• Saket Agarwal

Phobias

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

What are phobias?

If you have a phobia, you may experience a deep sense of dread or panic when you encounter the source of your fear. The fear can be of a certain place, situation, or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to something specific.

The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling.


People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships.


Causes

Genetic and environmental factors can cause phobias. Children who have a Distressing events, such as nearly drowning, can bring on a phobia. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal or insect bites can all be sources of phobias.

People with ongoing medical conditions or health concerns often have phobias. There’s a high incidence of people developing phobias after traumatic brain injuries. Substance abuse and depression are also connected to phobias.


Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a fear of places or situations that you can’t escape from. The word itself refers to “fear of open spaces.” People with agoraphobia fear being in large crowds or trapped outside the home. They often avoid social situations altogether and stay inside their homes.


Social phobia

Social phobia is also referred to as social anxiety disorder. It’s extreme worry about social situations and it can lead to self-isolation. A social phobia can be so severe that the simplest interactions, such as ordering at a restaurant or answering the telephone, can cause panic.


Other types of phobias

Many people dislike certain situations or objects, but to be a true phobia, the fear must interfere with daily life. Here are a few more of the most common ones:

  • Glossophobia: This is known as performance anxiety, or the fear of speaking in front of an audience. People with this phobia have severe physical symptoms when they even think about being in front of a group of people.

  • Acrophobia: This is the fear of heights. People with this phobia avoid mountains, bridges, or the higher floors of buildings.

  • Claustrophobia: This is a fear of enclosed or tight spaces. Severe claustrophobia can be especially disabling if it prevents you from riding in cars or elevators.

  • Aviophobia: This is also known as the fear of flying.

  • Dentophobia: Dentophobia is a fear of the dentist or dental procedures. This phobia generally develops after an unpleasant experience at a dentist’s office.

  • Hemophobia: This is a phobia of blood or injury. A person with hemophobia may faint when they come in contact with their own blood or another person’s blood.

  • Arachnophobia: This means fear of spiders.

  • Cynophobia: This is a fear of dogs.

  • Ophidiophobia: People with this phobia fear snakes.

  • Nyctophobia: This phobia is a fear of the nighttime or darkness. It almost always begins as a typical childhood fear. When it progresses past adolescence, it’s considered a phobia.




Overcoming phobias can be difficult, but there’s hope. With the right treatment, you can learn to manage your fears and lead a productive, fulfilling life.


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