Let’s talk about phobias …

According to Wikipedia, A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. There are various types of phobias some of which we have heard about from books, TV etc. and others, not so much. In this list I will be discussing the symptoms, causes and treatment of 10 different phobias.

Mysophobia

The most common phobia in the world is Mysophobia – A fear of germs.

Symptoms: washing hands obsessively, avoiding crowds, nausea

Causes: genetics, as a result of anxiety

Treatment: medication, psychotherapy, exposure therapy

Agoraphobia

Fear of open spaces

Symptoms: Unable to leave the house, excessive sweating, dizziness, feeling shaky

Causes: depression, other phobias (claustrophobia), have had one or more panic attacks

Treatment: antidepressants

Claustrophobia

extreme or irrational fear of confined places

Symptoms: sweating, nausea, feel like you’re having a panic attack

Causes: dysfunction of the amygdala (part of the brain that controls how we process fear), as a result of a traumatic event such as being stuck in an elevator

Treatment: desensitisation/self-exposure therapy

Acrophobia

-Fear of heights

Symptoms: dizziness, heart palpitations, sweating

Causes: thinking you might fall or be injured, as a result of a traumatic experience

Treatment: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

Arachnophobia

-fear of spiders

Symptoms: overwhelming fear of spiders, intense anxiety, panic attacks

Causes: a result of evolutionary selection (we associate spiders with infections and disease)

Treatment: Counselling, CBT, medication

Coulrophobia

-Fear of clowns

Symptoms: nausea, anger, fast heartbeat

Causes: brain function, genetics,

Treatment: CBT

Nyctophobia

-fear of the dark

Symptoms: racing heart rate, chest tightness, light-headedness

Causes: fear of what the darkness masks

Treatment: desensitization, anti-anxiety medication, therapy

Cynophobia

-Fear of dogs

Symptoms: increased heart rate, nausea, shortness of breath

Causes: may have been bitten by a dog in the past,

Treatment: Psychotherapy

Apiphobia

-The fear of bees

Symptoms: breathlessness, sweating, detachment from reality

Causes: Have been stung by a bee in the past or have seen someone else get stung

Treatment: CBT, understanding facts about bees may help in overcoming the fear of them

Telephonophobia

-Fear of talking on the phone

Symptoms: Feeling terror, dry mouth, nausea

Causes: many factors such as negative experience, electromagnetic fields, or OCD

Treatment: Directly confront the fear/talk to a therapist

There are hundreds of more phobias all of which I can’t possibly list on this post – If you would like to learn more about other phobias check out this top 100 phobias list.

Thanks for reading x

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