Fear Of Spiders Or Arachnophobia Affects Somewhere Between 35% And 61% Of People Worldwide
If those numbers dont seem that big of a deal, think of it as almost 500 million people that are afraid of spiders.
One of the less-known facts about phobias, arachnophobia specifically, is that its an exaggerated form of what was once an instinctive response to a threat.
Moreover, a study from Uppsala University in Sweden confirmed that arachnophobia is inherited. Babies and children would fear spiders even if they had no prior contact with them.
Social Phobia: Beyond Being Shy
Someone with a social phobia is not just shy. That person feels extreme anxiety and fear about how they will perform in a social situation. Will their actions seem appropriate to others? Will others be able to tell they are anxious? Will the words be there when it’s time to talk? Because untreated social phobia often leads to avoiding social contact, it can have a major negative impact on a person’s relationships and professional life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Specific Phobias
Symptoms of specific phobias may include:
- Excessive or irrational fear of a specific object or situation
- Avoiding the object or situation or enduring it with great distress
- Physical symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack, such as a pounding heart, nausea or diarrhea, sweating, trembling or shaking, numbness or tingling, problems with breathing , feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling like you are choking
- Anticipatory anxiety, which involves becoming nervous ahead of time about being in certain situations or coming into contact with the object of your phobia for example, a person with a fear of dogs may become anxious about going for a walk because they may see a dog along the way.
Children with a specific phobia may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent, or throwing a tantrum.
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Number : Fear Of The Dark
Being afraid of the dark is one of those fears which will forever be in the top list of common phobias. Its instinctive, we fear what we cant see. However, sometimes this fear can be so strong that it imprints onto our brain and we then have a full blown phobia.
When we are young, we are naturally afraid of the dark, we wont go to sleep unless the nightlight is on or the door is kept a jar, you remember those days, right?. Well, some of these kids grow up and still have this fear, they cant go to sleep unless the lights are on.
This is when we realize we have a problem, no adult should be scared of the dark, its just not something we should bring into adulthood.
Many of those who are affected by this phobia will carry it with them throughout their entire lives not knowing that there are simple tools out there which can cure this fear once and for all.
Risk Factors For Phobias
As well as possible causes of phobias, certain factors increase the likelihood of a phobia developing. These include:
- Agespecific phobias usually begin in childhood
- Temperamentchildren who are particularly sensitive might be more susceptible to phobias
- Scary experiencesa phobia can be triggered by exposure to a frightening event, animal or object
- Simply hearing about or watching this type of frightening event can lead to the development of a specific phobia.
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Number : Fear Of Flying
The fear of flying phobia, also known as Aerophobia is one of the most common phobias and affects many of us on a daily basis.
Most people dont like being confined in a metal tube miles above the earth while others are more afraid of the plane crashing.
Whatever the reason for this fear, theres one thing for sure and that is, its very disruptive for the traveler. There are many people who wont set foot on a plane, theyll take the boat instead.
Imagine traveling to America from Europe in a boat, can you believe some people do this so that they wont have to get on a plane. It may sound ridiculous to some but to the person who has this phobia, its quite natural.
Flying without fear is a goal which most people who suffer from this phobia think they’ll never succeed to do.Fear of Flying TipsThere are many fear of flying courses available today & they all start out by telling you about plane safety. Airplane safety has improved 100 fold since the mid eighties when DC10s used to drop out of the skies on a weekly basis.
We rarely see an airplane crash these days and when it does happen, its usually from some non western country. So, what we can learn from this is that air travel is the safest form of transport in the world, if you travel on a western airline in the 21st century, youll be completely safe.
However, some people still have an irrational fear of flying and so need to do something about it if they really want to overcome the fear of flying for good.
Types Of Specific Phobias
A specific phobia is defined as an extreme, irrational fear or aversion to a particular thing or situation such as a thunderstorm or being in small, tight places, etc. The fear is so intense it interferes with the way you live. Whats key here is that the object or situation usually does not pose significant danger, and yet the fear of it is intense and often interferes with your life.1
Within specific phobias, there are five different categories:1
- Phobias of animals or insects like dogs, snakes, or spiders
- Phobias of natural phenomena like heights, storms, or water
- Phobias of blood or injury like getting a blood test or needles
- Phobias of specific situations like flying in planes, driving cars, or being in confined places
- Other phobias like choking, vomiting, or catching an illness
Its estimated that 12.5% of US adults and 19.3% of teens will deal with a specific phobia at some time in their lives, making it the most common type of phobia and the most common type of anxiety disorder overall. Adult women tend to develop specific phobias at twice the rate as men, while the numbers among teens are closer. Anxiety disorders across the board are more prevalent among women than men. The reasons for this are still being explored, but it likely relates to hormonal differences.4,5
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Links To Other Disorders
Researchers have also found that people with trypophobia were more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. Symptoms of trypophobia were also found to be persistent, leading to functional impairments in daily living. The symptoms were most likely to meet the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for specific phobias rather than other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder .
