NASRIN KAPADIA
By Nasrin Kapadia

B. A. Psychology

21 September 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Phobias
Table of Contents

With so many people sharing their experience with a phobia, it's not wrong to say that you are not alone. Nearly everyone feels a little anxious from time to time, and many people have a phobia of something; it's not a rare case. Though phobia disorder has a similar impact on mental health for most, the thing is that phobia differs from person to person.

Everyone has something they fear, but this fear isn't life-threatening for many individuals because they are mild and do not affect their quality of life. For in-depth information about phobia disorder, dive in.

What is a phobia?

A phobia is an excessive, unrealistic, and persistent afraidness of an object. Their response to what they are afraid of can range from trying hard not to be around it all to enduring great distress when in its presence.

Some people are scared of a wide variety of things. For example, some may only be afraid of spiders (arachnophobia) and not cats since they live fairly free from Anxiety by avoiding what they're petrified of in general.

Some phobias cause trouble at different places depending on how severe it is; however, for many, there's an area that makes them feel very uncomfortable, such like if they have an ailurophobia, then driving would probably make life difficult.

The person may need to alter their life drastically so they or they or can live with the phobia. This could mean changing jobs, locations, and routes for driving or going out. (Eaton, W.W., Bienvenu, O.J. and Miloyan, B., 2018)

Common phobias that affect most population

While many phobias are observed, some affect most of the population at higher rates.

Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia is a severe fear of spiders. It can be debilitating and interfere with your life if you're an arachnophobe, but there are ways for people who suffer from this condition to overcome their fears so they don't have to let them control everything in their world.

Ophidiophobia

I'm not sure why people get so worked up about snakes, but it sounds like you have a significant fear.

Mild Ophidiophobia is just a common phobia that anyone can relate to, and even kids will be able to show some signs before they grow out of them. But some might have fear which could lead to an increase in heart rate because it is life-threatening fear for some people.

Acrophobia

Acrophobia is an irrational or extreme fear of heights in most individuals, even if they are not that high. Once a person with this phobia reaches a specific size, they may experience a natural fear of falling from it.

People with acrophobia can experience a panic attack in places with height; they become so panicked that it becomes challenging to bring them down safely.

Aerophobia

For some, getting on a plane is like stepping into your death sentence. While others have no problem getting on board and flying as soon as they get tickets for their journey, another group finds themselves petrified at even thinking about air travel.

Aviophobics or Aerophobic individuals can suffer from intense fears related to traveling by airplane or simply being inside one after it takes off.

Cynophobia

Approximately one in ten people claim to be scared of dogs, and it's a prevalent phobia that can lead to more severe anxieties, such as social phobia disorder, if untreated for too long.

Many types of research have shown that psychotherapy or medication helps manage Cynophobia through cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. It allows patients to rationalize their fears so that their conditions won't worsen.

Are fear and phobia the same things?

Fears are a natural response to the feeling of danger and can motivate you to protect yourself. Phobia is uncontrolled Anxiety or fear related to specific objects or situations that seem like those situations, and things would be dangerous, but the reality isn't as bad.

For example, if you see a big hairy spider climbing on your wall or you are on a high ledge and probably feel shaky, you get scared in such situations, but this doesn't mean you are phobic to heights and spiders.

However, if you have a phobia, it's not like you're afraid of that particular situation. It means just thinking about those specific objects might scare you; that's the definition of phobia.

Phobia can start Anxiety because thinking of that fear at every stage could make one overthink and probably lead to Anxiety.

Fear can be expected, although the unpleasant response to both real and perceived threats. A specific phobia can be an overwhelming fear of situations or objects.

For example, if someone fears heights, they will do everything possible to avoid it because they know it's affecting their daily lives. (Fyer, A.J., Mannuzza, S., Gallops, M.S., Martin, L.Y., Aaronson, C., Gorman, J.M., Liebowitz, M.R. and Klein, D.F., 1990)

How to help your child overcome a phobia?

When a kid has a phobia, it's up to the parents to handle their child's situation. In such cases, all you need is special care, and parents could easily pamper their kids and teach them to overcome the phobia or Anxiety on their own gradually.

Ask your child to describe their fear.

It can be hard to pinpoint the source of childhood fear, but it's essential for parents and children alike to know what triggers them to understand what might help.

If you already know your child is afraid of lightning, you need to ask them questions to open up about their fear. Questions must be like, does lightning makes you scared? Or is it the light that flashes when thundering occurs?

You could find the real problem and the solution in such a way.

Help your child take small steps.

Parents often feel guilty when they avoid their child's trigger, but complete avoidance can reinforce the fear. Designate a time for your child to practice safely at home and ask them what would help with this goal in mind.

For example, if your child feels anxious on the first day of his new school, it's the parent's responsibility to go with your child and play with their classmates to make them comfortable in such situations.

Conclusion

Phobia is a general disorder that may occur at any age, or in some cases, it may stick in any individual from childhood.

You have to take proper medication and care after consulting an adequate psychiatrist. I hope you like this blog, as we have provided brief information about phobia and how to overcome your fear and Anxiety.

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