Types Of Phobias
Humans have an innate fear of a wide range of things. It is classified as a phobia if it is persistently extreme, interferes with our daily lives, and lasts for longer than a month. Phobias are typically linked to a specific item. When the incident or object resurfaces, the individual may experience intense fear in response.
Some people are unaware of the cause and effect, prompting the individual to behave strangely. Unfortunately, this behavior hurts many aspects of their lives (work, school, and personal relationships).
Most individuals suffering from phobias avoid situations around what will trigger its appearance. Instead, there is an imaginary threat created in their mind; this threat is often more significant than the actual threat that suggests the danger which can lead to a panic attack.
What is a phobia
A phobia is a diagnosable anxiety condition that causes an out-of-control fear of a specific circumstance or object.
A phobia can be categorized into two categories: a never-ending and extreme fear about objects and situations. Phobias often cause rapid anxiety that can last up to six months.
Who are those affected by phobias?
The statistics of people who have a phobia are thought to be about 19 million, given that most phobias are under-reported. Phobias begin from the age of 1 to 15; women tend to develop phobias more than men.
The Americans Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes the three most common types of phobias: specific, social, and agoraphobia.
Specific phobia: A extreme, illogical dread of a single item, scenario, or location is known as a particular phobia. They aren’t linked to a specific cause. Thus they don’t have much of an impact on people’s daily lives, such as a fear of snakes.
Social phobia: The dread of public speaking, being singled out, meeting new people, or being in a social atmosphere, in general, is known as social phobia or social anxiety. Shyness and timidity are not usually synonymous. Individuals are fearful of being criticized or embarrassed by others in this situation.
Agoraphobia: is a panic disorder in which you fear and avoid situations or locations that make you feel bound, helpless, or embarrassed. For example, you’re afraid of real or imagined social situations, like taking the bus, being in open or limited spaces, waiting in a line, or being in a crowd.
This fear arises from the thought that there will be no easy way to leave or seek help if the anxiety grows. They have a hard time being at ease in comfortable public areas. A person with agoraphobia is rarely likely to leave their home in extreme circumstances.
How the brain works during a phobia
Given that pain is suppressed and remembered by a section of the brain. When a person is confronted with a situation or scenario that triggers his phobia, the fear-processing area of the brain continually retrieves the frightening experience, causing the body to produce extreme and persistent fear.
It is because phobias are linked to the amygdala, which lies at the back of the pituitary gland in the brain; they activate the release of fight-or-flight hormones. Just by thinking of the dreadful situation, these hormones constantly keep the body alert and panicking.
A phobia is known to become diagnosable when a person begins organizing their lives around avoiding the cause of their fear. It is more severe than a normal fear reaction.
Symptoms of Phobias
When a person is exposed to the source of fear, a fear attack occurs, resulting in an out-of-control feeling of worry. This experience makes you feel as if the source of your dread must be avoided at all costs, that you are unable to carry out your responsibilities, and that you are having a reaction to the trigger.
Any individual with a phobia will experience the following symptoms that cut across most phobias.
Below are several physical effects of this sensation:
- Sweating, abnormally, and an unexpected heartbeat race.
- Shivering, racing or pounding heart, chest pains or tightness.
- Difficulty in breathing, dizziness, Sudden dryness of the mouth.
- The individual becomes confused and disoriented.
- The urge to leave that place or situation as quickly as possible.
- An inappropriate fear of losing control and a crazy feeling of detachment.
The 12 common phobias
- Claustrophobia: The Fear of being in constricted confined spaces
- Aerophobia: The fear of flying.
- Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders.
- Driving phobia: Fear of driving a car.
- Emetophobia: Fear of vomiting.
- Erythrophobia: Fear of blushing.
- Hypochondria: Fear of becoming ill.
- Zoophobia: Fear of animals
- Aquaphobia: Fear of water.
- Acrophobia: Fear of heights, Blood, injury, and injection (BII) phobia:
- Escalaphobia: Fear of escalators.
- Tunnel phobia: Fear of Tunnels.
It’s important to remember that anything might trigger a phobia, depending on an individual’s personality or how society evolves; different phobias are discovered every day.
Causes of phobia
Life experiences, including past trauma, learned behavior or environmental impact, stress, and hereditary variables, are only a few factors that can lead to a phobia.
Epidemiology of a phobia
According to the world mental health survey, the cross-national prevalence rate of definite phobia is 7 percent, while a year prevalence averaged 5.5%. In addition, it is more prevalent in females (9.8%) than males (7.7%).
The Phobia rate is more skewed towards the advanced nations than the lower-income nations. The median age of onset was reported as eight years.
One way to start overcoming your phobia is to recognize the sort of fear you have. You can then seek the appropriate treatment after knowing what type of phobia you have. This treatment can be found in the following places:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely utilized antidote for phobias is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It entails being exposed to the source of fear in a safe environment. This treatment can help patients decondition and feel less anxious. It involves being exposed to the source of anxiety in a secure environment.
The therapy aims to identify and modify harmful ideas, dysfunctional beliefs, and negative emotions in response to the phobic situation. In addition, virtual reality technology is being employed in novel CBT approaches to safely expose patients to the roots of their phobias, resulting in a reduction in all phobic symptoms.
- Behavioral therapy
Desensitization therapy, often known as exposure therapy, is a technique for treating people who are hypersensitive to specific things or situations and is an example of behavioral therapy; this aids phobia patients in altering their responses to the source of their anxiety. But, again, they are usually done with the guidance of a specialist.
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help lessen emotional and physical reactions to fear. However, a mix of drugs and professional therapy is frequently the most successful treatment. The following are a few examples of these medications.
Beta-blockers: This can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are routinely recommended for individuals with phobias. They affect serotonin levels in the brain, leading to better moods.
It has also been discovered that taking a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), such as clomipramine or Anafranil, can help with phobia symptoms.
Benzodiazepines are a type of sedative taken to treat phobias. In addition, they help in alleviating anxiety symptoms.
Phobia is a disorder that is common in today’s culture. However, this illness can be managed with the appropriate therapy and medicine. The initial stage will be to determine the type of phobia, after which you will seek assistance to alleviate or eliminate the phobia and its repercussions.