What exactly a phobia is, and different ways that the phobia can be overcome.
A "phobia" is an irrational or unrealistic fear that affects daily life and activities. Everyone has a minor fear, like the fear of heights, acrophobia, or the fear of spiders, arachnophobia. There are also some very uncommon phobias, such as arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, hippopotomonstrosesequippedaliophobia, the fear of long words (how ironic), geniophobia, the fear of chins, or kyphophobia, the fear of stooping. A list of all the phobias (including the unusual ones) can be found here.
Phobias are classified into three categories: specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobias.
- Defined as "an extreme fear of a stimulus in which there are generally no realistic reasons to fear the stimulus." The person usually knows that there is absolutely no reason for this phobia, but they still fear the stimulus. Some common ones are heights, illness, spiders, etc.
- People who suffer from a social phobia are afraid of putting themselves into putting themselves in situations where they may be embarassed in front of others. These people are usually self-conscious. The most common social phobia is the fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia.
- The most common "symptom" of this is the fear of being in a situation which will be difficult to escape from (like airplanes, crowds, etc.) because they are afraid they will have a panic attack. In some severe cases, the person may only feel safe in their own home.
How to Overcome your Phobia
- Exposure Therapy: This is done by being exposed to the phobia numerous times until you feel "comfortable" with your fear.
- Exercise: Some doctors say this will help overcome a phobia, but it is undetermined how effective this actually is.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This works by helping you to feel more hopeful and optimistic about your life.
- Counseling: During this you will talk to a counselor about your fear, your life, and your childhood, until the two of you come to a conclusion as to why you suffer from this phobia. One downside to this is it depends entirely on the experience of the counselor.
- Self-Help: Said to be the most trusted way to rid yourself of phobias, this works by changing the way you think about your fear. A printable self-help method of overcoming phobia can be found at MOODJUICE.
So whatever your phobia, there is help out there.
Melinda Smith. "Phobias and Fears: Symptoms, Treatments, and Self-Help" HelpGuide.org
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