A phobia refers to an irrational and an intensely uncontrolled fear of certain activities, items, individuals or animals. Those people who suffer from phobias typically experience anxiety attacks when the experience or are close to experiencing objects, situations or individuals that they usually hold a fear of. In many cases, these fears are a result of certain traumatic experiences, although certain forms of phobia can also come inherently to the victims. If these phobias are left untreated, it may cause a permanent or chronic damage on the physical and mental health of a person. Nearly 19% of the U.S. population is reported to be suffering from one or more forms of phobia. The paper below will discuss different forms and causes of phobia to inform and illustrate the significance of addressing this order.
Experts define phobia to be an unreasonable and an intense fear of particular objects, situations, people or activities. Moreover, those people who experience phobias are aware of the fact that their fear may be irrational but they are not able to remedy their situation. A person may have experienced a traumatic event or a situation they found scary or frightening and had later developed a phobia of it. There are various environmental and biological or genetic factors, however, that may influence one being prone to certain phobias and the onset thereof. For instance, earnings, gender and age are not causes of creating a phobia but are often seen to be a contributive factor. For instance, animal phobias are typically held by women, or social phobias are commonly held by people or children who hail from a lower socioeconomic status. Similarly, doctor or dentist phobias occur mostly with boys or adult men CITATION Ela12 \l 1033 (Chong & Hovanec, 2012). Those who experience phobias develop anxiety and demonstrate anxious behavior when confronted with these triggers.
To understand the concept of Phobias several explanations and theories have been put forth. These attempts were made to clearly define the concept of phobias with an aim to help with a standardized criterion to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of this severe issue. When it comes to the behavioral phenomena and its reasons and causes, different scientific departments dealing with psychological processes and mental disorders and health, all come up with mutually exclusive definitions. Functional concept recent developments in the field of neurology have helped a lot the scientists in understanding how human brain functions. Although not fully understood, different parts of brain can be attributed with most mental and bodily processes functions CITATION Lea05 \l 1033 (Winerman, 2005). Due to these studies and understandings, the issue of phobias can now be defined and understood in the neurological terms. Hormones have been made responsible for the individual’s involuntary responses, when suffering from issue of phobia induced anxiety. By far the most widely studied and extensive definition of this issue is the psychological and proximate concept. This concept digs in the human earning field in which individuals have to subconsciously or coherently receive a certain amount of experience or input to yield certain reaction or an output.
Phobias can be of two different types or forms, complex phobias and simple phobias. The simple occurs in the children with age group of 4 to 8 years, who go through any disturbing event during anytime in their childhood. This can be related to the leaning theory, according to which people learn to lessen their anxiety by escaping the fear rather than looking for different strategies they can use to deal with it. By the time, the small life issues are converted to intense fears. Another chance one can develop phobia if child witnesses any closed one of a member of family going through severe phobia. Experts emphasize those phobias, which parents transfer to their kids is not the one genetically inherited but it is due to learned fears. Different stressful events cause the complex phobias and can be discovered at any age. Although, thousands of phobias exist and most people do not get them
Among the different forms of phobias, social phobias involve having the fear of humiliation or public embarrassment in a public or crowded place. The person experiencing social phobia may find himself overly self-conscious about his actions and may hold that people are noticing his every move. The DSM-V: ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; classify those who experience social phobia as suffering from a particular social anxiety disorder in which they avoid interacting socially with other people, in particular unfamiliar people, especially in situations in which that individual has to perform a certain action in front of others or he may be observed drinking or eating CITATION Tho121 \l 1033 (Ollendick, Raishevich, Thompson E. Davis, Sirbu, & Öst, 2012). Another form of phobia is known as anthro-phobia which refers to the condition of having a fear of people. For such a patient, merely interacting with a person can lead to shyness or extreme stress. These people may irrationally believe that every person is there to judge them about each and everything that they do, from the way they talk to the way they form their sentences CITATION Mar061 \l 1033 (Antony, Craske, & Barlow, 2006). Social phobia and anthropophobia are similar disorders in the sense that many of the symptoms felt by people suffering from anthropophobia feel similar symptoms to that of anxiety. Additionally, a related phobia is agoraphobia that refers to a fear of a difficult or an embarrassing situation which a person seeks escape from. This form of phobia also occurs in situations where people are involved, and the person experiencing it develops a feeling of being trapped. Such a phobia may arise as a result of experiencing multiple panic attacks in a community setting or public place CITATION Myr17 \l 1033 (Rudaz, Ledermann, Margraf, Becker, & Craske, 2017). Most of these phobias lead towards similar effects which can include accelerated heart rate, sweating, panic attacks, shaking, or a feeling of dying or impending doom. Consequently, the person isolates him or herself from the people and the public.
The issue of phobias is of fundamental importance and a critical mental health issue to deal with. Nearly 10% of the U.S. population experience phobias in one form or the other according to the ‘National Institute of Mental Health’. Moreover, in the U.S. women are significantly more affected by different phobias than men, and is becoming a common mental disorder overall. For many social-phobia occurs in younger ages, typically around 13 year old adolescents. Overall, nearly 15 million adults in the U.S. in which 5.5% of the population is below the age of 18. The rising prevalence of these disorders and the subsequent complications which can arise from it requires that the public gain an adequate understanding of the matter and significant community efforts are put in to tackle this mental health issue.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Antony, M. M., Craske, M. G., & Barlow, D. H. (2006). Mastering Your Fears and Phobias (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chong, E. S., & Hovanec, E. M. (2012). Phobias (1st ed.). New York, NY: Rosen Publications.
Ollendick, T. H., Raishevich, N., Thompson E. Davis, I., Sirbu, C., & Öst, L.-G. (2012). Specific Phobia in Youth: Phenomenology and Psychological Characteristics. Behavior Therapy, 41(1), 133-141.
Rudaz, M., Ledermann, T., Margraf, J., Becker, E. S., & Craske, M. G. (2017). The moderating role of avoidance behavior on anxiety over time: Is there a difference between social anxiety disorder and specific phobia? PLOS One, 12(7), 1-14.
Winerman, L. (2005). Figuring out phobia. Retrieved January 13, 2019, from American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug05/figuring.aspx
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