Phobias in psychology translate into developing a type of fear that turns out to be uncontrollable and extreme This is a condition that can be generated from a stimulus which can be represented by an object, activity, situation, animal or any other specific representation of what generates rejection.

Phobias are not related to worries and it is not a reaction associated with stress. It is a condition that limits people who suffer from it because they cannot have control over themselves. This is because phobias generally cause physical reactions such as running away, screaming, sweating, nausea and even clumsiness in body movements. On a psychological level, the person may experience loss of consciousness, scattered thoughts, momentary loss of memory, and an inability to reason as they normally would.

It has multiple consequences for those who suffer from it, but above all it affects personal and professional life . Due to the inability to cope with what creates fear, people often avoid highlighting certain activities or missing important opportunities. Consequently, other conditions such as anxiety can also develop.

What are phobias?

Phobias are defined as fears that are uncontrollable, unconscious and limiting that a person experiences when coming into contact with a particular stimulus. Phobias usually obtain a logical explanation and also radically change the way people act. Reactions to a situation, object, personal or any other possible trigger for a phobia are considered exaggerated.

Phobias can be grouped into different categories according to the type of origin of what generates it. That is, a classification can be made taking into account what type of stimulus causes such a reaction . Some phobias are due to natural environments, for example, this is the case of fear of storms or lightning.

There are also phobias towards specific animal species such as insects or birds. Another category would be made up of phobias that focus their attention on situations or objects associated with medicine, such as injections, blood or hospitals. Fear of choking or vomiting may also be mentioned.

There are also phobias related to specific situations in very particular environments, this is the case of the phobia of elevators, cars, bridges or airplanes. Finally, there are also fears that are less common, such as the fear of music, clowns or very large or small objects.

What are the characteristics of phobias? 

Generally, the first signs that indicate the suffering of a phobia begin at an early age, at the end of childhood and in adolescence. In these cases, the most common thing is to develop phobias that are related to objects, animals and situations that are unknown. As for adults, they begin to develop phobias that is more related to the fear of facing tense or stressful situations .

Phobias generally arise from the perception of danger from an object or situation. People often use the resource of avoidance or refusal to face what they fear the most, however this also represents limiting themselves in carrying out certain daily activities.

Another important characteristic of phobias is that they generally do not have a logical reason for which they occur. The perception of danger is a particular process that changes in each person, in the case of those who suffer from some type of phobia, they themselves understand the uniqueness of their condition.

Where are you from? 

The cause or origin of phobias so far is considered to be unknown. Part of the scientific community and psychologists who have specialized in this subject, affirm that in most cases the development of some type of trauma can be identified . That is, it is possible that people who have experienced situations with negative consequences may in the long term be the cause of the generation of a phobia.

People can also be influenced by something similar that happened to someone else. Also witnessing certain events that have impacted them can be another cause. Finally, it is necessary to mention that the current way of life makes it more frequent that there is a constant increase in the number of patients with some psychological condition , such as phobias.

These unfounded fears may have their origin in some type of negative event experienced during childhood. This may partly explain the rarity of some phobias such as colors, shapes, objects, or animals. Traumatic events, such as having survived a traffic accident, can eventually contribute to the development of such a condition. The victim may avoid driving a car by herself or simply refuse to use any form of transportation.

What are your symptoms? 

The main symptom of a phobia is fear of a specific origin . In most cases it is an object or a situation, although there are also other phobias that are related to carrying out activities, such as social phobia .

Physical reactions are often uncontrollable and also exacerbated. This means that people can cry, run, scream, run away, hit or any other resource that allows them to defend themselves from what they are afraid of.

These reactions are more common in children, in the case of adults it can manifest itself from excessive worry that is a reflection of the damage they feel may occur. This means that it is possible to experience an increase in heart rate , increase in body sweating and even to faint. There are various reactions that can occur depending on the person.

Examples of phobias 

Only some of the phobias about which we have more information are mentioned below. Some others may have already been identified, however they do not have a name already assigned to refer to them. They have been classified into two categories according to the frequency with which they occur and also because of their strangeness. They are as follows:

Most common phobias 

The most common phobias are usually those that are present in a significant percentage of the population. Therefore, some of these conditions tend to be found in more people compared to others. Similarly, it is important to consider that some phobias still do not have a proper name and have not been formally identified either.

  • Arachnophobia : Some of the most widely known are the phobias that are generated from the fear of some species of animals. This is the case of arachnophonia, it is characterized by fearing any type of variety belonging to the species of spiders.
  • Acrophobia , hemophobia and colurophobia: Other phobias are those that are related to environmental situations, such as fear of storms or heights. Conditions that present a significant aversion to medical situations involving the use of injections or sharp objects are also considered common. The same happens with the possibility of observing blood or feeling pain.
  • The aerofobia : is characterized by fear of flying in air transport, also combined with another variant of this same condition in which people try to avoid wind. Even affected people may think that it is possible to drown.
  • Social phobia: is another type of common phobia in which people try to avoid social exposure. This is one of the most limiting because it makes it difficult to establish relationships, this affects professional, academic and emotional life in the long term.
  • Claustrophobia : Finally, it is important to mention claustrophobia, this is characterized by the fear of being in closed spaces that do not have easy access to the outside. People who suffer from it avoid using elevators, but they may also experience anxiety about the possibility of using doors that enclose them in rooms.

Stranger phobias 

The strangest or less common phobias are those that occur in a smaller number of the population globally. But it also belongs to this category in those that undoubtedly have an unlikely logic or that in addition the stimulus by which they arise usually does not represent any danger. These are conditions that can be a subject of shame for those who suffer from them. They are as follows:

  • Clinophobia is the fear of lying in a bed and also sleeping
  • Catisophobia is defined as the persistent fear of the possibility of sitting anywhere.
  • Chronophobia is defined as the fear of the passage of time. Those who experience it avoid using objects such as watches and often have difficulties in making use of dates.
  • Dendrophobia is suffered by people who avoid coming into contact with trees, regardless of their species, size or color.
  • Phagophobia is the phobia expressed by the irrational fear of the possibility of choking, swallowing food or choking on an object that prevents them from breathing.
  • Urophobia is the phobia characterized by uncontrollable fear of urination. People who suffer from it avoid
  • Photophobia is the intolerance and refusal to come into contact with light, it can be natural or artificial light.
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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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