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5 of The Most Common Phobias

5 of The Most Common Phobias

 

You have probably heard or used the word phobia yourself severally, but what exactly is a phobia? Well, psychologically speaking, a phobia is a kind anxiety disorder commonly characterized by an extreme fear of a particular object or situation. In most cases, phobias begin in childhood or puberty and go on into adulthood.

Now, let’s have a look at five of the most common phobias experienced, shall we?

 

1. Arachnophobia

Starting us off is the persistent fear of arachnids especially spiders and others such as scorpions. Arachnophobia is the most prevalent zoophobia affecting approximately 1 of 3 women and 1 man in every 4. The cause is thought to be evolutionary.

Maybe you are fast to consider you’re suffering from arachnophonia just by looking at the above image and “disliking it” but the real disorder is much much worst. So it is very good to make the clear difference between suffering from it or just considering spiders yuck 🙂

It is well known that the actual fear is excessive because of the alert reactions versus the actual danger. Some people avoid certain places in the house because of the possibility spiders may appear unexpectedly (like the basement of your house)

Oculus Rift Virtual reality device is actually having an app (virtual room) in which users are immersed into a room full of spiders crawling their hands. It may sound scary due to the level or realism the VR glasses possess but on the long run it helps people get relaxed knowing it is not real. This relaxation is creating good association feelings with the spiders (or scorpions) and diminishes the panic and involuntary reactions.

 

2. Ophidiophobia

Commonly referred to as the fear of snakes, ophidiophobia is the second most widespread animal phobia experienced by close to 1/3 of adult humans, this includes my mom. It is speculated to be brought about by an evolutionary instinct, cultural background or personal encounters.

The wold is full of scary tales with snakes, even in the Bible there are the Heaven giant snakes roaming, so in our culture there is this extensive myth that snakes are “evil”. If you repeat to someone the same lie over and over again eventually they will believe it, is just a matter of persistence, so the same with these reptiles. Many people believe they are slimy but in fact the skin is made of dry scales. Also they attach just when they feel threatened and most of the time they hide under rocks or in the trees.

The snakes we find in rivers or ground in Europe are not poisonous, but that doesn’t stop people of fearing them and being startled in the forest. Other people are afraid of snakes because they don’t blink (which in our minds is kind of unnatural).

Of course if you suffer from ophidiophobia is better to take some medicine or try a therapist, maybe even do some meditation.

 

3. Acrophobia

The irrational fear of heights or falling, otherwise known as acrophobia, impacts nearly 23 million adults in the human population. Acrophobes like myself avoid in general any high place such as rooftops, bridges et cetera. Acrophobia is also thought to have evolutionary roots.

It is believed that all animals are afraid of heights (think of cats in a tree) and with people this fear is extended to flying a plane, taking a roller coaster, even taking an elevator or shopping mall automatic stairs. What may seem silly to some is terribly frightening to others.

The way to go forward if you suffer from this phobia is relaxation techniques , meditation, some therapy or even medication (not recommended unless really severe form). Also family and friends can support the person by avoiding places that can trigger a panic reaction.

 

4. Agoraphobia

This is the fear of either open places where sufferers feel uneasily exposed; or crowded spaces that would pose difficult to escape. When severe an agoraphobe may not leave their home entirely.

This is particularly tricky for the people who have to attend treatment at a clinic because they have to travel there, but these days we have online treatment so patients can attend virtually from the safety of their home.

It is known that coffee may be a trigger of the panic attack’s that eventually lead to this phobia. Also if someone in the family had the same fear it is much easier to be influenced and develop it.

People who suffered traumatic experiences may be prone to agoraphobia.

 

5. Cynophobia

While quite a number of people love and adore dogs and keep them as pets, there’s another group of people that extremely fear them, this is what is referred to as cynophobia. About 36% of those that seek phobia treatment have cynophobia, with a majority also having the fear of cats. It is mainly attributed to personal experiences and is more common in women than men.

 

Remember, you’re not alone as phobias are the most common psychiatric disorders and can notably alter your day-to-day routine. Luckily, they can be effectively treated with medication, psychotherapy or both depending on symptoms and intensity of the phobia.

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