Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder in humans that is characterized by the persistent fear of objects and situations. It is estimated that about 9% compared to 18% of people in the United States fight with one or more phobias. For fear of an object or a situation to consider a phobia, it must last a long time, for six months or more. Victims of phobia usually take precautions and sometimes even dangerous measures to avoid contact and experience with their cause of fear. Fear develops after a horrible experience, or the victim or someone else, the fear could be genetic and innate, or it could develop after a negative experience. Some of the most common phobias are discussed below.
Mysophobia is the fear of dirt due to contamination by bacteria and germs. The phobia is also referred to as verminophobia, germophobia, bacillophobia or bacteriophobia. Bacteriophobia and bacillophobia refer specifically to the fear of exposure and contamination of bacteria and microbes in general. Mysophobia is characterized by victims who constantly wash their hands. In fact, some of the victims are in possession of a collection of reserved disinfectants to wash their hands.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which victims perceive certain environments outside their residence as unsafe. They might be afraid to go to public places, shopping malls or open spaces. Victims will always do their best to avoid these places, with some unable to leave their homes. Agoraphobia can be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Victims may fear certain places because someone close to them was injured or killed while he was in those places. He has also been known to be hereditary. Agoraphobia can be suppressed by consulting the victims and subjecting them to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
- Social phobia
Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder. It is characterized by extreme fear and anxiety about being in an event or social situation. Social phobic individuals have characteristics that exceed the normal levels of shyness that people might experience when they are in a social situation. They are very afraid of engaging in a conversation with a stranger. Those affected are very afraid of being the center of attention or are afraid to behave in a way that would be embarrassing and humiliating for them. Victims usually have signs such as blushing, stuttering, excessive sweating, nausea or tremors when they are in social places. In extreme cases, some victims have panic attacks.
Trypanophobia is the extreme fear of a medical procedure involving injections and hypodermic needles. Those who have this phobia go to an extent to avoid blood tests and medical care, even if they are extremely sick with fear injection. An estimated 10 percent of American adults suffer from trypanophobia. When they are about to be injected, those affected become extremely irritated and experience symptoms such as excessive sweating, nausea, high heart rate and, in extreme cases, the victims could faint. Some of the victims get irritated when they see another person undergoing medical procedures involving injections.
Astrophobia, also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia or tonitrophobia, is the fear of lightning and thunder. It is developed by both humans and other animals. The animals that mostly experience the astrafobia are dogs and cats. Even if the threat is minimal, those affected will feel very anxious. During the storm, victims may feel nauseated, cry, tremble, sweat excessively, a sudden and urgent need to urinate and a rapid heartbeat. Fear is usually more intense when the victim is alone. They often cover their ears with their hands and seek more shelter during the storm. They can hide under a bed or in a closet to help them suppress sound and light. They are usually careful to receive news and updates on weather forecasts and rarely leave without checking for weather updates. Repeated exposure to lightning and thunder helps build immunity.
Cynophobia is the fear of dogs. The victim could also be scared by looking at the pictures of the dogs. More women suffer from this phobia than males. In fact, most adults who have cynophobia may have developed it during childhood, especially between the ages of 5 and 9. Cynophobia often develops after a victim has had a bad experience with a dog, like being been bitten or chased, or having heard horrible stories about other people’s dogs.
Aerophobia is the fear of flying. Aerobobia victims become anxious and very frightened at the thought of being on a plane or helicopter. They often do their best to avoid journeys involving air travel. In extreme cases, victims could vomit or have panic attacks at the sight or mention of air travel. They become very irritable and distressed when a planned air journey approaches. The constant journey by plane helps eliminate aerophobia. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be administered.
Acrophobia is the fear of height. Most with acrophobia become extremely nervous and anxious when in a high place. Although the place cannot be considered very high by other people, for acrophobic it can still be a source of extreme fear. Fear comes with the thought of falling, and the symptoms begin to subside when they return to earth. While they are at the top, they sweat excessively, experience panic attacks, increase heart rate and may even faint. Antidepressants and anxiolytics can be used to reduce fear.
Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. Victims are frightened by fear of poison or bitten by snakes. It is the most common phobia reported by most people. In fact, researchers have discovered that up to a third of humans are ophidiophobic. The victims not only fear the snakes alive, but also get scared by watching a snake video or looking at snake images. Fear is more common in adults than in children. In fact, the children were found playing with the snake not knowing the dangers they could expose themselves.
Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and other arachnids like scorpions. It is one of the most common phobias. Victims usually get panic attacks, weak, sweating excessively, crying or screaming at the sight of spiders and other arachnids. In some extreme cases, only the sight of a net or of spider drawings triggers a sudden explosion of fear. Some victims have been known to take bold measures like burning a house to get rid of a spider. Victims go a long way in trying to avoid a place they think spiders can accommodate. Sedatives and spouser therapy can help reduce arachnophobia.