of kinds, but they can be generally split into two kinds: simple and complicated phobias.

Simple Phobias

Phobias that are unique to just one thing, situation or task, for example a anxiety about spiders, heights or air travel, are named simple phobias. As an example, claustrophobia, a fear of enclosed spaces, is a simple phobia.

Another example is a anxiety about blood, which is a standard simple phobia that affects more men than women.

Complicated Phobias

These phobias are more complex and have quite a few part anxieties. Agoraphobia is an example of a sophisticated phobia that includes multiple stresses. These anxieties may contain being alone in an open space or being immobilized in a public area free of way out to security. The type of scenarios that evoke agoraphobic stress contain riding on public transport, using elevators and seeing busy stores. Strategies to prevent these circumstances may disturb work and social life, and a man with acute agoraphobia may finally become housebound. . Agoraphobia may sometimes develop in middle age and is more common in girls.

Social phobias, like excessive shyness, are additionally classified as complicated Phobias. Individuals with social phobias have an overwhelming fear of embarrassing themselves or of being humiliated in front of others in social situations, including when they’re eating or talking in public.

Acrophobia – fear of heights
Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces
Ailurophobia – fear of cats
Anthrophobia – fear of people
Aquaphobia – fear of water
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Brontophobia – fear of thunder
Claustrophobia — fear of enclosure
Cynophobia – fear of dogs
Equinophobia – fear of horses
Microphobia – fear of germs
Murophobia – fear of mice
Mysophobia – fear of dirt
Ophidiophobia – fear of snakes
Pterophobia – fear of flying
Pyrophobia – fear of fire
Thanatophobia – fear of death
Triskaidekaphobia – fear of number 13
Xenophobia – fear of strangers
Zoophobia – fear of animals

Causes of Phobias

Mild phobias arc common but about one in a hundred people has a phobia serious enough to cause them significant anxiety. There is no one agreed cause but there are some theories.

Frequently, no explanation are available for a phobia. Nevertheless, sometimes a simple phobia may be tracked to an encounter before in life. As an example, being trapped briefly in a confined enclosed space during youthmay cause claustrophobia in later life. Simple phobias seem to run in families, but this is believed to be because kids often learn their anxieties from a family member with a similar phobia.

Complex phobias, including agoraphobia, occasionally grow after an unexplained panic attack. Many people remember a nerve-racking scenario as the cause for their symptoms and then become conditioned to be concerned in these circumstances. Most social phobias also start with a sudden episode of extreme stress in a social situation, which subsequently becomes the primary focus of the phobia. Someone who’s lacking in self esteem is also more likely to develop agoraphobia or a social phobia.

Certain things are common subjects of phobias: spiders, heights and by extension a fear of flying, and fear of open or crowded spaces. One theory is that these phobias derive from our prehistoric forebears, for whom poisonous insects were a real hazard; heights carried the risk of falling and open or crowded spaces the risk of being some other animal’s lunch.

The psychological theory is that a phobia is a conditioned reflex. Through pure chance something provoked an episode of severe fear and thereafter the thing and the emotion it caused have become firmly entwined. A large friendly dog jumping up and scaring a toddler, for example, can become the source of a lifelong phobia of dogs. This theory has been extremely useful in planning treatment. Psychoanalytic theories, on the other hand, view objects of phobia as symbolic, stirring deeply buried emotions. Thus fear of open spaces is a
mourning for loss of the womb and the mother: and the fear of snakes is a fear of male sexuality. Although thought provoking, such interpretations have not led to successful treatment.

Symptoms of Phobias

The prime symptom is anxiety at the sight or thought of the feared thing. For arachnophobes the mere thought, let alone sight, of a spider is enough to set them sweating and their heart racing. Severe phobias dominate one’s life, turning it into a constant enterprise, for example, to root out spiders and to avoid anywhere that spiders might lurk. Clearly, such phobias become personally destructive.

Mild phobias can often be laughed off by people whose mental health is otherwise good. Severe phobias are socially disabling; the more bizarre they are, for example a fear of electricity leaking out of plugs, the more they might be symptomatic of other problems like alcoholism or schizophrenia.

Vulnerability to or just contemplating the thing, creature or scenario that creates the phobia results in extreme stress accompanied by.

  • dizziness and feeling light-headed
  • palpitations (awareness of an abnormally fast pulse)
  • perspiration, trembling and nausea
  • shortness of breath.

A variable that’s common to every phobia is avoidance. Tasks may become thus restricted due to anxiety of unexpectedly falling upon the issue of the phobia that sufferers become housebound and depressed. Occasionally, a man with a phobia tries to calm anxiety by drinking too much or abusing drugs.

What Might Be Done?

If you’ve got a phobia that interferes with your life, you should seek treatment. Many simple phobias can be treated efficiently using a type of behavior therapy, including desensitization. During treatment, a therapist gives support when you are safely and slowly exposed to the thing or position that you just worry. Necessarily, you are going to experience some stress, but exposure is constantly kept within bearable limits.

Members of your family may be given guidance on the best way to allow you to manage with your phobic behavior. If you’ve got symptoms of depression, your physician may prescribe antidepressant drugs.

Self-help

Some research has provided evidence for that people that suffer phobias experience similar symptoms to people who have low blood sugar. Ensuring blood sugar levels stay constant may help prevent episodes.

■ Have many small meals over the day.

■ Eat complex carbs (potatoes, wholegrain breads and cereals, rice and pasta); prevent simple carbs (sugar, sweets, cakes and biscuits).

■ Keep a bite with you at all times – nuts and fresh or dried fruit are greatest.

Treatment of Phobias

Mild phobias respond to sympathetic support plus sometimes a mild sedative, as experienced by those whose slight phobia of flying is overcome by encouragement and a glass of wine. Certain antidepressants help relieve severe phobias.

Severe phobias are also successfully treated using desensitization techniques. With spiders, for example, arachnophobes first visualize one until they can cope with the emotion. They move on to looking at pictures of spiders, then observe real spiders in glass tanks and perhaps eventually handle one.

This slow process uncouples the anxiety from the object by the process of deconditioning and is now the preferred treatment for most phobias. There will be cases resistant to even this, for whom sedatives are the only answer. Any underlying mental illness of course needs treatment, too.

Complementary Treatment

Bach flower remedies – mimulus for known fears, aspen for inexplicable fears, rock rose for absolute terror, cherry plum for a fear of losing control and crab apple for a phobia relating to cleanliness. Hypnotherapy is also excellent for changing unwanted patterns of behaviour. Autogenic training is self-administered psychotherapy which can help. Ayurveda might include panchakarma detoxification, meditation and marma therapy. Other therapies to try: homeopathy; healing; Alexander Technique.

What’s The Prognosis?

A simple phobia frequently solves itself as somebody gets old. Nevertheless, complicated phobias, like social phobias and agoraphobia, have a tendency to remain unless they can be treated. More than 9 in 10 individuals with agoraphobia are treated successfully with desensitization treatment.

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