Fears and Phobias

What is the difference between a fear and phobia?

A Fear:
This is an emotional response to a threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. Fear should not be confused with anxiety as this usally occurs without any external threat

A Phobia:
This is a intense reaction or irrational reation to something or some situation. The sufferer will; experience feelings that appear to be completly out of there control. The sufferer will actively ensure that they never allow themselfs to be in any situtation that could cause phobic reaction.

Specific phobias can be categorised into five main types:

  • Animal Phobias
    Spiders, Snakes, Dogs, Cats etc.

  • Natural Environment
    Heights, Fire, Water, Thunderstorms and the dark.

  • Blood / Injury /Needles
    Injections, the sight of blood, dentistry, surgical operations, or other invasive medical procedures.

  • Situational
    Flying, lifts, driving, tunnels, bridges, enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), or being sick. 

Top 10 Common phobias

  1. Arachnophobia
    The fear of spiders.
    This phobia tends to affect women more than men.
  2. Ophidiophobia
    The fear of snakes.
    Often attributed to evolutionary causes, personal experiences, or cultural influences.
  3. Acrophobia
    The fear of heights.
    This fear can lead to anxiety attacks and avoidance of high places.
  4. Agoraphobia
    The fear of situations in which escape is difficult.
    This may include crowded areas, open spaces, or situations that are likely to trigger a panic attack. People will begin avoiding these trigger events, sometimes to the point that they cease leaving their home.
    Approximately one third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia.
  5. Cynophobia
    The fear of dogs.
    This phobia is often associated with specific personal experiences, such as being bitten by a dog during childhood.
  6. Astraphobia
    The fear of thunder and lightening.
    Also known as Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, or Ceraunophobia.
  7. Trypanophobia
    The fear of injections.
    Like many phobias, this fear often goes untreated because people avoid the triggering object and situation.
  8. Social Phobias
    The fear of social situations.
    In many cases, these phobias can become so severe that people avoid events, places, and people that are likely to trigger an anxiety attack.
  9. Pteromerhanophobia
    The fear of flying.
    Often treated using exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually and progressively introduced to flying.
  10. Mysophobia
    The fear of germs or dirt.
    May be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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