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Fear & Phobias - How Can You Overcome Them?

Written and reviewed by
Ms. Ekta Singh 88% (401 ratings)
MA - Psychology, M-Phill Psychology, B.Ed, C.I.G, ECCE, B.A. Psychology
Psychologist, Ghaziabad  •  26 years experience
Fear & Phobias - How Can You Overcome Them?

Have you ever experienced spine-chilling terror, which in hindsight does not make any rational sense, from an object, place, or creature? If you have, then you suffer from a phobia. A phobia is basically an anxiety disorder that is triggered when you encounter specific things.

What you should know about phobias?

If you have a phobia of spiders, you will try to adapt your life in such a way that you avoid spiders. However, your fear for the object or creature is often greater than the actual threat that it poses. This is why phobias are deemed as diagnosable medical conditions. If you suffer from phobias, the trigger can cause you to experience a panic attack.

What are the different types of phobias?

Even though there are numerous kinds of phobias based on the trigger, doctors classify phobias broadly into three main types.

1. Specific Phobia - As the name suggests, specific phobia is any phobia that is caused due to the introduction of the trigger item or creature in your surroundings. This is the most common type of phobia in the world. However, specific phobias are easier to avoid, as you simply need to avoid the trigger for the phobia to lead a normal life.

2. Social Phobia - This is a great fear or anxiety of facing public humiliation. People with social phobia isolate themselves from the rest of the world to avoid social embarrassment. However, social phobia is not the same as shyness.

3. Agoraphobia - This is a kind of phobia where you feel trapped in a certain environment. If you suffer from agoraphobia, you will be afraid of most confined spaces, such as elevators and rooms without windows.

Factors that can cause phobias:

Phobias usually start in early childhood or during the teenage years. It is very rare for a new phobia to develop after a person reaches 30 years of age. Doctors believe that phobias may form due to a traumatic or frightening experience in life. Furthermore, you are more likely to experience phobias if one or more of your family members suffer from it as well.

• Specific phobias - Your phobia of snakes or cockroach may be chalked back to a frightening experience you had with such creatures.

• Complex phobias - Medical experts believe that complex phobias form due to a mixture of a traumatic event, genetics and the chemistry in your brain.

Is treating a phobia possible?

If you think you suffer from a phobia, you can seek medical help for it. A trained psychologist/psychiatrist will help you reduce the discomfort from your phobia. A mixture of behavioural therapy along with medication is useful in treating cases of phobia.

However, if you do not suffer from a complex phobia, such as agoraphobia or social anxiety, you can live a normal life by simply avoiding the source of your fears.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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