Everyone can experience different types of fears and phobias throughout their lives. In fact, fear is a natural reaction to threatening and frightening situations that have a protective aspect for human beings. But if this fear becomes extreme, it is a mental disorder. Phobia is a pervasive and disturbing fear, stress, or anxiety caused by a stimulus that is not in itself fearful. People with phobias realize that their fears are irrational, but they cannot overcome them. In addition, unfortunately, this disorder severely impairs your individual and social functioning. It is the most common disorder among women and the second most common disorder among men. However, given the high prevalence of the disease, it is important to know about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of phobias.
Types of Phobias
Certain phobias come in many forms. A person may have several phobias at the same time, but there are generally five groups of phobias
In the animal phobia class, the stimuli that cause phobias are animals. Although a person doesn’t need to be in a real encounter with an animal. Seeing pictures or even imagining an animal with which a person has a phobia can also cause an anxiety reaction. 9 of the most common animal phobias include the following.
1) Fear of spiders
2) Fear of snakes
3) Fear of bees
4) Fear of the bird
5) Fear of mice
6) Fear of fish
7) Fear of dogs
8) Fear of beetles
9) Fear of cats
Natural Environment Phobias
In natural environment phobia, the sufferer is afraid of natural phenomena. The most common of these phobias include the following:
Fear of heights, storms, and lightning, and water.
Blood Phobia, Injection and Injury or (BII)
In blood phobia, which occurs in approximately 3 to 4% of the population, a person is afraid of seeing blood or any process that leads to seeing blood, such as injections, surgery, injuries, and so on. In the severe form of this phobia, a person avoids going to places where they are likely to see blood, such as a hospital. These people always tend to use pills and syrups and avoid injections to treat and improve their condition.
Phobia of Actions and Processes
In the phobia of actions and processes, the sufferer is afraid of certain actions and processes, the most famous of which we refer to.
Fear of having children, driving, flying or, childbirth and being in closed places such as elevators.
Fear of being in open and crowded places, public speaking, and social situations.
People with social anxiety disorder are afraid of social situations that may be humiliated, embarrassed, or judged by others. So these people are anxious to meet strangers. This fear may also occur in performing activities such as lectures, concerts, etc.
If this fear is generalized, the person will experience fear and anxiety when attending certain social situations, such as eating in public or using public health services and will avoid these situations as much as possible.
Social phobia seems to be more likely to occur in families where shy children are either lonely or have a history of unpleasant or negative social experiences in childhood.
Phobia of other objects and emotions can include the following:
Fear of failure, rejection, success, commitment in the relationship and the past and the future
Symptoms of Phobia
Feeling uncontrollable anxiety and too more than the situation: The person, despite the lack of danger, suffers from panic. For example, although it is possible for a dog to panic while barking, most people are not afraid of a calm dog.
Avoiding activities or situations that cause fear: Because people who are afraid are aware of their exaggerated fears, they often avoid those situations to avoid these symptoms.
Related physical symptoms may include:
Shortness of breath
Speak or inability to speak
High blood pressure
Hot flashes or chills
Dizziness or vertigo
Having a passion
Tingling of the body
Causes of phobia disorder
The main cause of phobia disorder is unknown. However, the following are some of the possible causes of this disorder:
Genetic factors: People with close relatives with anxiety disorders are at risk for developing phobias.
Painful events: Painful events such as drowning, falling from a height, etc. can contribute to the development of phobia disorder.
Treatments for various types of phobias
Phobias are a part of anxiety disorders that can cause major problems in your life and seriously disrupt your functioning life. Psychological therapies such as cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and relaxation or other relaxation techniques are very useful in treating phobias. With psychological counseling, you can talk about your phobia problem and get treatment advice without worrying about being judged or afraid of rejection. Note that phobias can interfere with your performance in a variety of areas, including education, employment, and personal relationships, so timely treatment and intervention is important.
The therapist helps the phobia person recognize the stimulus situation and examine his or her reaction to the situation. After recognizing the situation and examining their thoughts and feelings in times of panic, the therapist can train the person to control their feelings and thoughts
Also, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can help calm emotional and physical reactions to fear. It should be noted that often, the combination of medication and treatment is a more appropriate and useful option.
One of the methods used in behavior therapy is exposure therapy. This method can help the person change their response to the source of fear. People gradually face their frightening situation through a series of steps. For example, people who are afraid of flying can have the following steps in their treatment:
The first step is to Think about flying
As the second step, the therapist asks them to look at the pictures of the planes.
Then the person will go to the airport.
They practice more by sitting in the cockpit of a simulated aircraft.
Eventually, they board a real plane.