08 January,2020 | Reading Time: 6 minutes
Common Types of Phobias (And How to Treat Them)
It’s 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 (APA) explains how this overwhelming feeling of dread can affect anyone at any time or place. Scientists at the APA have identified three phobia types which include – social phobias, agoraphobia, and specific phobias.
Not everyone feels afraid of the same reason, person, place, or circumstances. Unlike people diagnosed with anxiety problems who feel apprehensive irrespective of the reason, phobias are usually connected to a specific source. Depending on the source or situation that may trigger a nervous feeling or reaction, psychiatrists define phobia types as:
The common symptoms that people with social phobia show include:
This is a verycommon type of phobia that is often misunderstood as fear of open spaces though the same people may show similar levels of anxiety when confined to a small, limited space like an elevator or while using public transport. Studies have shown that women suffer more from this problem than men.
An assessment of the various emotional disorders and phobias details the types of specific phobias including:
Social phobia and Agoraphobia are a bit complex and less easily recognized. The difficult part of suffering from these phobias is that those affected by them feel more vulnerable to situations that trigger these unwarranted fears such as leaving the house alone or being a part of a large crowd.
Surveys and investigations of people seeking treatment for their phobia problems list some common types of phobias. These include:
Simple and common as they may sound, some of these types of phobias can be gut-wrenching as unexplained fear haunts them and may cause some of them to lose their lives. This is because phobias are not the same as simple childhood fears but have a deep-rooted, inexplicable aspect to them that must be explored before being treated.
It takes a lot of willpower and bravery on one’s part to get rid of their deep-seated fears though the same can be overcome with proper and regular treatment under the guidance of an experienced therapist. Psychologists maintain that therapies and medication are vital to overcoming any type of phobia.
Considering the irrationality behind most of these phobias that pervade the mind during childhood or adolescence and may continue till adulthood, psychologists treat them with the same seriousness as mental health problems. In most cases, mental health experts recommend behavioral therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for effective treatment and recovery.
Some others also advise exposure therapy wherein the patients are gradually exposed to situations that they fear the most. Getting used to the object you fear most has an adjusting effect on one’s feelings and response that helps in the gradual overcoming of the phobia.
Make a note of the following particulars which could help in identifying the signs. Also, it helps the individual to prepare the questions to ask the medical professional. This can help the individual smoothen the process to overcome the phobia:
Early identification and timely treatment can help in better management of the phobia and in improving the quality of life. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional. For evidence-based treatment and therapies with an expert team of professionals, reach out to us.
At Cadabam’s 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 Cadabam’s Hospitals.
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Yes, phobias are a type of mental disorder. More specifically, they are a type of anxiety disorder, which involves a strong and irrational fear of something. This fear, at times, can stretch to an extreme point that it affects the person’s physical movement.
Yes, almost every kind of phobia can be treated and cured. However, how long this treatment will take depends on the type of phobia and its severity. The self-exposure therapy helps, wherein the person faces what they fear. This, however, should be done following the advice of an expert. Moreover, a good psychotherapist by your side can make this treatment process much more effective and simpler.
There are many ways phobias can affect your personality. It really depends on the type of phobia we’re dealing with. For instance, if you have a phobia of meeting people (anthropophobia), this can shape you into being an introvert and loner. This can further impact your personal and professional growth. So, if you indeed have any phobias, it’s important to seek proper treatment to offset any of its long-term effect on your personality.
This depends on the type of phobia we’re talking about. For example, if you have fear of height (acrophobia), you can avoid heights. But if you have a fear of doctors (iatrophobia), this can be dangerous; if you ever need medical help, would you approach someone who you fear?! There are many such instances when phobias can be dangerous. This is especially true for people with existing health conditions, like heart disease.
Fear of height, fear of insects, fear of meeting people, fear of flying, fear of dogs, fear of being alone, fear of public speaking, fear of enclosed spaces. These are some of the most common types of phobias.