A phobia (from the Greek word, phóbos, “fear”), or morbid fear’, is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people which pose little or no actual danger. The main symptom of this anxiety disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. Some of the more common specific phobias are centered around:
o Closed-in places
o Highway driving
o Injuries involving blood
Such phobias aren’t just extreme fear; they are irrational fear of a particular thing. You may be able to ski the world’s tallest mountains with ease but be unable to go above the 5th floor of an office building. While adults with phobias realize that these fears are irrational, they often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared object or situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety.
Specific phobias affect an estimated 19.2 million adult Americans and are twice as common in women as men. They usually appear in childhood or adolescence and tend to persist into adulthood. The causes of specific phobias are not well understood, but there is some evidence that the tendency to develop them may run in families.
It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events and internal predispositions. Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time. It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combined with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of anxiety disorders, phobias and panic attacks.
If the feared situation or feared object is easy to avoid, people with specific phobias may not seek help; but if avoidance interferes with their careers or their personal lives, it can become disabling and treatment is usually pursued.
Specific phobias respond very well to carefully targeted psychotherapy. Most psychologists and psychiatrists classify most phobias into three categories:
o Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder – fears involving other people or social situations such as performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment by scrutiny of others, such as eating in public. Social phobia may be further subdivided into:
o Generalized social phobia
o Specific social phobia, which are cases of anxiety triggered only in specific situations. The symptoms may extend to psychosomatic manifestation of physical problems. For example, sufferers of paruresis find it difficult or impossible to urinate in reduced levels of privacy. This goes far beyond mere preference: when the condition triggers, the person physically cannot empty their bladder.
o Specific phobias – fear of a single specific panic trigger such as spiders, snakes, dogs, elevators, water, waves, flying, balloons, catching a specific illness, etc.
o Agoraphobia – a generalized fear of leaving home or a small familiar ‘safe’ area, and of possible panic attacks that might follow.
Some therapists use virtual reality or imagery exercise to desensitize patients to the feared entity. These are parts of systematic desensitization therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be beneficial. Cognitive behavioral therapy lets the patient understand the cycle of negative thought patterns, and ways to change these thought patterns. CBT may be conducted in a group setting. Gradual desensitization treatment and CBT are often successful, provided the patient is willing to endure some discomfort and to make a continuous effort over a long period of time.
Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications can be of assistance in many cases. Benzodiazepines could be prescribed for ONLY short-term use. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive!
Rapid Resolution Therapy is a new, innovative method of releasing all types anxiety quickly, painlessly and permanently. Rapid Resolution Therapy removes the unconscious conflicts which cause anxiety and block your desired conscious change. Immediately, self-defeating and self-destructive behavior disappears. Your mind becomes clearer, more focused and you feel a new anxiety-free freedom!
Anxiety, panic and phobias often just show up for no apparent reason. Your mind unconsciously (and totally out of your awareness) perceives some threats to be uncontrollable or unavoidable, thereby triggering the anxiety sensation.
Often times, people who’ve suffer from anxiety and phobias have had trauma in their past. With Rapid Resolution Therapy you are no longer required to relive the past or feel the pain from any of these traumatic events. Rapid Resolution Therapy helps you painlessly get complete from all past trauma.
Rapid Resolution Therapy clients realize fully and thoroughly in every facet of their minds that these experiences are finished and gone. Anxiety and the problem anger that sometimes accompanies the anxiety is now replaced with energy and peace. Old self-destructive behavioral patterns are dissolved for good!
How many different phobias are there? Here’s a sample: