Phobia

Phobia

A phobia can be termed as excessive or irrational fear reaction. It is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of a place, situation, object, feeling or animal.

we can find people around us who are afraid of clowns, heights, enclosed spaces, needles, water or fire.  Characterized by an excessive or irrational fear of situation or an object, phobia affects millions of people worldwide. It is a state of mind that freezes you and stops you from undertaking any change. It feels like a chain around your ankle and often freezes you at the time of taking any action.

Signs and Symptoms of Phobia

A person with a phobia will experience the following symptoms in presence of fearful object or when in a fearful situation. These are common across the majority of phobias:

  • A sensation of uncontrollable anxiety when exposed to the source of fear
  • A feeling that the source of that fear must be avoided at all costs
  • Not being able to function properly when exposed to the trigger
  • Acknowledgment that the fear is irrational, unreasonable, and exaggerated, combined with an inability to control the feelings


A person is likely to experience panic attack and intense anxiety when exposed to the object of their phobia. The physical effects of these sensations are as follows:

  • Feeling dizzy or like you’re choking
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Sweating
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling
  • Hot flushes or chills
  • Pounding heart
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Inability to speak
  • Smothering sensation
  • Numbness

Types of phobia

phobias can be  categorized in three broad categories: specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobia.

1.  Specific Phobias

Specific phobias, also known as "simple" phobias, are those that are triggered by a specific object or situation.

Specific phobias are can be classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  (DSM-5) into the following categories:

•           Animal type that includes dogs, spiders and snakes. etc.

•           Natural environment type that includes storms, heights and water. etc.

•           Blood, injection, and injury (BII) type that includes needles, blood, and invasive medical procedures.

•           Situational type that includes a fear of particular situation like enclosed spaces and a fear of flying etc..

•           Other types: Any phobia that does not fit into one of the other categories falls into this category. 

 People often develop specific phobias when in their younger age. reports also suggests that phobia becomes less severe with age, but this is not always the case.

2.  Social phobias

A social phobia is an excessive fear of being in social situations that may result in humiliation or embarrassment.

A fear of public speaking is an example of a social phobia.

 

3.  Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a fear of being trapped in crowded places where there is no easy way out. People with agoraphobia become housebound in extreme cases because they are afraid to leave their safe space.

Because the situation or thing that causes the phobia is much more difficult to prevent, social phobias and agoraphobia are more likely to cause life impairment.

Myths and Facts about Phobias

If you have a phobia, you are "crazy."

Fact: Using the term “crazy” to describe someone experiencing a psychiatric condition can increase the stigma of phobias, and act as a barrier to treatment. For the one who has experienced them, phobias are logical and extremely real, and diminishing the legitimacy of specific phobias can do more harm than good in addressing the distress experienced by people with phobias.

Phobias are simply exaggerated fears.

Fact: Phobias are linked with an extreme biological and psychological fear response.

Phobias can’t be overcome.

Fact: Phobias can be overcome and there are several treatments available.

How do you know you need Counselling/Therapy? 

One can find out if they need counselling or therapy by checking the following points:

  1. You often feel angry.
  2. You feel that your anger seems to be out of control.
  3. Your anger is impacting your relationships.
  4. Your anger is hurting others emotionally. 
  5. Your anger causes you to say or do things you regret.
  6. You're verbally or physically abusive.

How do you know you need counselling/Therapy?

One can find out if they need counselling or therapy by checking the following points:

-You want to bring a change, but you’re unable to do so on your own, you might want to seek counselling.

-You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your day-to-day life like work, social engagement etc.

-You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your overall wellbeing.

-Your phobias is not letting you live your life fully

-Avoiding situations has become your habit

-You want to overcome your fears

-You want improve your life hence want to boost your confidence to face challenges (phobia related) in life

How does TalktoAngel help you in overcoming your Phobia?

TalktoAngel is an online platform that provides quality therapy and other mental health services online. We have qualified and experienced professionals working with us. Phobia is one of our areas of expertise. We have experts and specialists who have successfully worked previously on cases of addictionphobia. Studies have proven that online mental health services are as effective as the conventional mode. Furthermore, at TalktoAngel, we put your needs first. We can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • You can include following strategies in your life style to help you manage the anxiety that accompanies specific phobias • Regular exercise • eating regular, healthy meals • getting enough sleep • reducing or avoiding caffeine and other stimulants • Relaxation techniques – a series of physical exercises that help you relax and control your breathing • Visualization – combines relaxation and breathing techniques with mentally visualizing how you'll successfully deal with a situation that could cause anxiety • Mindfulness practices You should also take help from professional, they can help you overcome your specific phobia or manage it effectively • Facing your fears in graded manner- slowly slowly facing your fears • Self-help groups – a useful way of meeting others with similar experiences and sharing ways of coping
  • Yes, Phobia is a mental disorder, phobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
  • Phobia can be caused to due to a number of reasons. Heredity is one of the factor, if you have family history of phobia, it’s likely that you might develop the same. There are other causes too past incidents or traumas learned responses from early life, reactions and responses to panic or fear experiencing long-term stress and genetic factors. Studies suggest that stress is one major cause and it can also be a result of an underlying mental health condition.
  • Medications may be prescribed by the psychiatrist in some cases. Medication is used in combination with therapy to treat phobias, although it is not always a part of the initial treatment. You cannot take medication for it, without the consultation of a psychiatrist. It is unprofessional and ethically wrong for us to disclose any medication in this manner. You can consult with one of our professionals. Moreover, medication is only effective in the long term if coupled with effective psychotherapy.

If you want to overcome your fears and get unstuck, talking to a phobia counselor can help.


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