What are phobias?
The word phobia is derived from a Greek word phobos which means fear or horror.
Phobias are an exaggerated and debilitating form of fear. They are considered as an anxiety disorder which causes excessive reactions and irrational terror or fear towards certain things, places, living creatures and some situations.
The reaction can only be seen when a person comes across their triggers i.e situations or objects.
Even though phobias can be diagnosed and treated by a Psychiatrist in Lahore, most people tend to organize their life in such a way that they don’t need to confront their anxiety triggers.
What are the types of phobias:
Following are the kinds of phobias:
Social phobia: Social phobia or social anxiety disorder causes extreme worry and tension in people about getting involved in social situations. People with social phobia are unable to make simplest interactions like answering a phone call or ordering at a restaurant because it makes them panicky or triggers their anxiety. Social phobia can lead to self isolation.
Acrophobia: This is commonly known as the fear of heights. People suffering from this condition get dizzy, lightheaded when they come across bridges, mountains or top floors of buildings.
Glossophobia: People suffering from glossophobia are unable to appear in front of an audience. They get severe physical symptoms even when they think of performing before people.
Claustrophobia: The fear of enclosed spaces. People with a severe form of claustrophobia are unable to ride cars and elevators.
Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia is triggered by situations or places that a person is unable to escape. People with agoraphobia are unable to confront large crowds, it may be because they feel trapped outside their homes.
Dentophobia: This is the fear of dental procedures or seeing the dentist. Dentophobia is usually connected to an unpleasant experience at a dentist office in the past. It can be disabling if it prevents you from getting necessary dental care.
Aviophobia: People with aviophobia fear flying. Even the thoughts of flying may give shivers to their spine.
Hemophobia: This is a fear of blood or injury. People with hemophobia usually pass out when they come in direct contact with their own or someone else’s blood.
Nyctophobia: This phobia is triggered by darkness or night time. This is usually found in children as a typical childhood fear but when it progresses with age it is considered a phobia.
Arachnophobia: People with arachnophobia fear spiders.
Ophidiophobia: Ophidiophobia causes people to fear snakes.
Cynophobia: The fear of dogs is known as Cynophobia. People with cynophobia get anxiety when they come across a dog.
What are the symptoms of phobias?
The impact or symptoms from a phobia range from being mild to severely disabling. Patients usually experience symptoms when they come in direct contact with the source of their phobia. However in some cases even thinking about the source can lead to severe anxiety and panic attacks.
Some common symptoms of phobias are as follows:
- shortness of breath
- shaking or trembling in the body
- increased heart rate
- upset stomach
- chest pain
- high blood pressure
- slurred or rapid speech
- dry mouth
- a feeling that you’re about to choke
- a sense of impending grief
What are the causes of phobias?
Unlike other anxiety disorders, phobias are generally connected to something specific. Some common causes of phobias are:
- Traumatic or distressing events can lead to phobias for example a situation where a person nearly drowns can bring on a phobia. Similarly, exposure to animal or insect bites, confined spaces on heighted places can lead to phobias.
- Children who have direct family members or close relatives with anxiety orders are at a risk of having phobias. They may adopt the fear by observing it.
- Genetics also play a vital role for developing phobias in some people.
How can phobias be diagnosed?
Usually phobias are not diagnosed formally. In most cases people with a phobia are completely aware of their problem and they choose to live with it by avoiding the object or situations that trigger their fears or anxiety.
But doctors suggest that it is better if one visits a psychiatrist to get themselves evaluated, diagnosed and treated.
How can phobias be treated?
Medication: The first and foremost option to treat phobias is taking anti anxiety medication or antidepressants. These medicines can help by toning down physical and emotional reactions of your body towards the things that trigger your anxiety.
Congnitive Behavioural Therapy: Another great way to treat phobias according to Psychiatrist in Islamabad is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). How this therapy works is that the patient is exposed to the source of their fear under the doctor’s supervision in a controlled environment.
This treatment helps in reducing anxiety by identifying the negative thoughts and reactions to the triggers. With advancement in technology virtual reality technology is also used to expose people to their sources of phobias.