Phobias

Phobias

Phobias

Aphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by extreme and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, or creature (usually insects). A person does not need to have direct contact with the thing they’re afraid of to experience symptoms. Even thinking about it can bring on anxiety or panic symptoms. This is called anticipatory anxiety.

Symptoms of Phobias:

People who suffer from phobias can experience physical symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • “Churning” of the stomach
  • Palpitations (an awareness of their heart beating faster than usual)
  • Nausea

Types of Phobias:

Phobias can be broadly divided into two main groups:

  • Simple or specific phobias
  • Complex phobias

Simple or specific phobias

Simple or specific phobias usually show up during childhood or adolescence and may settle as they get older. Simple or specific phobias fixate on an object, creature, or situation.

  • Insect phobias — such as excessive fear of spiders or cockroaches
  • Environmental phobias — such as excessive fear of heights

Complex phobias

Complex phobias are more debilitating than simple or specific phobias, and they typically develop during adulthood. The two most common forms of complex phobias are agoraphobia — panic at the thought being helpless in any place other than home — and social phobia.

  • Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder and revolves around feeling anxious in social situations. People who suffer from social phobia might be afraid of public speaking out of fear of embarrassment and humiliation.

Treatment for Phobias:

The mainstay of treatment for phobias is psychotherapy using graded exposure techniques. Sedatives and beta blockers can be used in the short-term for specific situations such as public speaking or travelling by plane.

Phobia complications

If severe, a phobia can dictate a person’s life to the extent that they will go to great lengths to avoid the trigger that is causing them crippling anxiety.

Symptoms of Phobias:

People who suffer from phobias can experience physical symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • “Churning” of the stomach
  • Palpitations (an awareness of their heart beating faster than usual)
  • Nausea

Types of Phobias:

Phobias can be broadly divided into two main groups:

  • Simple or specific phobias
  • Complex phobias

Simple or specific phobias

Simple or specific phobias usually show up during childhood or adolescence and may settle as they get older. Simple or specific phobias fixate on an object, creature, or situation.

  • Insect phobias — such as excessive fear of spiders or cockroaches
  • Environmental phobias — such as excessive fear of heights

Complex phobias

Complex phobias are more debilitating than simple or specific phobias, and they typically develop during adulthood. The two most common forms of complex phobias are agoraphobia — panic at the thought being helpless in any place other than home — and social phobia.

  • Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder and revolves around feeling anxious in social situations. People who suffer from social phobia might be afraid of public speaking out of fear of embarrassment and humiliation.

Treatment for Phobias:

The mainstay of treatment for phobias is psychotherapy using graded exposure techniques. Sedatives and beta blockers can be used in the short-term for specific situations such as public speaking or travelling by plane.

Phobia complications

If severe, a phobia can dictate a person’s life to the extent that they will go to great lengths to avoid the trigger that is causing them crippling anxiety.

Source Mental Health America