Fear And Phobia – Are They The Same Thing?
The fear arises from the interpretation of a stimulus as dangerous to our well-being, causing a state of alert in the body. Therefore, it is healthy to be afraid of some things since this reaction keeps us away from certain dangers and guarantees our survival.
On the other hand, when we speak of phobias, we are not talking about this rational and adaptive fear. Phobias refer to an excessive/exaggerated fear in the face of the real danger that a given situation represents. Therefore, there is an overestimation of the threat and consequences of the feared situation and a limitation of the day-to-day life of the person who has a phobia.
Do I Have A Phobia?
- Do you feel an intense and persistent fear when you anticipate, or are you in the presence of a situation/object that represents little or no actual danger?
- Do you feel panic/terror when you are in the presence of the object/situation?
- Do you recognize that the fear you feel is excessive or illogical, but you cannot control it?
- Is the feared situation/object often avoided or faced with intense discomfort and anxiety?
- Does this intense fear significantly condition your daily life?
In short, if you answered “Yes” to most questions, you likely developed a phobia. However, it is essential to make a psychological assessment for the precise definition of the diagnosis.
Common Specific Phobias
Specific phobias refer to an intense and persistent fear that the person feels in the presence or anticipation of a particular situation/object.
Next, we share with you some of the most common specific phobias:
- Acrophobia – fear of heights
- Claustrophobia – fear of being in closed / tight spaces
- Agoraphobia – fear of staying in situations/places where escape may be intricate or where there is no immediate help in case of need
- Glossophobia – fear of public speaking
- Aerophobia – fear of flying
- Aicmophobia – fear of needles / syringes / injections
- Hematophobia – fear of blood
- Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
- Cynophobia – fear of dogs
- Ophidiophobia – fear of snakes
Do you know which are the “strangest” phobias?
Each of us can think of someone we know and who has an exaggerated fear of something: animals, heights, closed places. There are many options! But, let’s see if you know the phobias that we present below:
- Somnifobia – fear of sleep
- Ablutophobia – fear of bathing
- Phagophobia – fear of swallowing
- Afphobia – fear of being touched by others
- Philophobia – intense fear of falling in love
- Tripophobia – fear of holes
- Descendophobia – fear of going downstairs or sloping floors
- Heliophobia – fear of the sun
- Antophobia – Fear of Flowers
Why Is It So Difficult To Overcome A Phobia?
The fear of confronting the feared situation/object is so intense that avoidance is usually the most common response. Therefore, most people have this safety behavior to prevent what they fear from happening. However, avoidance prevents us from having unconfirmatory experiences. Thus, whenever we avoid it, we do not have the opportunity to realize that what we fear is excessive and that the feared consequences will not occur. Therefore, it becomes difficult to overcome a phobia because avoidance reinforces the wrong beliefs that are the basis of our fears.
An antidepressant called marplan from the MOA inhibitors can be used to overcome phobia