Essential Facts about Phobias
A phobia is an aberrant or extreme fear of something. In some cases, the fear is so intense that it interrupts normal activities.
People who have phobias are very careful not to encounter what they fear the most. They tend to feel anxious and panic when they come into contact or even think about encountering the source of their fear.
Some phobias like the fear of snakes don’t affect everyday life, but other phobias like the fear of crowded spaces can be very disruptive to living a normal life.
Phobias can be specific – such as the fear of driving, cockroaches, or dentists. They can also be generalized such as the fear of open spaces or a fear of certain social situations.
There are different types of specific phobias but the most common ones include:
Social phobia – fear of social situations
Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces
Agoraphobia – fear of open public spaces
Erythrophobia – fear of blushing
Emetophobia – fear of vomiting
Hypochondria – fear of illness
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Aerophobia – fear of flying
Zoophobia – fear of animals
How phobias develop
The exact cause of phobias is not yet fully identified but specific phobias are believed to originate in childhood. Social phobia often begins during the adolescent years while agoraphobia usually begins in early twenties.
Treatments such as self-exposure therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are proven to be effective in treating phobias. Medications such as antidepressants may also be recommended in some cases.
At Next Step 2MH, we serve as a safe resource for Christians within our community who are struggling with anxiety disorders.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a phobia and would like help, call our office at 502-339-2442 or visit our website at Next Step 2MH to book an appointment with one of our highly skilled mental health doctors or therapists.