phobia (from the Greek: , Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear")
What is Phobia???
A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develop in adults.If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it — inconveniencing yourself or even changing your lifestyle. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office. If you have a fear of heights, you might drive an extra twenty miles in order to avoid a tall bridge.Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. Having a phobia doesn’t mean you’re crazy! It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. You can overcome your anxiety and fear, no matter how out of control it feels.
“Normal” fear vs. phobias
It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear is an adaptive human response. It serves a protective purpose, activating the automatic “fight-or-flight” response. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves.
But with phobias the threat is greatly exaggerated or nonexistent. For example, it is only natural to be afraid of a snarling Doberman, but it is irrational to be terrified of a friendly poodle on a leash, as you might be if you have a dog phobia.
list of Phobias:-
- Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning
- Achluophobia – fear of darkness
- Acrophobia – fear of heights
- Agraphobia – fear of sexual contact
- Agrizoophobia – fear of wild animals
- Agyrophobia –The fear of crossing the road.
- Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)
- Ailurophobia – fear of cats
- Androphobia – fear of men
- Anthophobia – fear of flowers
- Anthropophobia – fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia.
- Aquaphobia – fear of water. Distinct from Hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies
- Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
- Astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning
- Atychiphobia – fear of failure
- Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying
- Chaetophobia – fear of hair
- Chiroptophobia – fear of bats
- Chronophobia - fear of time and time moving forward
- Cibophobia, Sitophobia – aversion to food, synonymous to Anorexia nervosa
- Claustrophobia – fear of having no escape and being closed in
- Coulrophobia – fear of clowns (not restricted to evil clowns)
- Decidophobia – fear of making decisions
- Dentophobia, Odontophobia – fear of dentists and dental procedures
- Descendophobia - fear or discomfort while descending stairs or down the hill
- Disposophobia – fear of getting rid of or losing things - sometimes wrongly defined as "compulsive hoarding"
- Dysmorphophobia, or body dysmorphic disorder – a phobic obsession with a real or imaginary body defect
- Ebulliophobia – fear of bubbles
- Emetophobia – fear of vomiting
- Ergasiophobia, Ergophobia – fear of work or functioning, or a surgeon's fear of operating
- Ergophobia – fear of work or functioning
- Erotophobia – fear of sexual love or sexual abuse
- Erythrophobia – pathological blushing
- Friggatriskaidekaphobia, Paraskavedekatriaphobia, Paraskevidekatriaphobia – fear of Friday the 13th
- Gelotophobia – fear of being laughed at
- Gephyrophobia – fear of bridges
- Genophobia, Coitophobia – fear of sexual intercourse
- Gerascophobia – fear of growing old or aging
- Gerontophobia – fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly
- Glossophobia – fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak
- Gymnophobia – fear of nudity
- Gynophobia – fear of women
- Halitophobia – fear of bad breath
- Haptephobia – fear of being touched
- Heliophobia – fear of sunlight
- Kenophobia, Cenophobia, fear of empty space
- Hemophobia, Haemophobia – fear of blood
- Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – fear of the number 666
- Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - fear of long words
- Hoplophobia – fear of weapons, specifically firearms (Generally a political term but the clinical phobia is also documented)
- Hydrophobia – fear of water, frequently noted as a common symptom of rabies
- Hylophobia – fear of trees, forests or wood
- Ichthyophobia – fear of fish, including fear of eating fish, or fear of dead fish
- Ipovlopsychophobia - fear of having one’s photograph taken.
