Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear about any circumstances, living creature, place, object or thing. Phobia can be genetic as well. Nowadays it is quite common that 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 a condition where the patient is worried about facing social situations like talking in front of an audience, ordering something at the restaurant or performing any task in front of people. It leads to self-isolation. It is a fear where the affected person will somehow be publically embarrassed.
‘Agoraphobia’, the word itself refers to “fear of open spaces”. It is the fear of open spaces, place or situation. It is the fear of being in large crowds or being locked outside. In some cases, this fear can become so pervasive and overwhelming that the individual often avoids social situations altogether and stays at home as the thought of leaving makes them feel unsafe.
3. Specific phobias
In such cases, a person may dislike certain objects or situations such as a fear of cockroaches, spiders, dogs, water, height, natural disasters etc. These kinds of phobias typically fall under one of four different categories such as situational, animal, medical or environmental.
This is a fear of heights. People who suffer from acrophobia, usually avoid mountains, bridges and higher floors of buildings, they even refuse certain means of transportation as well such as aeroplanes. 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 either pass out or lose consciousness.
Aquaphobia is specifically known as the fear of water. People suffering from aquaphobia are usually overcome by a fear of ocean, river or even a bathtub though they pose no imminent threat.
This is fear of tight, enclosed or small places. Claustrophobia could be related to dysfunction of the QAmygdala, 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 or experiencing turbulence while flying.
A Fear of germs is called mysophobia. In this case, the victim always thinks that there are germs all around them and they might come in contact with them, causing them to fall sick.
This phobia is the fear of blood or injury. The person who suffers from this phobia may become unconscious at the sight of blood or injury whether it is theirs or somebody else’s. They might feel shaky, dizzy or may lose control over their own body.
Nyctophobia is characterized by a severe fear of darkness. Being afraid of darkness often starts from childhood and is viewed as a normal part of development. Sudden darkness may lead them to experience anxiety or even depression.
It is the fear, hatred, discomfort or mistrust towards people who happen to be homosexual. Homophobia can take many different forms including negative attitudes and beliefs, aversion or even prejudice towards people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. It is often based on irrational fear and misunderstandings.
Feature Image Courtesy: Laura Lewis
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