How Many People Have Phobias
If you have one of the previous phobias, you can be sure that you are not alone. Phobias are the most common psychiatric illness among women, says the American Psychiatric Association. It is the second most common in men.
The National Institute of Mental Health ; has suggested that about 10% of U.S. adults are affected by phobias each year. Phobias typically appear during childhood or adolescence and go on into adulthood. They also affect about twice as many women as men.
Zoophobia: A Menagerie Of Fears
The most common type of specific phobia is zoophobia or fear of animals. Zoophobia is actually a generic term that encompasses a group of phobias involving specific animals. Examples include arachnophobia — fear of spiders; ophidiophobia — fear of snakes; ornithophobia — fear of birds, and apiphobia — fear of bees. Such phobias often develop in childhood and sometimes go away as the child ages. But they can persist into adulthood.
The Three Kinds Of Phobia
Hundreds of different phobias have been identified, including phobophobia or fear of phobias. But when talking about phobias, which are a kind of anxiety disorder, experts divide them into three categories — agoraphobia, an intense anxiety in public places where an escape might be difficult; social phobia, a fear and avoidance of social situations; and specific phobia, an irrational fear of specific objects or situations.
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Causes And Risk Factors For Phobias
Like many other anxiety disorders, the exact cause of phobias arent well known. Still, scientists believe potential causes of phobias are:
- Temperamental. The tendency to feel uncomfortable emotions, being withdrawn, and a fear of being seen negatively are connected to the development of phobias.
- Environmental. Bad or traumatic experiences with the feared object often happen before a phobia comes up. For example, getting stuck in a tight space could cause claustrophobia.
- Genetic. Phobias often run in families. Some types, like animal and situational phobias, are about heritable. Brain structures and connectivity could also contribute to phobias.
Other risk factors for developing phobias include:
- parental loss or separation
- having another mental health condition
- substance use
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Between of people with COPD also have a specific phobia.
Phobias are also strong predictors of other mental health disorders and substance use.
Up to of people with social phobia also live with major depression , making MD the most commonly cooccurring condition with social anxiety disorder.
About 16% of people with social anxiety disorder also have substance use disorder. Though the reason for this isnt entirely clear, its likely that substances are used to manage the strong emotions caused by the phobia.
The Most Common Phobias
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Terrified of the creepy-crawlies? Scared of slithering serpents? Well, youre not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, phobias are the most common psychiatric illness among women and the second most common among men.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that phobias;affect approximately 10% of U.S. adults each year. These phobias typically emerge during childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood. They also impact twice as many women as they do men.
There are a number of explanations for why phobias develop, including evolutionary and behavioral theories. Whatever the cause, phobias are treatable conditions that can be minimized and even eliminated with;cognitive;and;behavioral therapy;techniques and medication.
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What Are The Effects Of Phobias
Untreated, phobias can significantly interfere with ones ability to function and enjoy life. People with phobias may experience problems at work, school, and with family and friends. Phobias may get better for short periods of time, but they dont typically resolve without treatment. Phobias may go hand-in-hand with alcoholism. Those who struggle with alcoholism are up to 10 times more likely to have a phobia compared to those who dont struggle with alcoholism. And people who have phobias are up to twice as likely to be alcoholics compared to those who do not have phobias.
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Brontophobia: Fear Of Thunder
The Greek word bronte means thunder and brontophobia means fear of thunder. Even though people with brontophobia may realize thunder won’t hurt them, they may refuse to go outside during a thunderstorm. They may even hide indoors by crouching behind a couch or waiting out the storm in a closet. An abnormal fear of both thunder and lightning is called astraphobia, a phobia shared by people and animals.
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Carcinophobia: Fear Of Cancer
People with carcinophobia or cancerophobia live with an irrational dread of developing cancer. Every bodily discomfort becomes a sign for them that they have a malignant growth somewhere inside. A headache, for instance, is a sign for them that they have a brain tumor. Cognitive therapy can help someone with carcinophobia regain control of their life.
08 January,2020 |Reading Time: 6minutes
Common Types of Phobias
Its okay to feel afraid of some things or some people. Fear is an instinct borne out of past experiences, an unpleasant reaction to something distressing or dangerous. However, an unwarranted fear or an irrational panicky reaction can be a cause of concern. Psychologists label this as phobia and explain how some people feel alarmed on contact with some object or reference to a place or situation.
