Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear about a situation, living creature, place, object or thing. Phobia can be caused by some genetic effects too. Nowadays it is quite common. Many people suffer from different kinds of phobias. In some cases, the phobia may escalate into a full-scale anxiety attack.
1. Social Phobia
Social phobia is also referred to as ‘Social Anxiety disorder’. It is an extreme worry about facing social situations like talking in front of people, ordering something at the restaurant or performing any task in front of people. It can lead to self-isolation. Clearly, it is a fear that the affected person will somehow be publically embarrassed.
‘Agoraphobia’, the word itself refers to “fear of open spaces”. It is actually fear of open spaces or some place or situation. It is the fear of being in large crowds or being trapped outside the home. In some cases this fear can become so pervasive and overwhelming that the individual often avoids social situations altogether and stays inside their home, they might feel unsafe to leave their home.
3. Specific phobias
In this case, a person may dislike certain objects or situations such as fear of insects like cockroaches, spiders, dogs, water, height, natural disasters etc. These kinds of phobias typically fall into one of four different categories such as situational, animal, medical or environmental.
This is fear of heights. People who suffer this kind of phobia usually avoid mountains, bridges and higher floors of buildings, they even refuse some rides too. People with acrophobia feel a sense of panic when they are at a certain height and they often become incapable of trusting their sense of balance. Other symptoms can include shaking, sweating, dizziness, vertigo and nausea. They feel like they will pass out or lose consciousness.
Aquaphobia is specified as the fear of water. People suffer aquaphobia in many ways such as fear of the ocean, a river or even a bathtub though they pose no imminent threat.
This is fear of tight and enclosed or small places. Claustrophobia could be related to dysfunction of the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that controls how we process fear. Severe claustrophobia can be especially disabling if it prevents you from riding in cars or elevators. The phobia can also be caused by traumatic events such as being stuck in a tight or crowded space for an extended period of time or experiencing turbulence while flying.
Fear of germs is called mysophobia. In this case, the victim always thinks that everywhere is full of germs and they might attack them and that they shall fall sick.
This phobia is the fear of blood or injury. The person who suffers from this phobia may become unconscious when they see blood or injury no matter if it is their own or others. They might feel shaky, dizzy and may lose control of their own body.
Nyctophobia is characterized by a severe fear of darkness. Being afraid of darkness often starts in childhood and is viewed as a normal part of development. Sudden darkness can lead them to anxiety and depression.
It is the fear, hatred, discomfort with or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Homophobia can take many different forms including negative attitudes and beliefs or aversion to or prejudice against bisexual, lesbian and gay people. It is often based on irrational fear and misunderstanding.
Feature Image Courtesy: Laura Lewis
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