Monday, February 15, 2010

Fear, Phobia Definition
Hi all! Happy Valentines and Chinese New Year! How was it? Mine was splendid! A visit to the Zoo, romantic stroll on the beach at 6pm and finally a movie at Cathay Cineplex! I'll upload photos- real soon!

This article really opened my eyes on the scopes of phobia's and fear. I myself is afraid of heights, and it's called Acrophobia. =) I hope this helps you all understand and gain info on your fears..

What is fear? Fear protects you from danger. On the other hand, phobias have little to do with danger. Phobia is an intense, irrational fear when a person faces a certain situation, activity, or object. They can be so intense they virtually paralyze you!

According to the experts, phobia has 3 categories:

An intense anxiety in public places where an escape might be difficult.

Social phobia
A fear and avoidance of social situations.

Specific phobia
An irrational fear of specific objects or situations.

Someone with agoraphobia is afraid of being trapped in a public place or a place like a bridge or a line at the bank. The actual fear is of not being able to escape if anxiety gets too high. Agoraphobia affects twice as many women as men. (wow!) Untreated, it can lead to someone becoming housebound.

Someone with a social phobia is not just shy. That person feels extreme anxiety and fear about how he or she will perform in a social situation. Will her actions seem appropriate to others? Will others be able to tell he's anxious? Untreated social phobia often leads to avoiding social contact, it can have a major negative impact on a person's relationships and professional life. (Oooh this isn't good. Not good.)

Now to the specific phobia category. Read on to understand better the definition! Below are phobia's under this category!

An abnormal fear of being in enclosed spaces. A person with claustrophobia can't ride in elevators or go through tunnels without extreme anxiety. Afraid of suffocating or being trapped, the person will avoid tight spaces and often engage in "safety seeking behavior" such as opening windows or sitting near an exit.

Zoophobia or Fear of Animals
Zoophobia is a generic term that encompasses a group of phobias involving specific animals. Examples include Arachnophobia(fear of spiders), Ophidiophobia(fear of snakes), rnithophobia(fear of birds) and Apiphobia (fear of bees). Such phobias often develop in childhood and sometimes go away as the child ages.

Brontophobia (AKA AstraphobiaA)
An abnormal fear of both thunder and lightning and guess what? It is shared by people and animals too!

An excessive fear of heights and manifests as severe anxiety. Sometimes the fear is so great a person can't move. (yeah like me.) Acrophobia can create a dangerous situation for someone who has it.

Afraid of flying. The phobia generally develops after a person has a traumatic experience involving an airplane. Even after the incident is forgotten the fear stays and can even be triggered by watching film of a plane crash on TV. Hypnotherapy is commonly used to identify the initial trauma and to treat this phobia.

There is a spectrum of blood, injection, and injury phobias including hemophobia (fear of blood) and trypanophobia (fear of receiving an injection). These are the only phobias that are associated with fainting. A drop in blood pressure is common when encountering these situations, but in people with these phobias the drop is extreme. (Wooo dangerous!)

An abnormal fear of anything related to the number 13 (reminds me of Jim Carrey in The Number 23). If the thought of ghosts makes you overly anxious, you may have phasmophobia. Terrified of bats? Then you're suffering from chiroptophobia.

An unnatural fear of vomiting that typically starts early in life from some traumatic episode. The anxiety can be triggered by thoughts of vomiting or thinking of somewhere such as a hospital, where vomiting is common. As with aerophobia (fear of flying, fresh air), hypnotherapy is commonly used in part of the treatment.

Carcinophobia AKA Cancerophobia
An irrational dread of developing cancer. Every bodily discomfort becomes a sign for them that they have a malignant growth somewhere inside (wou...). They also are afraid they can get cancer by coming in contact with someone who has it. Cognitive therapy(helps people overcome their difficulties by identifying and changing dysfunctional thinking, behavior, and emotional responses) can help someone with carcinophobia regain control of their life.

Someone who fears anything new. Someone who is afraid of growing old or afraid of old people has a gerontophobia. Somewhere in between, you might find someone with phartophobia, which is an unreasonable fear of passing gas in a public place (my lord this IS irrational). Someone with odontiatophobia will go out of his way to avoid going to a dentist. And a spargarophobic individual will panic over a plate of asparagus (wow very weird).


Alcoholics can be up to 10 times more likely to suffer from a phobia than those who are not alcoholics. And phobic individuals can be twice as likely to be addicted to alcohol as those who have never been phobic. That's alarming.

Although phobias can be influenced by culture and triggered by life events, they tend to run in families. Immediate family members of people with phobias are about three times more likely to have a phobia than those without a family history. Waaaa..

Desensitization is a process of gradually exposing someone with a phobia to circumstances that resemble what he fears. Over time, the fear lessens as the person builds confidence. This is often accompanied by talk therapy to help the person change how he or she thinks and develop new patterns of response to situations that might trigger the emotions associated with a phobia. The good news is treatment helps 90% of people who follow through. This is good news! Oh god don't tell me they put Acrophobia's (people who fear heights) on really tall, steep hills or buildings. Oh god I can't imagine...

Shine on,


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