Seven Diagnostic Criteria For Specific Phobias
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines seven diagnostic criteria for specific phobias:
- The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.
- The phobic object or situation is avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
- The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the socio-cultural context.
- The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.
- The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
- The disturbance is not better explained by symptoms of another mental disorder, including fear, anxiety, and avoidance of situations associated with panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating symptoms objects or situations related to obsessions reminders of traumatic events separation from home or attachment figures or social situations.
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There Are More Than 400 Phobias
You can have a phobia of pretty much anything, but there are over 400 recognised phobias out there!
Some, however, are much more common than others.
Phobias such as a fear of heights , fear of flying , fear of enclosed spaces , fear of spiders , fear of snakes , fear of dogs , fear of needles and the fear of germs are all pretty common.
Number 1: Fear Of Driving
The fear of driving phobia affects millions of people worldwide and is one of those common phobias which can have a major impact on your life.
There are many reasons why someone would have a fear of driving some think a mild form of agoraphobia is to blame while others put it down to a bad experience with cars in childhood.
They say that most phobias are learnt at around the age of 7, so if you have this fear then it could be from around that age.
Maybe you were in the family car when it was involved in an accident or you witnessed an accident on the road. The reason varies from person to person and its more pronounced in some more than others.
Some people are so badly affected by this phobia that they will never even learn to drive while others will only drive around the block and will avoid the motorway like the plague.
The truth is that anyone can easily cure their fear of driving by using simple self hypnosis which they can do from the comfort of their own homes.
Many who use a fear of driving subliminal mp3 report a significant improvement to their driving within only a few weeks.
You can write your own fear of driving affirmations & turn them into subliminal messages for maximum effect.
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What Causes Specific Phobias
The exact cause of specific phobias is not known, but most appear to be associated with a traumatic experience or a learned reaction. For example, a person who has a frightening or threatening experience with an animal, such as an attack or being bitten, can develop a specific phobia. Witnessing a traumatic event in which others experience harm or extreme fear can also cause a specific phobia, as can receiving information or repeated warnings about potentially dangerous situations or animals.
Fear can be learned from others, as well. A child whose parents react with fear and anxiety to certain objects or situations is likely to also respond to those objects with fear.
A Response To Visual Characteristics
Some research suggests that the discomfort people feel has more to do with the visual characteristics of the patterns themselves.
One study published in Psychological Reports found that while people experience discomfort when viewing trypophobic patterns, these feelings were more related to the visual patterns themselves than to associations with dangerous animals. Such results call into question whether or not trypophobia is actually a phobia at all, or simply a natural response to certain types of visual stimuli.
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Tip : Challenge Negative Thoughts About Your Phobia
When you have a phobia, you tend to overestimate how bad it will be if youre exposed to the situation you fear and underestimate your ability to cope. The anxious thoughts that trigger and fuel phobias are usually negative and unrealistic. By writing down the negative thoughts you have when confronted by your phobia, you can begin to challenge these unhelpful ways of thinking. Many times, these thoughts fall into the following categories:
Fortune telling. For example, This bridge is going to collapse Ill make a fool of myself for sure I will definitely lose it when the elevator doors close.
Overgeneralization.I fainted once while getting a shot. Ill never be able to get a shot again without passing out That pit bull lunged at me. All dogs are dangerous.
Catastrophizing.The captain said were going through turbulence. The plane is going to crash!The person next to me coughed. Maybe its swine flu. Im going to get very sick!
Once youve identified your negative thoughts, evaluate them. Use the following example to get started.
Negative thought: The elevator will break down and Ill get trapped and suffocate.
Ask yourself the following 4 questions:
1. Is there any evidence that contradicts my negative thought?
Yes, for example: People are currently using the elevator and it hasnt broken down.
Even if it did break down, Ive never heard of anyone dying from suffocation in an elevator. There are air vents which would stop the air from running out.
How Can You Manage Your Phobias
While it’s easy to dismiss other people’s phobias, in severe cases they can have an extremely negative impact on someone’s life. For example, it’s not hard to see how a fear of public speaking might harm someone’s career prospects.
