Essay On Phobias

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This essay will assess the different categories of phobias and briefly summarize talk therapy and cognitive behavioral theories regarding attaining and maintenance of phobic disorders. A phobia is an irrational fear that creates internal feeling and apprehension, perceived as real with physiological responses such as heart palpitations, trembling and sweating. Depending upon the severity, phobias may interfere with the level of functioning in various settings: academic, occupational, or at home. It is classified under anxiety disorders with three major categories: agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. Agoraphobia (AG) consists of fears of being in public places and the individuals’ ability to escape or receive help during a panic episode is limited. Individuals may initially experience one or more panic attacks that typically progress to AG. Clients become reclusive and may avoid situations that create distress and refuse to leave their home. People with AG do enter impending phobic conditions, but only with medication or when escorted by a trusted companion or therapist. They may also have also co-occurring disorders such as obsessions, substance abuse, and depression. Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia), the most prevalent anxiety disorder, characterized by extreme self-consciousness and excessive fear of being humiliated during social situations with other people or when asked to perform. Symptoms include fear of being judged, blushing, profuse sweating, nausea and other signs of anxiety. Individuals who suffer from social anxiety have an early onset usually during childhood or adolescence. Children may exhibit clingy behaviors or become mute in certain situations. SP pertains to onl...

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...nt anxiety. The operant conditioning takes place when the person emits avoidance in the presence of the neutral stimulus, since the stimulus never created the initial anxiety. by escaping the CS and getting an immediate reduction in its fear-eliciting properties, the avoidance response is maintained. Another etiology of phobias is offered by social learning theory, which state that watching parental avoidance strategies learns phobic behaviors. Cognitive theorists emphasize the role played by expectancies in potentially dangerous consequences versus neutral situations. Expectancies acts like a mediator between the two. Avoidance responding is acquired in the presence of the warning sign through cognitive process of comparing expectations for when and when not to respond. In this way an aversive outcome is maintained as a consequence of interacting with anxiety.

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