A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of an object or a situation that results in phobic symptoms. Often, phobias are the result of excessive fear. A person that suffers from a phobia of any sort perceives that the object or situation will cause them harm or endangerment. There are many different phobias and millions of people who suffer from phobias throughout the world. Phobias can result from a vast number of things and are often difficult to conquer because they are so deeply engrained in the psyche.
Those who suffer from phobias will display phobic systems when exposed to the object or situation that causes them intense fear. If the phobia is particularly bad, phobic symptoms can occur just from thinking or talking about the object or situation. Examples of phobic symptoms include dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, panic attacks, loss of reality and a flight response. The automatic reaction of confronting a fear object or situation is to get away from that object or situation as fast as possible to eliminate the fear.
It is possible to suffer from more than one phobia. Those who suffer from multiple phobias often isolate themselves from the rest of society due to the fear that they will experience phobias in public and create an embarrassing situation. Alternatively, some people suffer from public situation, crowds, or other fear inducing situations that prevent them from being in public and sometimes even leaving their homes. Phobias can be a debilitating problem, depending on what the phobia is and how badly the fear of the object or situation affects a person. In extreme cases, people suffering from phobias will seek the help of a medical care professional for help in dealing with a phobia or phobia.
The three types of phobias are social phobias, agoraphobia and specific phobias. There are four major types of specific phobias that most phobias can be categorized in. The four major types of specific phobias are fear of the natural environment, fear of animals, fear of medical objects or situations, and situational fears. Each of the four major types of specific phobias is common in the United States and throughout the world. While some people suffer major phobic symptoms, others have more mild cases.
A phobia of the natural environment is described as having intense and irrational fears about natural phenomena or objects found in nature. Examples of this type of phobia are fear of lightning or thunder and fear of water. People who suffer from this type of phobia often find it hard to be in the outdoor world or partake in activities that those without this phobia often enjoy.
A phobia of animals can include anything from fear of spiders to fear of dogs. This phobia can be extremely specific and pertaining to just one type of animal, or very broad and pertain to many types of animals (such as a fear of all farm animals). Animal phobias are most commonly developed after a negative encounter with a type of animal, such as being attacked by a dog. Seeing or being around the feared animal will invoke the same emotions as when the attack or negative experience originally happened.
Medical phobias involve anything that is feared in the medical field. This type of phobia includes seeing blood, visiting a doctor, seeing needles and many others. Medical phobias can be very intense and detrimental to one’s health if a phobia prevents someone from seeing a doctor or going to the hospital when it is necessary.
A situational phobia is one of the most common specific types of phobias. Examples of situational phobias include fear of bridges, fear of heights, fear or leaving the house and fear of driving. Situational phobias will keep people from doing things simply because of the environment that they are in.