How would you react if I dropped a lizard down your shirt? How about if I took you up so high that objects below looked like ants? And what if I turned off all the lights and left you alone in absolute darkness? You might panic, you might “flip out,” you might even FAINT. Have you ever been utterly terrified of something without any logical basis? If so, you may have a phobia. Phobias are irrational fears of certain objects, people, or actions that can cause a person to shriek, tremble, cry, or even fall unconscious. I have Lepidopterophobia, which is a fear of moths and butterflies. This might seem silly, but there are plenty of phobias out there even more obscure.
When I say the word phobia most of us think of people who are afraid of spiders ,heights ,needles or the dark these are common one’s but there are phobia’s people would never think of. Butterflies? Gum? how could people be afraid of these? well guess what? Oprah has a fear of chewing gum and Nicole Kidman shares the same phobia as me and the most popular teen celebrity Justin Bieber has a fear of elevators. Phobia’s can be a big part of a person life specially if you have phobia’s like Telephonophobia – Fear of telephones, Ephebiphobia – Fear of teenagers., Arithmophobia – Fear of numbers and Cathisophobia- Fear of sitting, think about it. How would one even be able to leave their houses, knowing that you have to see the things you are most afraid of? even though these may seem weird ,for a person who has these phobia’s it’s like a night mare.
So what is a phobia? The word phobia originates from the Greek word “phobos” meaning fear. Phobia is an extreme fear of something that can cause little or no harm at all. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. We can develop phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop during childhood, but they can also develop during adulthood.
People who have a phobia won’t be afraid of something just once or twice, they will be afraid every single time they come across it. Because of this, people who have phobias often go out of their way to avoid the situation or the things that scares them.
There are four main types of phobia’s Animal phobia which are fears of animals and insects. Natural environment phobias cause by things found in nature like fears of storms and fears of the dark. Situational phobias- fears caused by a specific situation like fears of elevators &fears of driving. and Blood-Injection-Injury phobia which basically means fears of blood, fear or injury or fears of medical procedures. Some phobias don’t fall into one of the four common categories.
Agoraphobia is a kind of phobia that doesn’t fit into these four categories. Its literal definition means fear of open spaces, Agoraphobia is the fear of being in any situation that might cause a panic attack or where escape from the situation might be difficult or embarrassing. People who have agoraphobia, are likely to avoid crowded places such as shopping malls and movie theatres.
Social phobia is another kind of phobia that doesn’t fit into the four categories it occurs when there is a fear of social situations, such as small groups of people at parties. People with social phobia have no confidence with people they don’t know. They may also fear that they will behave in an embarrassing way, such as blushing or shaking in public.
So what causes phobia’s? Phobia’s could be a result of a traumatic experience’s from the past. Due to the traumas, very powerful emotional content, they still influenced the conscious mind, presenting them in a disguised form as a phobia. Genetics is known to influence the cause of phobia’s but they aren’t the actual cause. Some people believe that re-incarnation could also be a cause, as when a person is born again they might be afraid of what killed them in the past life not knowingly like fire, explosion or planes.
Phobias in children are also very common. Children from the ages of 3-6 have fears against imaginary things such as ghosts, monsters, the dark and sleeping alone whereas children from the ages of 7-16 have more realistic fears such as injury, school performances and natural disasters.
People with phobias experience many symptoms like shortness of breath feeling of choking sweating, nausea feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint. The symptoms of blood-injection-injury phobia are slightly different from other phobias. When confronted with the sight of blood or a needle, you experi