A spider is a silly insect. It is not going to kill you. However, at the sight of one crawling on the wall you would let out a howl. It is as though a lion were crouching in your room.
Having to climb a small height will induce cold sweat in some. Before boarding a flight, many would have palpitation. Everything from lizard to cat and dog to even moths trigger panic in many. Why it is so?
Call this condition phobia. A phobia is an excessive fear of something: a certain place, situation or object. It is a type of anxiety disorder. So if you have a phobia, you may experience panic or dread encountering the source of your fear.
Phobia, derived from the Greek word Phobos meaning ‘aversion’ or ‘fear’, could affect all humans, triggering from genetic and environmental reasons. Women get it twice as often as men. Also, distressing events, health concerns, traumatic injuries and depression all could lead to phobias.
However, the phobia of something is irrational. It could scuttle somebody’s normal life. Somebody having a phobia will avoid the situation or object that triggers it, and get distressed when they are unable to do so. Have a look at some of the common phobias.
If you have the fear of spiders, you have Arachnophobia. Ophidiophobia is the phobia of snakes and somebody having Cynophobia hates dogs. Acrophobia, the fear of heights, wouldn’t allow you to climb up even a small knoll. A lot of people with Mysophobia or fear of Germs always fret over a ‘germs-attack’ and endlessly wash their hands. Phobias are of three kinds: social phobia, specific (simple) phobia and agoraphobia.
Social phobia occurs when somebody is worried about being judged by others. Specific phobia triggers from fear of certain animals, blood or injury and natural environment situations. Mostly, this phobia is linked to spiders, snakes and heights. Agoraphobia is the fear of places, where a person gets panic or helpless or embarrassed, after feeling of being trapped. It can be a fear of open spaces, social embarrassment (social agoraphobia) or fear of contamination from germs. This could get complicated by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Having a phobia condition is not the end of the game. You can still get along and treat them. Specific phobias can be treated by introducing the person to the object or situations until the fear resolves. Medications wouldn’t help here. However, both medication and counseling could fight social and agoraphobias.
Phobias vary in severity. Some individuals can get along simply avoiding object of fear, still feeling a mild anxiety. Others could suffer full-fledged panic attacks. Interestingly most people know their fear is irrational but are helpless. They often report dizziness, loss of bladder or bowel control, feelings of pain, and shortness of breath.
Glossophobia or the fear of public speaking is the most common phobia in the world. Many have Achluophobia, the fear of darkness and almost everyone has Necrophobia or the fear of death. Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. Those who dislike chemicals have Chemophobia. People with Xenophobia dislike or prejudice against strangers or people from other countries.
Other strange phobias include somniphobia, the fear of falling asleep; coulrophobia, the fear of clowns; Hylophobia, the fear of trees.
Does anybody fear rain? Yes, many have Ombrophobia.
Find out what phobia ails you. Most probably you have Nomophobia, the fear of being without mobile phone coverage.