Phobias are one of the most common forms of general anxiety. Most people have a phobia of some kind whether it is spiders, heights or snakes but most people learn to either live with it or avoid the situations that cause their anxiety and it doesn’t usually radically effect their lives. Specific phobias are fears of specific situations or things.
A phobia is usually a general fear of something that could cause harm, a specific phobia is when a person has an irrational phobia about certain situations even when there is clearly no danger….And often they know that there is no danger.
Their fear is unreasonable and isn’t based on any rational thought but the feelings they experience are real fear. Their pulse races, their mind races.
Here are some common phobias:
- Small spaces
- Crowded spaces
- Fear of holes
- Public speaking
But phobias don’t necessarily have to be common things, people have phobias about all kinds of things. Here are some less common phobias:
- Fear of chickens
- Fear of women
- Fear of ducks
- Fear of buttons
- Fear of sleep
- Fear of buttons
- The fear of bananas
It really doesn’t matter what the phobia is, the reaction is usually the same. The site or mention of the object or situation causes severe anxiety and fear in the person, possibly leading to a panic attack.
A complex phobia is a phobia of something that you would consider an everyday situation. Social phobia is a complex phobia for example.
As with specific phobia, the physical symptoms that the person feels are real and not just in the mind. The heart races and the person sweats and starts to panic.
What causes phobia?
Its not clear why phobias develop. Sometimes they develop because of a previous experience. A bad experience that the person has had may cause a phobia. Someone who has fallen from a tree may develop a phobia of heights for example, or someone who has been bit by a dog may develop a phobia of dogs.
But sometimes phobias just occur without warning, either in childhood or as an adult.
How to cure phobia
Some phobias are never completely cured but most can be calmed. Most phobia cures rely on desensitizing the person to the thing that is causing the phobia. This is usually achieved by CBT and other talking therapies but there are self help methods.
You can gradually desensitize yourself by exposure to your phobia. By gradually increasing your exposure your reaction to the situation gradually becomes less extreme. This exposure therapy has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of phobias.
Another thing that you can do is called visualization. Visualization is when you combine breathing and relaxation techniques whilst imagining the situation that causes your anxiety. You would imagine every detail about the situation and then imagine how you were going to deal with it. Its kind of a dry run of your phobia situation.
Phobias can be overcome or you can learn to live with them. Like most anxiety, you have physical symptoms but your mind is the key to success.