A phobia can easily bring about an anxiety attack, There are many potential physical and psychological symptoms, from sweating and trouble breathing to simply not being able to control your thoughts.
If you have a phobia that’s stopping you making the most of life, our GPs are here to help you. These are just a few of the treatment options available.
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There Is Hopeand Help
In conclusion, parents should know that phobias are treatable. Parents whose children suffer from phobias should never be afraid to reach out for expert assessment and advice.
With any mental health condition, its always best to get information and help early on. Therefore, children and teens have a better opportunity to overcome their anxiety and to flourish free of fear.
Front Psychol. 2017 Oct 18 8:1710.
Pediatrics. 2011 Nov 128: 917925.
National Institute of Mental Health
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
About 33% Of Adults Constitute The Fear Of Snakes Statistics
No stats on fear would be complete without the fear of snakes.
Much like with spiders, scientists believe that evolution has made us this way. Humans have been fighting off snakes and spiders for millions of years, so its in our genes to fear them.
Both snakes and spiders often trigger not only fear but disgust as well.
There are many myths about snakes, and one of them is that theyre slimy. They arent, in reality. This is just one of many interesting facts about the fear of snakes.
If youd like to learn more, why not read this fascinating snake bite statistics article?
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Emetophobia: A Gut Feeling
Emetophobia is an unnatural fear of vomiting that typically starts early in life from some traumatic episode. For instance, someone may have witnessed a schoolmate vomiting in public or done so themselves. The anxiety can be triggered by thoughts of vomiting or thinking of somewhere such as a hospital, where vomiting is common. As with aerophobia, hypnotherapy is commonly used in part of the treatment.
Causes Of Specific Phobia
The reasons why phobias develop are not fully understood. Specific phobias tend to begin in children, whose developing brains are still developing patterns about how to respond to the world around them. A common example of this is a child who develops a phobia of dogs after being bitten by one, but there are many more subtle ways that a childs brain can take in information that teaches them to fear something. For example, they could learn to fear a dog by watching a movie that features a scary dog or watch a family member flinch in response to a dogs bark.1
Still, experiences in childhood are only one of many potential reasons why one may go on to develop a specific phobia. Genetics may also play a role.1Many specific phobias may be due to a complex interplay between genetics and life experiences. The same goes for social anxiety disorders and agoraphobia. Teens are more vulnerable to developing social anxiety disorders, likely because the teen years are marked by hormonal changes and new social pressures. Agoraphobia and panic disorders have a lot of overlap, and they both tend to start in young adulthood.6,11,12
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Treating Phobias In Baton Rouge
It is perfectly normal to experience some level of hesitation or nervousness when confronted with a new or intimidating situation. However, such instances should not produce symptoms of panic such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, trembling, and nausea. If these types of symptoms occur as the result of a particular object or situation, you are likely suffering from a phobia. Fortunately, most of these conditions can be improved dramatically with care from a mental health professional. If you are in the Baton Rouge area and struggling with a phobia, contact Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge to request an appointment with one of our skilled psychiatric physicians.
Most People With Ailurophobia The Fear Of Cats Had An Upsetting Experience With Felines
The fear of cats can also be spelled elurophobia, or aelurophobia.
Not all people with this phobia fear being bitten or scratched. Some of them are genuinely terrified of the cats mystical and occultish appearance, which may stem from superstition, according to phobia facts.
Its no wonder that black cats are often shunned. Close contact and learning more about the history of cats could help ailurophobes.
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Number : Fear Of Failure
The fear of failure is another big fear which can turn into a full blown phobia rather quickly. Its one of the most common phobias in the western world today.Most people living in the west must live by certain rules if they want to succeed in life. They must get their exams, they must get that place in college, they must get the job.
Its a pretty tough call when you think about it, we are continuously trying to be winners but at some stage we are going to have to deal with failure.
Some of us can deal with the fear of failure more than others, these people put their failure down as lessons and this is how everyone should deal with this fear. To fail at something is a natural part of the learning curve. Imagine if you never failed at anything in life, everything you touched turned into gold, how would you ever learn if this was the case.
As an example of this, take a look at all those really wealthy kids of rich & famous people, a good percentage of them will have disastrous lives filled with drugs and visits to jail cells. This happens because they had it all put on their lap and they didnt have to learn anything, it just all came to them, they never had to fail at anything in their lives because they didnt have to try in the first place.
So when you look at it like this you can see how an important role failure can play in our lives, its simply an important learning aid which can shape our lives.