Having fears and phobias to some things are innate part of human life.
Most of the time phobias and fears are considered to be interrelated to one another and sometimes considered as the same.
But actually phobias and fears are different into some aspects.
Fear is a normal human reaction when there is a threat of danger, evil, pain, and the like, most especially when one dismay to meet or experience the danger.
It is usually a response to a particular stimulus. For example, one person may experience fear or freeze when put face to face to a spider or snake.
While on the other hand, phobias are excessive fears of human beings. A Phobia is already considered as a disorder thus making it different from fear. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.
Phobias are the most common among the different types of anxiety disorders. Actually, they are the most common psychological disorder among women and second most common disorder among men (over 25 years old). According to research, 7.8% of American adults suffer from this disorder.
Is it only a fear or already a phobia?
Even though it is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous times, with phobias the danger is greatly overstated or anticipated. For example, it is only natural to be afraid of a scowling Bulldog, but it is unreasonable to freeze (because of fear) or be horrified of a friendly Chihuahua dog on a leash, as you might be if you have a Cynophobia or fear dogs or rabies.
Fears become alarming when they are continual and are already affecting harshly your daily functioning. When a fear reaches this level of intensity and this severe, it is often already considered as a phobia.
Specific Types of Phobias:
- Situational phobias. Situational phobias are fears triggered by a specific situation. Examples include fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of elevators, fear of flying, fear of dentists, fear of tunnels, fear of driving, and fear of bridges.
- Animal phobias. Animal phobias are fears caused by an insects or animals. Examples include fear of rodents, fear of snakes, fear of spiders, and fear of dogs.
- Natural environment phobias. Natural environment phobias are fears cued by objects found in nature. Examples include fear of storms, fear of water, fear of heights, and fear of the dark.
- Blood-Injection-Injury phobias. Blood-injection-injury phobia involves fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of shots or another medical procedure.
- Ablutophobia – Fear of washing and bathing.
- Achluophobia – Fear of darkness.
- Agoraphobia – Fear of experiencing a difficult or embarrassing situation from which the sufferer cannot escape.
- Arachnophobia – Fear of spiders.
- Atomosophobia – Fear of atomic explosions.
- Atychiphobia – Fear of failure.
- Aviophobia or Aviatophobia – Fear of flying.
- Bathophobia – Fear of depth.
- Batophobia – Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
- Belonephobia – Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
- Claustrophobia – Fear of enclosed or confined spaces.
- Cleithrophobia or Cleisiophobia – Fear of being locked in an enclosed place.
- Cynophobia – Fear of dogs or rabies
- Demophobia – Fear of crowds. (Agoraphobia)
- Eosophobia – Fear of dawn or daylight.
- Glossophobia – Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
- Hemophobia, Hemaphobia or Hematophobia – Fear of blood.
- Herpetophobia – Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things.
- Hoplophobia – Fear of firearms.
- Hypsiphobia – Fear of height.
- Nyctophobia – Fear of the darkness or of night.
- Phasmophobia – Fear of ghosts.
- Phobophobia – Fear of phobias.
- Scoleciphobia – Fear of worms.
- Snakephobia – Fear of snakes. (Ophidiophobia)
- Suriphobia – Fear of mice.
- Tachophobia – Fear of speed.
- Tonitrophobia – Fear of thunder.
Effective Treatments for Phobias
Most common treatments for Phobias are the following:
- Systematic desensitization or exposure therapy. It is the most used form of therapy for the treatment of phobias. It is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. In this therapy, you are exposed in a safe way to the object or condition you fear. For example, if you have a snake phobia, you would first imagine seeing a snake, then view photos of a snake, and finally look at a snake in real life. In this way you will be able to gradually get out of your fears.
- Medication is not usually used in treating phobias. However, benzodiazepines or beta-blockers are sometimes recommended. If taken before a session, these medications will help you relax enough to undergo exposure or systematic desensitization treatment.
- Other treatments include: hypnotherapy, group exposure therapy and virtual reality exposure therapy. These treatments could also be best in the treatment of phobias. These could lessen patients’ fears and phobias through exposure and modeling techniques.