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A psychological explanation of fear or phobia

  • Takeaway Phobias can be a source of genuine and ongoing distress for an individual;
  • See Article History Alternative Title;
  • For instance, nomophobia is the fear of being without a cell phone or computer;
  • The fight-or-flight response includes an increase in heart rate and blood flow to our large muscles, better enabling us to react to the emergency.

Blood, injury, and injection BII phobia: Fear of injuries involving blood Escalaphobia: Fear of escalators Tunnel phobia: Fear of tunnels These are far from the only specific phobias. People can develop a phobia of almost anything.

Also, as society changes, the list of potential phobias changes. For instance, nomophobia is the fear of being without a cell phone or computer. As described in one paperit is "the pathologic fear of remaining out of touch with technology.

They can be caused by a stressful experience, a frightening event, or a parent or household member with a phobia that a child can 'learn. In some cases, it may be the result of a traumatic early experience. One example would be claustrophobia developing over time after a younger child has an unpleasant experience in a confined space.

Phobias that start during childhood can also be caused by witnessing the phobia of a family member. A child whose mother has arachnophobia, for example, is much more likely to develop the same phobia. Complex phobias More research is needed to confirm exactly why a person develops agoraphobia or social anxiety. Researchers currently believe complex phobias are caused by a combination of life experiences, brain chemistry, and genetics. They may also be an echo of the habits of early humans, leftover from a time in which open spaces and unknown people generally posed a far greater threat to personal safety than in today's world.

How the brain works during a phobia Some areas of the brain store and recall dangerous or potentially deadly events.

The amygdala in the brain is thought to be linked to the development of phobias. If a person faces a similar event later on in life, those areas of the brain retrieve the stressful memory, sometimes more than once.

This causes the body to experience the same reaction. In a phobia, the areas of the brain that deal with fear and stress keep retrieving the frightening event inappropriately. Researchers have found that phobias are often linked to the amygdalawhich lies behind the pituitary gland in the brain.

Everything you need to know about phobias

The amygdala can trigger the release of "fight-or-flight" hormones. These put the body and mind in a highly alert and stressed state. Treatment Phobias are highly treatable, and people who have them are nearly always aware of their disorder. This helps diagnosis a great deal. Speaking to a psychologist or psychiatrist is a useful first step in treating a phobia that has already been identified.

  • Blood-injection-injury phobia involves fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of shots or another medical procedure; and 5 Other phobias;
  • Blood-injection-injury phobia involves fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of shots or another medical procedure; and 5 Other phobias.

If the phobia does not cause severe problems, most people find that simply avoiding the source of their fear helps them stay in control. Many people with specific phobias will not seek treatment as these fears are often manageable. It is not possible to avoid the triggers of some phobias, as is often the case with complex phobias. In these cases, speaking to a mental health professional can be the first step to recovery.

  1. Also, as society changes, the list of potential phobias changes. Most importantly, CBT can teach a person experiencing phobia to control their own feelings and thoughts.
  2. The therapist will have them look at pictures of planes.
  3. People with a history of alcohol dependence should not be given sedatives. The physical and mental tension of anxiety is very similar to fear but with one important difference.

Most phobias can a psychological explanation of fear or phobia cured with appropriate treatment. There is no single treatment that works for every person with a phobia.

Treatment needs to be tailored to the individual for it to work. The doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist may recommend behavioral therapy, medications, or a combination of both. Therapy is aimed at reducing fear and anxiety symptoms and helping people manage their reactions to the object of their phobia.

Medications The following medications are effective for the treatment of phobias. These can help reduce the physical signs of anxiety that can accompany a phobia. Side effects may include an upset stomachfatigueinsomniaand cold fingers. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs are commonly prescribed for people with phobias. They affect serotonin levels in the brain, and this can result in better moods. SSRIs may initially cause nausea, sleeping problems, and headaches.

Individuals on an MAOI may have to avoid certain types of food. Side effects may initially include dizziness, an upset stomach, restlessness, headaches, and insomnia. Taking a tricyclic antidepressant TCAsuch as clomipramine, or Anafranil, has also been found to help phobia symptoms.

Initial side effects can include sleepiness, blurred vision, constipationurination difficulties, irregular heartbeat, dry mouth, and tremors. Benzodiazepines are an example of a tranquilizer that might be prescribed for a phobia.

These may help reduce anxiety symptoms. People with a history of alcohol dependence should not be given sedatives. Behavioral therapy There are a number of therapeutic options for treating a phobia. Desensitization, or exposure therapy: This can help people with a phobia alter their response to the source of fear.

They are gradually exposed to the cause of their phobia over a series of escalating steps. For example, a person with aerophobia, or a fear of flying on a plane, may take the following steps under guidance: Treatment includes different types of psychotherapy. They will first think about flying. The therapist will have them look at pictures of planes. The person will go to an airport.

They will escalate further by sitting in a practice simulated airplane cabin. Finally, they will board a plane. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT: The doctor, therapist, or counselor helps the person with a phobia learn different ways of understanding and reacting to the source of their phobia. This can make coping easier.

Most importantly, CBT can teach a person experiencing phobia to control their own feelings and thoughts. Takeaway Phobias can be a source of genuine and ongoing distress for an individual. However, they are treatable in most cases, and very often the source of fear is avoidable.

If you have a phobia, the one thing you should never be afraid of is seeking help. They also offer a range of talks on how to overcome specific phobias.