The American Psychiatric Association explains how this overwhelming feeling of dread can affect anyone at any time or place. Scientists at the APA have identified three phobiatypes whichinclude social phobias, agoraphobia, and specific phobias.
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.
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What Medications Treat Phobias
Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be used to treat phobias. Sometimes medications are used alone or along with another treatment such as desensitization therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy . Escitalopram , sertraline , fluvoxamine , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and citalopram are examples of SSRIs.
Beta-blockers are medications that counteract the effect of adrenaline in the body. These medications may be used to treat phobias. Propranolol is one kind of beta-blocker. Benzodiazepines are another class of medication that may be used to treat phobias. These medications promote relaxation, but they are highly addictive and overdose may be associated with very serious consequences. Mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines can be deadly. For these reasons, benzodiazepines are not frequently used to treat phobias. Medications in this class include clonazepam , alprazolam , lorazepam , and diazepam .
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For Phobias
A variety of factors contribute to the development of phobias. Genes, cultural influences, and traumatic events can all contribute to phobias. Someone who has an immediate relative with a phobia is about three times more likely to suffer from a phobia than someone who does not have a similar family history. People with phobias try to manage stress by avoiding things they are afraid of. They may also find it difficult to minimize the intensity of fearful or stimulating situations, which reinforces the phobia.
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What Is The Treatment For Phobias
Most people who;experience phobias find relief from their symptoms when treated with therapy, medication and education, or a combination of these. There are many things that people develop a phobia of, so dont worry if you have an unusual phobia the treatment and self-help methods will work for you as well.
Education can be a helpful first step towards recovering from or managing your phobia better. You can start by looking at the self-help books and websites suggested on this page. They can help you:
- understand how phobias develop
- find ways of describing what happens to you, including problems that you may have kept completely to yourself up to now
- teach you about some of the ways of dealing with your phobia
- learn about how addressing your anxiety is key to reducing your phobias
- realise that you are not alone lots of people experience phobias and most of them recover from them or at least learn to manage them much better.
Counselling or therapy
There are trained professionals who know about phobias and how to help someone who is affected by them. They can provide you with support and help for working through any distressing thoughts and feelings you have and support you to make positive changes in your life. For some people, it might be helpful to understand why your phobia developed;and may involve processing earlier trauma. For others, this is not important or useful, and instead, the key is to focus on changing your thinking and behaviour.
Top 10 Most Common Phobias
Many people wonder what phobias are and what are the most common phobias. Specific phobias are those where a person has an intense and irrational fear of a specific thing and are one of three classifications of phobias according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition . Approximately 7% to 12% of people are believed to meet diagnostic criteria for at least one specific phobia during their lifetimes. The types of specific phobias include animals , natural environment , blood/injection/injury , situational , and other . Animal phobias and fear of heights are the most common of the various types of specific phobias. While there are hundreds of possible specific phobias, below is a list of ten of the most common specific phobias:
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How Do You Get Treatment For Phobias
Phobias are really difficult to manage alone, and luckily, you dont have to theres help out there. Like many other anxiety disorders, they respond well to treatment. The first step is to see your GP or mental health professional, or get in touch with a professional service online or over the phone.
Your doctor will work with you, at a pace that suits you, to figure out a treatment plan that works for you. This could include a combination of therapy, medication and self-management strategies. Get some more information about treatments for anxiety disorders here.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Phobias
Phobia symptoms may include panic, terror, dread, rapid or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, sweating, feelings of wanting to escape or flee, and trembling. People with phobias often know their fears are out of proportion to any actual threat or danger. It’s not uncommon for someone who has a phobia to go to extreme lengths to avoid or flee from a phobic situation.
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Treat Your Phobia: Why Cadabams Hospitals
At Cadabams Hospitals, we have an experienced team of psychotherapists who specialize in dealing with patients with phobias. This excessive and irrational fear can be challenging to handle and treat. So, to help individuals, we outline tailored solutions to address their unique needs, requirements, and preferences. Our team adopts a personalized and friendly approach that underlines care for you at the core.;
Get the best-suited treatment for your phobia disorder. To know more about phobias or to book an appointment, call us at +91 97414 76476 or visit Cadabams Hospitals.;
We are here to help!
