What You Need to Know About Phobias
Fear itself is a natural feeling that is completely normal — and even healthy. It is the natural way our brain signals us for possible danger and triggers our instincts of self-preservation.
We are trained to deal with fears and accept them as a natural part of our lives, but it's different when we talk about irrational fears and phobias. A phobia is a when a person experiences deep and intense (often irrational) fear of something.
The problem with phobias is that often people with certain phobias experience such intense fear that it makes them change their normal lifestyle. If you have several things in your life that cause you intense irrational fear, and you start change your life because of it, you have developed a phobia.
What Causes Your Phobia?
In most cases phobias appear in early childhood or adulthood and rarely after the age of 30. Here are some of the most common factors that may cause phobias:
- Severe brain injuries
- Certain medications
- Stressful events (car accident, nearly drowning, severe injuries)
- People with relatives suffering from anxiety disorders are at high risk of phobias
Different Types of Phobias
Phobias can be divided in two major groups: complex and simple phobias. Simple phobias are irrational fears about a specific situation, animal, or activity.
On the other hand, complex phobias are related to more intense fear and/or anxiety. This can include fear of certain circumstances, places, or situations. Here are some of the most common phobias that we know of:
- Fear of spiders: Arachnophobia
- Fear of dogs: Cynophobia
- Fear of flying: Aviophobia
- Fear of snakes: Ophidiophobia
- Fear of heights: Acrophobia
- Social phobia: A social phobia (also known today as social anxiety disorder) is a condition in which a person experiences intense fear in different social situations. This can include meeting new people, public speaking, performing on a stage, eating or drinking in public. This phobia can dramatically change your lifestyle and eventually lead to isolation.