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Phobia

A phobia is an extreme anxiety disorder and can be characterized as a mental disorder that basically constitutes of fear, anxiety and avoidance. Avoidance is in the sense that an individual with a phobia of something will try to avoid it completely and shape their lives in that fashion. A… ...Read more
A phobia is an extreme anxiety disorder and can be characterized as a mental disorder that basically constitutes of fear, anxiety and avoidance. Avoidance is in the sense that an individual with a phobia of something will try to avoid it completely and shape their lives in that fashion. A phobia poses magnificent, irrational as well as unrealistic fear and hence, it cannot be termed as just ‘fear’. An individual who has a phobia undergoes traumatic mental distress if he is put through to face that thing. Such discomforting situations lead to panic attacks too. Common symptoms of phobias are sweating, panic attacks, breathlessness or dizziness and chest pain. Our understanding of phobia has been led by various researchers and, to an extent it is limited. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) divides phobia into 3 broad categories: Specific phobia: These can simply be explained as those phobias that are directed towards one particular/specific thing. This is simple to avert because you are dealing with the fear of just one specific thing like that of snakes (ophidophobia). Social activity or social anxiety: Have you come across someone who feels extremely uncomfortable and uneasy to be a part of large groups or gatherings? These are individuals who may be affected by social anxiety or activity. This is very different from shyness or being an introvert. Here, the person has an excessive and rather irrational fear of being judged. It is almost impossible to find its cause and hence is known as a complex phobia. Agoraphobia: This is a term that is very loosely used. Here, the phobia is not of open spaces but of situations from which you cannot escape, in case of any emergency. This could be a lift (or elevator), a closed room, or an open space with no means of escape. It is almost impossible to find its cause too and hence this too is a complex phobia. Treatments Phobias are highly treatable through proper medication and treatments. A phobia generally stems from having experienced a specific situation in childhood. It is rather unusual for a phobia to begin after the age of 30. Going beyond in the holistic approach Read less
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