What is a Phobia?
A phobia is a unexplained almost unreal exaggerated irrational fear of a certain object, activity, situation or person. This fear is so persistent that it compels the individual to avoid it. The word phobia comes from the Greek combining word, translated into English, meaning fear. Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder and when a phobia presents itself and the situation can not be avoided then the individual goes into extreme distress. Phobias are divided into 3 categories; specific, social, and fear of open spaces (Agoraphobia).
The Phobia categories
Specific phobia pertains to individuals who have phobias of animals or insects, doctors, water, heights, flying, storms, injections, tunnels, bridges, and not being able to get off public transportation quick enough. There are much more other phobias that pertain to this category.
Individuals who suffer from Social phobia take shyness to a whole different level. These individuals are extremely scared of humiliating themselves and have a fear of negative evaluation of others. These types of individuals would make sure they do everything correctly to avoid any humiliation from their co workers or peers.
When an individual has had multiple panic attacks they may develop fear of open spaces. Some phobias in this category include fears of elevators, mall, or a room full of people. Agoraphobia means fear of a place. Individuals with Agoraphobia are afraid that they will not be able to escape fast enough if a panic attack were to occur so they avoid certain places.
Do I have a phobia?
Here are some things that will immediately tell you if you have a phobia.
-A feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when you're exposed to the source of your fear — sitting on an airplane, for instance, or walking into a large party
-The feeling that you must do everything possible to avoid what you fear
-The inability to function normally because of your anxiety
Often, the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated, but feeling powerless to control them
-Physical as well as psychological reactions, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, a feeling of panic and intense anxiety
-In some cases, anxiety just thinking about what you fear
-In children, possibly tantrums, clinging or crying
When should I see a doctor?
As soon as your phobia interferes with your daily activities then you should seek professional help. If anxiety prevents you from working or going to school then its time to see a doctor. If you feel that your phobia is hurting you or another person it is to be taken seriously. Sit down and ask yourself "Is this normal?". Many people with phobias are helped with the right therapy. Your doctor or therapist will decide, along with you, what is the best treatment for you.