Abnormal Psychology Project

Phobias -- Liam Sheridan

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is defined by an individuals excessive or inappropriate fear of something specific. Having a phobia is categorized as a anxiety disorder by the DSM-V which means that the individuals main symptoms are fear, worry, or dread.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Being on edge or very restless
  • Feeling tired
  • Having difficulty with concentration
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Experiencing disturbed sleep
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Avoidance behavior

Causes of this Disorder:

Genetics
~ Studies have shown that up to 50% of people with some sort of anxiety disorder also have close relatives with the same disorder
Biochemical
~ An imbalance of neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine
Environmental
~ Individuals who are biologically vulnerable to stress can be affected by certain environmental stimuli
History
~ If there had been a traumatic event in their past that has ties to something that they might be experiencing

Treatment and Therapy:

When starting the process of treating a phobia, it is important to remember that they are considered to be a behavioral problem. The significance of know this is that because phobias are behavioral issues, it means that the individual has the ability of correcting their particular fear. More specifically, I would recommend using the Flooding therapy method for phobias similar to the Cynophobia, fear of dogs, the man has in the video below. The Flooding therapy method is defined by a large exposure to their fear in hopes that it will lessen their future response to that thing.
My Extreme Animal Phobia: Tough guy afraid of a puppy