What is a Phobia?

A phobia is a special name for fear. However, a phobia is not like any kind of fear. A phobia is different because the feeling of fear is very strong. This kind of fear does not go away. A person who has phobia will be afraid of something every time he/she experiences it. People who have phobia go out of their way to avoid that thing which they fear.

A person with a phobia can get so scared and so nervous, he/she may start to have a panic attack

What’s a Panic Attack?

When a person has a panic attack, he/she may shake, sweat and breathe quickly. Some people even feel chest pains, feel dizzy and/or feel like their hearts are pounding and have difficulty breathing.

Panic attacks can make you think that something terrible is going to happen. A person may feel like he/she is losing control or is trapped and cannot escape. Some people report that when they have panic attacks, they feel like they can’t think straight or that they are losing their mind.

Panic attacks only last a short time. But to the person who is experiencing it, it may feel much, much longer. For some people, even if they know that their phobia doesn’t make sense, he/she may not be able to stop his/her body and mind from reacting to the fear and have a heart attack.

Why Do People Get Phobias?

It is still uncertain how people develop or get phobias. Some scientists think that is genetic and/or hereditary.

Or it may be triggered by a a traumatic experience like a death, or other traumatic experiences a person might have had, particularly during his/her childhood.

Scientists do know the following facts about phobia:

  • Five out of 100 people in the United States have one or more phobias.
  • Women are slightly more likely to have phobias than men.
  • Most social phobias start when a person is a teenager, although this and other kinds of phobias can also start when a kid is younger.

How Are Phobias Treated?

You must consult with your doctor to treat your phobia. Your doctor may suggest that you visit a psychologist or psychiatrist or therapist.

You may also be given medications to help you better deal with your phobia. You may also learn relaxation exercises as an alternative way to dealing with your phobia. Relaxation exercises could help you feel more in control.

Another way to handle phobia is to face it head on. Your exposure to that which you are afraid of should be gradual. Depending on how severe your phobia is, treatment may last for a few weeks, months or even longer. While your treatment is still ongoing, it important to remember that phobias can be cured and you will be able to handle them and be more in control of your life.


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