- Lipophobia – fear/avoidance of fats in food
- Mysophobia – fear of germs, contamination or dirt
- Necrophobia – fear of death and/or the dead
- Negrophobia – fear of black people, often used to describe racial bigots
- Neophobia, Cainophobia, Cainotophobia, Centophobia, Kainolophobia, Kainophobia – fear of newness, novelty
- Nomophobia – fear of being out of mobile phone contact
- Nosocomephobia – fear of hospitals
- Nosophobia – fear of contracting a disease
- Nyctophobia, Achluophobia, Lygophobia, Scotophobia – fear of darkness
- Oikophobia – fear of home surroundings and household appliances
- Ombrophobia – fear of rain
- Omphalophobia – fear of bellybuttons
- Ophthalmophobia – fear of being stared at
- Osmophobia, Olfactophobia – fear of smells
- Panphobia – fear of everything or constant fear of an unknown cause
- Phagophobia – fear of swallowing
- Pharmacophobia – fear of medications
- Philophobia – fear of love
- Phobophobia – fear of having a phobia
- Phonophobia – fear of loud sounds
- Pyrophobia – fear of fire
- Radiophobia – fear of radioactivity or X-rays
- Sociophobia – fear of people or social situations
- Scopophobia – fear of being looked at or stared at
- Somniphobia – fear of sleep
- Spasmenagaliaphobia (neologism; no official name) – fear of broken glass
- Spectrophobia – fear of ghosts and phantoms
- Spheksophobia – fear of wasps
- Stygiophobia – fear of Hell
- Taphophobia, Taphephobia – fear of the grave, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive
- Technophobia – fear of technology (see also Luddite)
- Telephone phobia – fear or reluctance of making or taking phone calls
- Tetraphobia – fear of the number 4
- Thalassophobia – fear of the sea, or fear of being in the ocean
- Thanatophobia – fear of death
- Tokophobia – fear of childbirth or pregnancy
- Traumatophobia – a synonym for injury phobia: fear of having an injury
- Trichophobia – a morbid disgust caused by the sight of loose hairs
- Triskaidekaphobia, Terdekaphobia – fear of the number 13
- Trypanophobia, Belonephobia, Enetophobia – fear of needles or injections
- Trypophobia - fear of holes or clusters of holes
- Turophobia – fear of cheese
- Workplace phobia – fear of the workplace
- Xenophobia – fear of strangers, foreigners, or aliens
- Xylophobia, Hylophobia, Ylophobia – fear of trees, forests or wood
- Apiphobia – fear/dislike of bees (also known as melissophobia, from the Greek melissa "bee")
- Arachnophobia – fear/dislike of spiders and other arachnids
- Bovinophobia – fear/dislike of cattle
- Chiroptophobia – fear/dislike of bats
- Cynophobia – fear/dislike of dogs
- Entomophobia – fear/dislike of insects
- Herpetophobia – fear/dislike of reptiles and/or amphibians
- Ichthyophobia – fear/dislike of fish
- Mottephobia – fear/dislike of butterflies and/or moths
- Murophobia – fear/dislike of mice and/or rats
- Ophidiophobia – fear/dislike of snakes
- Ornithophobia – fear/dislike of birds
- Selachophobia – fear of sharks
- Scoleciphobia – fear of worms
- Xanthophobia – fear of the colour yellow
- Zoophobia – fear of animals
Social phobia and fear of public speaking
Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is fear of social situations where you may be embarrassed or judged. If you have social phobia you may be excessively self-conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Your anxiety over how you will look and what others will think may lead you to avoid certain social situations you’d otherwise enjoy.Fear of public speaking, an extremely common phobia, is a type of social phobia. Other fears associated with social phobia include fear of eating or drinking in public, talking to strangers, taking exams, mingling at a party, and being called on in class.
What is social anxiety disorder / social phobia?
Matthew skipped class today. It’s the first day of the new semester, and he’s afraid that the professor will go around the class and have the students introduce themselves. He knows it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really stresses him out. Whenever he has to speak in front of more than just a few people, his voice starts shaking and his face gets red. He always feels so humiliated afterwards.
Since public speaking is Matthew’s worst nightmare, he’s been avoiding a speech class he has to take in order to graduate. He’s also dreading his brother’s wedding, even though it’s over six months away. As the best man, he’ll have to give a toast at the reception and he’s already nervous about it.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, involves intense fear of certain social situations—especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which you feel you’ll be watched or evaluated by others.
