Fears and Phobias

by Tara V.

What is a fear?

A fear is 'an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.'

What is a phobia?

A phobia is 'a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.'

Specific Phobias


Symptoms include:


  • Dizziness and feeling faint


  • Abnormally fast heartbeat


  • Sweating, trembling, and nausea


  • Shortness of breath


  • Avoidance of the feared object or situation


*Usually triggered by a traumatic experience.*

TYPES OF SPECIFIC PHOBIAS

Animal Phobias

  • Include the fear of dogs, snakes, insects, and all other animals.
  • Animal phobias are the most common phobias.
  • Some fears of predatory animals may be caused by our ancestors basic survival skills of fearing predators.
  • Spiders and snakes are usually feared not because they are "predatory", but because they are seen as "disgusting".
  • Snakes and birds may be feared because of superstition or religion.

Natural Enviornment Phobias

  • Include the fear of heights, storms, and water.
  • Usually onset later in life.

Situational Phobias

  • Include the fear of public transportation, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, driving, or enclosed spaces.
  • Usually peeks in childhood and in the mid-twenties

Blood Injection/Injury Phobias

  • Include the fear of invasive medical procedures, blood, or injections.
  • Is highly heritable.
  • Very likely that someone who has this phobia will faint if contact is made with a trigger of the phobia.

Did you know...

1. Babies can develop a fear of heights from being bounced or thrown by a stranger or untrusted person.

2. The 5 most common fears in the world are:

  • Acrophobia --> the fear of heights
  • Claustrophobia --> the fear of enclosed spaces
  • Nyctophobia --> the fear of the dark
  • Ophidiophobia --> the fear of snakes
  • Arachnophobia --> the fear of spiders

3. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the phobia of long words.

4. Adolf Hitler reportedly had his uniforms made in a bigger size than needed because he had an irrational fear that his clothes would strangle him --> a famous example of vestiphobia, the fear of clothing.

5. The celebrity with the most fears is Woody Allen. He is afraid of insects, sunshine, dogs, deer, bright colors, children, heights, small rooms, crowds, and cancer.

Bibliography

"Animal/Bird Phobias." Animal & Bird Phobias. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/animal.asp>.

"Fears and Phobias of 25 Big Celebrities." Fears and Phobias of 25 Big Celebrities - Netscape Entertainment. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/entertainment/fte/celebrityfears/celebrityfears>.

"The Phobia List." The Phobia List. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://phobialist.com/>.

"Phobias & Fears." Phobias and Fears: Symptoms, Treatment, and Self-Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://www.helpguide.org/mental/phobia_symptoms_types_treatment.htm>.

"Phobias: Specific Phobias Types and Symptoms." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 13 July 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/specific-phobias>.

"Specific Phobias." CTSA: : Symptoms. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://www.med.upenn.edu/ctsa/phobias_symptoms.html>.

"Specific Phobias Symptoms - Diseases and Conditions." Pdrhealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://www.pdrhealth.com/diseases/specific-phobias/symptoms>.

"Top 10 Weirdest Phobias My Extreme Animal Phobia." Animal Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.animalplanet.com%2Ftv-shows%2Fmy-extreme-animal-phobia%2Fphobias%2Ftop-10-weirdest-phobias.htm>.

"Understanding Animal Phobias." About.com Phobias. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2014. <http://phobias.about.com/od/phobiasatoh/a/Animal-Phobias.htm>.

"Welcome to Anxiety Care UK." Anxiety, Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Help from Anxiety Care UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/animal.asp.>.

"What Are You Afraid Of? The Top 10 Most Common Phobias." About.com Phobias. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2014. <http://phobias.about.com/od/introductiontophobias/tp/Ten-Common-Phobias.htm>.

Now to the Survey...