One of the most common kinds of anxiety disorders are phobias, which are irrational fears surrounding a specific object or situation. With this type of disorder, the fear is persistent and reoccurring, even if the feared object or situation entering a person's life is often out of the control of that person. This anxiety disorder is affecting up to 19million Americans and is the second most common mental illness amongst men and women. For many, phobias interfere with their daily life.
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Phobias can be caused as a result of genetics or environmental factors. Children who have a close relative with anxiety disorder are at a greater risk of developing phobia. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal or insect bites can all be sources of phobias.
Clinical phobias are separated into three main categories:
1. Social phobias(social anxiety disorder): a condition in which a person fears the involvement with people and social situations. In otherwords, distancing yourself from social activities which can invariably lead to self isolation
2. Agoraphobia( fear of open space): this fear is as a result of the place, environment or situation you find yourself that you can't really escape from.
People with these kind of phobia find it extremely difficult to mingle or interact with large crowd of people. They are always stuck at home and therefore avoiding social situations.
3. Specific phobia: A specific phobia is any kind of anxiety disorder that amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. As a result, the affected person tends to avoid contact with the objects or situations and, in severe cases, any mention or depiction of them.
Other types of phobia include:
Glossophobia(performance anxiety): the fear of speaking in front an audience.
Acrophobia: the fear of heights
Claustrophobia: the fear of enclosed or tight space
Aviophobi: the fear of flying
Dentophobia: the fear of a dentist or dental procedures.
Homophobia: the fear of blood or injury
Arachnophobia: the fear of spiders
Cynophobia: the fear of dogs
Ophidiophobia: the fear of snakes
Nyctophobia: the fear of darkness
Factors affecting phobias
Age, socioeconomic status and gender seems to be the risk factors affecting phobia. And also, most people with genetic predisposition to anxiety maybe at high of acquiring or developing phobia.
Symptoms of phobias
The following are the symptoms of phobias
Pounding or racing of the heart
Shortness of breath
Rapid speech or inability to speak
Elevated blood pressure
Trembling or shaking
Chest pain or tightness
A choking sensation
Dizziness or lightheadedness
A sense of impending doom.
Treatment of phobias includes:
1. Therapeutic techniques
3. A combination of both.
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