What Is Phobia?


Phobia means fear [from Greek], or its an intense fear of anxiety that occurs only in a particular situation that frightens. For example, if you have a phobia of snake (as millions of people do), you only feel anxious when there's a snake around, otherwise you feel fine.

Phobias make people avoid situations they know will make them anxious, but unfortunately this can make the phobia worse. A person's life can become increasingly dominated by the precautions they take to avoid a situation they fear. You may know there's no real danger and you may feel embarrassed by your fear, but you're still unable to control it. It's better to confront your fears, even if it's in a very careful way or with the help of a trained therapist.

There are three categories of phobia, which is:
1. Social Phobia
This kind of phobia fears involving other people or social situations such as performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment by scrutiny of others, such as eating in public. Overcoming social phobia is often very difficult without the help of therapy or support groups.

2. Specific Phobia
This phobia fear of a single specific panic trigger such as spiders, snakes, dogs, water, heights, flying, etc. And yeah, there's so many people have these fears.

3. Agoraphobia
It's a generalized fear of leaving home or the one that he/she called 'safe' area, and of possible panic attacks that might follow. May also be caused by various specific phobias such as fear of open spaces, social embarrassment (social agoraphobia), fear of contamination (fear of germs, possibly complicated by obsessive-compulsive disorder) or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) related to a trauma that occurred out of doors.

Then how do we treat this kind of things? Most of them will use:
1. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or a 'talking treatment' where you learn all about the thing or situation you are scared of and how to change your behaviour and this method has a high success rate in phobias.

2. Hypnotherapy coupled with Neuro-linguistic programming, it used to help remove the associations that trigger a phobic reaction. However, lack of research and scientific testing compromises its status as an effective treatment.

PS: treatment options are not mutually exclusive. Often a therapist will suggest multiple treatments.

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