A phobia is a fear that is caused by a specific object or situation. The fear can be caused by the actual presence or by the anticipation of the presence of that object or situation. Anxiety, triggered by the fear, can approach the intensity of panic.
Some of the most common phobias are:
- Achluophobia (fear of being in darkness)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or leaving home)
- Claustrophobia (fear or being in closed spaces)
- Demophobia (fear of being in crowded places)
- Mysophobia (fear of germs or dirt)
- Social phobia (fear or being around unfamiliar people in social situations)
- Xenophobia (fear of strangers).
Phobia is an emotional or a mental disorder that is often caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. These factors involve emotional trauma, disturbances and unpleasant situations.
Signs & Symptoms
- Feeling of panic, dread, horror or terror.
- Recognition that the fear goes beyond normal boundaries and the actual threat or danger.
- Reactions that is automatic and uncontrollable, practically taking over the person’s thoughts.
- Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling and an overwhelming desire to flee the situation.
The treatment of phobias usually focuses on behaviour therapy. In the safety of the therapeutic situation, people with phobias are gradually introduced into the situation that they fear. Medication is sometimes prescribed for people with phobias to help them control their anxiety.