How The Brain Works During A Phobia
Some areas of the brain store and recall dangerous or potentially deadly events.
If a person faces a similar event later on in life, those areas of the brain retrieve the stressful memory, sometimes more than once. This causes the body to experience the same reaction.
In a phobia, the areas of the brain that deal with fear and stress keep retrieving the frightening event inappropriately.
Researchers have found that phobias are
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How Is Aquaphobia Treated
Since aquaphobia is considered a specific phobia, its treated most commonly with two forms of psychotherapy: exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
The preferred treatment method is exposure therapy. During this type of therapy, youll be repeatedly exposed to the source of the phobia in this case, water. As youre exposed to water, your therapist will keep track of your reactions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations in order to help you manage your anxiety.
With cognitive behavioral therapy, youll learn to challenge your thoughts and beliefs about your fear of water. As you learn to challenge your fears, youll also develop strategies to cope with those thought patterns and beliefs.
In addition to professional treatment, there are also several self-care techniques you can practice at home. Mindfulness-based strategies, daily physical activity, yoga, and deep breathing are all helpful strategies when treating phobias.
In the later stages of treatment, you may decide to work with a specially trained swim instructor who can help you learn to feel comfortable swimming.
Your doctor might also prescribe medications to treat some symptoms of anxiety and panic. But the Mayo Clinic notes these arent used long term. Rather, medications can help during initial treatment and for specific reasons.
Normal Fears In Children
Many childhood fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. For example, many young children are afraid of the dark and may need a nightlight to sleep. That doesnt mean they have a phobia. In most cases, they will grow out of this fear as they get older.
For example, the following childhood fears are extremely common and considered normal:
0-2 years Loud noises, strangers, separation from parents, large objects.
3-6 years Imaginary things such as ghosts, monsters, the dark, sleeping alone, strange noises.
7-16 years More realistic fears such as injury, illness, school performance, death, natural disasters.
If your childs fear is not interfering with their daily life or causing them a great deal of distress, then theres little cause for undue concern. However, if the fear is interfering with your childs social activities, school performance, or sleep, you may want to see a qualified child therapist.
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Where Can People Get Information And Help For Phobias
If you or a loved one suffers from a phobia, the following organizations can help.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides education and advocacy for mental health issues. NAMI also offers support groups, online discussion groups, and listings for state and local NAMI chapters.
- MentalHealth.gov offers education and a helpful treatment locator to help you find mental health services and resources in your area.
Additional resources are listed above on this slide.
- MentalHealth.gov: “Phobias. ” Aug. 22, 2017.
- APA: “Figuring Out Phobia.”
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 .
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Tips For Managing Claustrophobia
Many people with claustrophobia will avoid the spaces that trigger the condition. But that may not be a good long-term solution because you may eventually find yourself in a scary but unavoidable situation. Here are some ways to cope during an attack:
- Breathe slowly and deeply while counting to three with each breath.
- Focus on something safe, like time passing on your watch.
- Remind yourself repeatedly that your fear and anxiety will pass.
- Challenge whats triggering your attack by repeating that the fear is irrational.
- Visualize and focus on a place or moment that brings you calm.
Its also important not to resist the attack when its happening. You may want to stop the attack from happening, but if youre unable to stop it, your anxiety may increase and make the attack worse.
Instead, accept that the attack is occurring, remind yourself that its OK to experience these feelings, reassure yourself that the attack isnt life threatening, and remember that it will pass.
How Are Specific Phobias Diagnosed
If symptoms of a specific phobia are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a medical and psychiatric history and may perform a brief physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose specific phobias, the doctor may use various tests to make sure that a physical illness isn’t the cause of the symptoms.
If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use clinical interviews and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a specific phobia.
The doctor bases their diagnosis of specific phobias on reported symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms. A specific phobia is diagnosed if the person’s fear and anxiety are particularly distressing or if they interfere with their daily routine, including school, work, social activities, and relationships.
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