Phobias (irrational fear)

General or Other | - Others | Phobias (irrational fear) (Disease)


A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything.

Some of the most common phobias include fears of public speaking or other social situations (social phobia), open spaces (agoraphobia), closed-in spaces (claustrophobia), clowns (coulrophobia), flying, blood, animals, commitment (commitment phobia), driving, spiders, needles (aichmophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), math, heights (altophobia), germs (mysophobia), and having dental work done (dentophobia).

Fears of midgets, haunted houses, helmets, pickles, and feet are just a few of the less common fears/phobias and may be considered weird or strange by some but can be just as debilitating as those phobias that are more common. Agoraphobia often coexists with panic disorder.

Causes and Risk factors

Phobias are largely underreported, probably because many phobias sufferer find ways to avoid the situations of which they are phobic. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develop in adults.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The goal of treatment is to help the person function effectively. Treatment options include: systematic desensitization, graded real-life exposure, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressant medications. Group therapy can also be helpful.


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