Dangers Of Phobias

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Are you scared of heights or tight, enclosed spaces? Of the wriggly legs of a spider? You might be frightened of these things, but people with phobias are actually impaired physically or psychologically by them. They experience extreme panic attacks, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, or even fainting! These are not the symptoms of a normal fright, but rather of a phobic, a person who has a phobia. Phobics avoid the object of their fear at all costs, to the point where it is unreasonably affecting their normal lives. Dr. R. Reid Wilson says: “I had a woman come in who was afraid of spiders, and it got to the point where she wouldn 't go out at night because she couldn 't see where they were.” Phobias that impair people and disrupt their …show more content…
As defined by Oxford Dictionaries, a phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of something.” A phobia is persistent, and excessive, even if the actual object itself poses little, or no danger. There are three main categories of phobias: specific, social, and agoraphobia. Specific phobias are irrational fears of a certain object or situation. Examples include arachnophobia, acrophobia (fear of heights), and claustrophobia. Social phobias, according to the Mayo Clinic, are “a chronic health condition in which social interactions cause anxiety.” In other words, a social phobia is a fear of social situations pertaining to interactions with people, the public, and society. This may in due course lead to depression and self-harm. On the other hand, agoraphobia is the fear of crowded public places and enclosed spaces. Unfortunately, this can’t be cured, but agoraphobia is shown to be able to be reduced through …show more content…
Although some phobias are chronic and may never be fully cured, they can be healed to the point where they are bearable. Exposure therapy includes gradually being exposed to the object of the phobia, over and over, until the patient’s tolerance has strengthened. A standard way to treat phobias in the past was systematic desensitization, where the patient is taught to relax and stay relaxed while being exposed from different levels. Once the relaxed state dissipates, the exercise would stop until the patient once again achieved the state of relaxation, and it would start all over again, this time upping the ante. Since then, as medicine has advanced, so have treatments. Now, cognitive-behavioral modification is the norm. Similar to systematic desensitization, cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients how to manage their feelings instead of forcing relaxation. This type of treatment allows the patient to modify their attitude towards the phobia. The feelings of fear become tolerated and acknowledged, instead of the person being overwhelmed and controlled by them. Virtual reality is the final option for seeking healing for phobias. It is not as widespread, as the cost for manufacturing the equipment is high. This treatment involves being exposed to a virtual situation or object. Therapy and other treatments can lessen the negative effects a phobia(s) has on functioning in normal life, even if the phobia(s) isn’t

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