Symptoms of Phobias Essay

Symptoms of Phobias Essay

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Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two- whether it be a fear of heights or of spiders; but at a certain point, fear intensifies and crosses the line into a phobia. A phobia is defined as a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous. A phobia causes intense physical and psychological reactions which affects a person’s ability to function normally at work or in social settings. Triggering worry, dread, and anxiety, phobias cause people to avoid the things or situations they fear. Phobias affect more than ten million Americans a year
(“Phobias & Fears.”).
Symptoms of phobias vary from mild feelings of anxiety to full panic attacks. The closer the person with the phobia gets to their feared object, the greater the fear will be. Phobias have both physical and emotional symptoms. The physical signs of phobias are difficulty breathing, racing or pounding heart, chest pain or tightness, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, a churning stomach, hot or cold flashes, tingling sensations, and sweating. The emotional signs of phobias are feeling overwhelming anxiety or panic, feeling an intense need to escape, feeling “unreal” or detached from yourself, fear of losing control or going crazy, feeling like you’re going to die or pass out, and knowing that you’re overreacting, but feeling powerless to control your fear (Staff, Mayo Clinic).
Fear, as an adaptive human response, is normal in dangerous circumstances; but in phobias the threat is either over-exaggerated or nonexistent. There is a thin line between phobias and fears although the difference between the two is very apparent. The normal fear ...


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...ars. Specific phobias are commonly treated with behavioral therapy while social phobias are treated with the combination of medication and behavior therapy ("Phobias & Fears.").



Works Cited

"Phobias & Fears." Phobias and Fears: Symptoms, Treatment, and Self-Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. .
Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Definition." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. .
"TeensHealth." Fears and Phobias. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. .
Zimbardo, Philip G., Robert L. Johnson, and Vivian McCann. "Psychological Disorders." Psychology Core Concepts. 7th ed. Pearson: Upper Saddle River, 2012. 532-33. Print

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