These social situations may be so frightening that you get anxious just thinking about them or go to great lengths to avoid them.
Underlying social anxiety disorder or social phobia is the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in public. You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won’t measure up in comparison to others. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational and overblown, you still can’t help feeling anxious.
While it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, in reality, there are many things that can help. It starts with understanding the problem.
Common social phobia / social anxiety disorder triggers
Although it may feel like you’re the only one with this problem, social anxiety or social phobia is actually quite common. Many people struggle with these fears. But the situations that trigger the symptoms of social anxiety disorder can be different.
Some people experience anxiety in most social and performance situations, a condition known as generalized social anxiety disorder. For other people with social phobia, anxiety is connected with specific social situations, such as speaking to strangers, eating at restaurants, or going to parties.
The most common specific social phobia is fear of public speaking or performing in front of an audience.
What are the signs and symptoms of phobias?
Symptoms of phobias often involve having apanic attack -- in that they include feelings of panic, dread, or terror, despite recognition that those feelings are excessive in relationship to any real danger -- as well as physical symptoms like shaking, sweating, trouble thinking clearly, nausea, rapid heart beat, trouble breathing, and an overwhelming desire to escape the situation that is causing the phobic reaction. Also, extreme measures are sometimes taken to avoid or escape the situation.How are phobias assessed?
Many providers of health care may help diagnose phobias, including licensed mental-health therapists, family physicians, or other primary-care medical providers, specialists whom you see for a medical condition, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. If one of these professionals suspects that you may be suffering from a phobia, you will likely be asked a number of questions to understand all the symptoms you may be experiencing and you may need to submit to a medical interview and physical examination. A phobia may be associated with a number of other mental-health conditions, especially other anxietydisorders. In addition to panic disorder, examples of other anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As anxiety disorders in general may be associated with a number of medical conditions or can be a side effect of various medications, routine laboratory tests are often performed during the initial evaluation to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.
What is the treatment for phobias?
Helping those who suffer from phobias is thought to be most effective when psychotherapy and medications that are specific to the treatment of phobia are both used. One form of psychotherapy involves the supportive and gradual exposure of the individual with phobias to circumstances that are increasingly close to the one they are phobic about (desensitization). These situations can either consist of actual or computer-generated anxiety-provoking stimuli.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to significantly decrease phobic symptoms by helping the phobia sufferer change his or her way of thinking. CBT uses three techniques to accomplish this goal:
Didactic component: This phase involves educating the individual about phobias and treatment and helps to set up positive expectations for therapy and promote the cooperation of the person with a phobia.
Cognitive component: It helps to identify the thoughts and assumptions that influence the person's behavior, particularly those that may predispose him or her to being phobic.
Behavioral component: This employs behavior-modifying techniques to teach the individual with a phobia more effective strategies for dealing with problems.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications are often used to treat phobias, particularly when desensitization and CBT are inadequately effective. These medications affect levels of serotonin in the brain. Examples of these medications include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro). The possible side effects of these medications can vary greatly from person to person and depend on which medication is being used. Common side effects of this group of medications include dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, nausea, tremors, trouble sleeping, blurred vision, constipation or soft stools, and dizziness. In very rare cases, some people have been thought to become more acutely more anxious or depressed once on the medication, even trying to or completing suicide or homicide. Children and teens are thought to be particularly vulnerable to this rare possibility.
Phobias are also sometimes treated using beta-blocker medications, which decrease the physical symptoms associated with panic by blocking the effects that adrenaline has on the body. An example of a beta blocker is propranolol. These disorders are less commonly treated with drugs in a medication class known as benzodiazepines. This class of medications causes relaxation but is used much less often these days to treat anxiety due to the possibility of addiction and the risk of overdose, especially if taken when alcohol is also being consumed. Examples of medications from that group include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin).