Fears are a regular occurrence in a person’s everyday existence. A phobia, on the other hand, is more than just dread of something. Once a person begins to organize their life around avoiding the dreaded object – whether it is a specific animal or insect or a certain location or circumstance – the condition progresses rapidly and can become life-threatening. Panic attacks, or phobias, are classified as anxiety disorders in psychiatric terminology. Anxiety and panic are enhanced when confronted with the dreaded item, and coming face to face with the feared object might result in greater anxiety and frequent episodes of panic.
When the phobia is associated with an animal or bug, such as a snake or a cockroach, it is not encountered on a daily basis and does not have a substantial impact on the functioning of one’s day-to-day life.
However, for people who suffer from phobias that prevent them from venturing out into open areas (agoraphobia) or from being in enclosed locations such as elevators (claustrophobia), their ability to lead a normal life might be severely restricted.
Causes of phobias
The majority of phobias begin in childhood and are frequently handed down from one generation to the next. The primary etiology of phobias, on the other hand, is yet unclear. The following are some of the most common causes of phobias:
1. A traumatic event in which the object of dread is present.
2. Having a panic attack in a specific setting or in the vicinity of a specific object.
3. The act of witnessing another person being injured by a certain action or thing.
4. Hearing a terrible story concerning a certain activity or object is an unforgettable experience.
It is normal for people to have phobias and anxieties, and they are often justified. If, on the other hand, your worries begin to interfere with your everyday activities, you should seek medical attention. For example, a fear of driving on the freeway should not be so great that it prevents a person from traveling to and from work or school every day.
Individuals suffering from phobias have varying reactions to them. Among the signs and symptoms of anxiety are:
1. Excessive exhalation (hyperventilation)
2. Palpitations and fast heartbeats are two of the most common symptoms.
3. Feelings of being choked
6. Muscle tension and discomfort
9. Having dizziness or fainting spells
Other signs and symptoms include feeling concerned and nervous, being fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, being irritable, and sleeping less than usual.
Phobias are classified into several categories.
Phobias are divided into two categories: simple phobias and complex phobias.
The most common types of simple phobias are those that are associated with specific items or animals, circumstances, or activities. Examples include dog bites and spiders, as well as the dread of flying, dental visits, needles, and other similar things. Rare people experience moderate anxiety when presented with the object of their fear, and in some cases, this may emerge as a full-blown panic attack, with serious consequences for the individual who experiences it.
In addition, complex phobias are more difficult to deal with because they are frequently associated with deep-seated fear or anxiety. These include agoraphobia (the dread of being in places where escape is impossible, such as a shopping mall, public transportation, or a social situation) and social phobia (the fear of being in social situations) (fear of interacting with people). People who suffer from social phobia are paralyzed by the fear of appearing foolish in front of others.
Treatment of phobias
It is possible to successfully treat and cure phobias regardless of their complexity or intensity. Those suffering from mild phobias may be progressively introduced to the object of their anxiety. Desensitization or self-exposure therapy are terms used to describe this process.
Those who suffer from complex phobias, on the other hand, will require extensive counseling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other treatments over an extended period of time in order to be rid of their anxieties.
When it comes to treating phobias, medication is rarely used. Some people may require medication to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, and depression they are experiencing. Antidepressants, tranquilizers, and beta-blockers are among the most commonly prescribed medications.