A phobia is a fear that cannot be controlled. It can be caused by a certain object, place, process, situation or even feeling.
There are a lot of phobias but each one is based on a strong anxiety.
At the same time, everyone is faced with the latter from time to time.
How to distinguish ordinary anxiety from phobia and what to do to stop the panic?
When Phobia Occurs?
An unpleasant conversation with the authorities, a misunderstanding in the family, or a tough deadline, all this can be disturbing.
This condition cannot be called pleasant but the situation remains under control.
This is the so-called adaptation anxiety, which usually passes quickly. But there is another type of anxiety that is pathological.
The main difference between pathological anxiety is that you feel it even when you don’t actually experience a real threat.
With an attack of anxiety, a person ceases to control the situation and their health deteriorates sharply.
It becomes difficult to breathe, you experience sweating or shivering, dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness.
These symptoms of panic are associated with activation of the hypothalamus and the autonomic centers of the brain.
Pathological anxiety occurs spontaneously or in response to a specific stimulus and intensifies over time.
Animals, insects, natural phenomena or certain actions and processes often become a trigger.
What Types of Phobias Exist?
Aerophobia takes the leading place in the list of fears.
Some people are afraid to fly only because they do not understand what is happening on the plane.
They are afraid of the sounds and shaking of the plane as well as the inability to control the process.
In an airplane, you can’t even see exactly where you are traveling.
In this case, the understanding of what and how it’s happening will help you calm down.
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Another common fear is agoraphobia or fear of open spaces.
A person goes to the park and begins to panic, it becomes difficult to breathe.
When working with a psychotherapist, it may turn out that a person is subconsciously afraid of falling into an awkward or inappropriate position.
Sometimes a panic develops when you need to speak to an audience.
The opposite fear is claustrophobia, in which panic occurs in a confined space such as a room without windows, an elevator, or in a crowd of people.
The causes of claustrophobia are not fully understood. Experts note that the problem can provoke severe stress experienced in childhood.
It is believed that claustrophobia develops due to dysfunction of the amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for the feeling of fear.
There are many phobias associated with animals and most often people are afraid of spiders, snakes, and dogs.
According to one theory, fear of snakes or spiders could develop during evolution as a means of protecting people from deadly bites.
Fear of dogs or cats can be associated with an experienced attack of these animals or even the possibility of such an attack if a person is moved by the story of how a dog bit a friend.
Fear of heights is natural as the brain receives information about the loss of control and a person begins to feel defenseless.
Such fear is connected with the instinct of self-preservation but this is not the same thing.
A protective reaction in the form of fear arises in a really dangerous situation when on the edge of a precipice.
If you look down from the window of the twentieth floor and are afraid then you have acrophobia because there is no real threat to life.
Fear of intimate relationships is a rare but very complex fear.
In women, it is usually associated with pelvic pain during sex, sexual violence, and an inspired attitude to sex as something shameful.
Over time, accumulated fears can develop into a phobia.
The way to deal with the latter depends on its cause and in case of soreness or inflammatory disease, you need to first treat the underlying issue.
Another common phobia is iatrophobia, the fear of doctors which is usually associated with previous unpleasant experiences or simply impressionability as a result of someone’s scary stories.
Not going to the doctor is a bad decision, so it’s better to research the matter and find a doctor you trust.
You can ask the doctor to explain at the appointment what exactly will happen as understanding helps you not to be afraid.
Why You Need to Fight Uncontrollable Fear
Being aware of their phobia, a person tries to avoid meetings with a trigger and refuses to travel by subway or constantly postpones a visit to the dentist, which only worsens the quality of life.
If rational anxiety does not lead to serious consequences for a person’s lifestyle and goes away on its own, then a pathological phobia requires the help of specialists.
Phobia is only the tip of an iceberg. Anxiety disorder interferes with life at different levels.
If you defeat them then pleasant changes will occur in those areas of life where they were not expected at all.
If you are constantly frightened by something, worried about various things, and anxiety persists even with a successful outcome of events, then do not postpone a visit to a psychotherapist.
Phobias are solved by methods such as psychoanalysis or cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy.
If fear is accompanied by heart palpitations, sweating, and dizziness then treatment should begin with medication prescribed by a psychotherapist.