Mental health is a niche I like to delve in especially in topics I can really relate to. It sort of helps to tell my side of things
Fear. This very thing exists in every person right from when one is a baby. It is proven that babies have two fears; the fear of falling and of loud sounds.
As one grows and discovers more things, the more they fear. While some eventually grow out of these fears, some stick with us for life.
It is also seen that childhood experiences can also influence what fears stick with people
Fear is also a very factor we see being exploited over and over in horror movies. After all if it has no element or action that make your skin tickle, make you feel uneasy or even make you watch your back, the word ‘horror’ might as well be removed from the movie genre
There are common fears such as fear of heights which is probably an advanced fear of falling and weird fears like fear of technology.
Whatever they are, we are about to explore them
Phobias are an irrational fear of something that is unlikely to cause harm. It is more of an anxiety disorder defined by an excessive fear of a situation or an object.
It is a phenomenon that causes panic for victim on encounter of phobia and is usually present for more than six months.
The word itself is from the Greek word, phobos which means horror or fear.
Phobias and Fears
While Phobias can also be seen as a fear, the two terms do not mean the same thing.
Phobias are seen more as an illness with symptoms such as nausea, trembling, panic attacks, rapid heartbeat as well as freezing at the spot.
Fears are more like emotions experienced due to threats of danger or pain.
Women are seen to be more at risk of experiencing phobias than men
Forms of Phobia
There are two basic forms of phobia; Innate and Learned.
While innate fears is either present since birth or expressed based on response to environmental stimuli such as public hysteria, environmental predators such as snakes or spiders
Learned fears are however imbibed or acquired through direct experience with a threat or even through social means whereby the people around you tell you all the reasons to fear a thing because they fear it too.
Types of Phobias
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), phobias are categorized into three; Social phobias, Agoraphobia and Specific Phobias
- Social phobias are fears related to public or social situations such as fear of public speaking, meeting new people, performing in public
- Agoraphobia is the fear of being outside or being in a situation where help would be hard to find. An example is the fear of leaving home alone, crowds, open spaces such as parking lots or even the fear of public transport
- Specific phobias on the other hand is the fear of particular objects or situations such as fear of snakes, dogs, needles or even the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
Facts About Phobias
- Phobia and fear is not the same thing
- Phobias are a common type of anxiety disorder
- Phobias are more likely to be found in those with a mental condition such as schizophrenia
- There are over 400 phobias in the world, many you may not have heard of before and some you probably never thought existed
- Some phobias sound strange compared to others. Some even look completely made up
- Phobias keep coming up as time goes on which means even the phobias present now will be added to in coming years such as fear of technology or not having your mobile phone on you
- Phobias can be acquired through DNA, passed down from generation to generation. Either from a far ancestor or even your parents; in the case of parents passing it to children, it may not be a case of DNA but of them projecting fears onto the child making him/her wary of such situations or objects
- Phobias can be treated with the right professional and approach
- People with phobias may also experience issues with addiction and substance abuse
- 3% of the world’s population is affected by one phobia or another
- Phobias can develop from early childhood memories that are forgotten until it is triggered by a similar situation
- The number 1 phobia in the world is the fear of spiders (Arachnophobia)
- Phobias can negatively influence a person’s way of life as they tend to avoid anything and everything that would set off their fear, thereby missing out on important moments
- One phobia can be known with different names