A phobia is an overwhelming fear of something that does not pose any real danger to you in any way. Even if this thing poses any form of danger, the victims response to it is usually exaggerated or out of this world. People who have these phobias have no idea that the fear they have is irrational. What this does to them is trigger severe anxiety when they are finally exposed to these fears.
So a phobia is not just about you being scared of “a thing”. It’s simply an exaggerated fear response. This then makes the victims re-arrange their lives, living conditions and relationships to avoid the situation or things that cause them anxiety.
These are phobias that relate to specific objects or situations hence the name specific. These phobias are developed when a subject is younger and the older they get, the less severe it becomes in most situations. However there are victims who never outgrow their phobias. Below are some of the phobias that fall under this category;
- Animal type: Examples include dogs, snakes, and spiders.
- Natural environment type: Examples include storms, water, and heights.
- Blood, injection, and injury (BII) type: Examples include needles, invasive medical procedures, and blood.
- Situational type: Examples include a fear of flying and a fear of enclosed spaces.
- Other type: This type is characterized by any phobia that does not fit into the above categories.
Available on Podcast:
When you find yourself extremely scared of being in social situations, situations that could cause you a measure of humiliation or get pie on your face. This could be the fear of presenting something to your classmates, speaking in a boardroom meeting or simply speaking to people in public.
Crowded areas and public spaces where you cannot leave are the real test environments that bring out true cases of Agoraphobia. This fear is so profound in its impact on victims that it could trigger a full lifestyle change. I have seen cases where the client became homebound for at least 96 hours weekly because they were afraid of coming outside their house which had become their safe space. This is usually the worst types of phobias because it’s situations or things which cause it are very tough to avoid. For instance we cannot avoid interacting with other people in our everyday life.
Helpful Facts on Phobias
There is a list further down on the different types of phobias that exist. though this list may not be exhaustive, it at least covers the more generalized and prevalent phobia types. I couldn’t help but chuckle when i earnt that there was a Phobia for phobia’s itself called “Phobophobia” and the fear of teenagers “Ephebiphobia”. All im trying to bring out here is that anything, situation or object could actually become a phobia if not handled properly.
Treatment for Phobias
Phobias are treatable conditions and i have listed some of the ways you could treat these disorders.
When we talk about phobias, the first type of therapy that really comes to mind are “Exposure-based treatments”. This is our best approach at TCMA in handling phobia-related situations because the best way to handle fear is to gradually expose yourself to it. This is why this mode of treatment tops our list. You might start by just thinking about your phobia trigger and then move slowly toward looking at images of the object and finally being near the object in real life.
Types of exposure-based treatments that may be used include:
- In vivo exposure: This involves being exposed to the source of your fear in real life.
- Virtual exposure: This involves the use of virtual reality to practice gradual exposure.
- Systematic desensitization: This involves being gradually exposed until you become desensitized to the source of your fear.
During this process, you’ll also practice relaxation techniques to help calm your body when your fear response kicks in.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT involves learning to identify the underlying negative thoughts that contribute to feelings of fear. Once you develop a keen eye for noticing these thoughts, you then begin to replace them with more positive, vibrant and beneficial thoughts.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy utilizes rhythmic eye movements to help people process and recover from traumatic experiences. It is frequently used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but can also be effective in the treatment of a variety of other mental health conditions including phobias. We will discuss this type of therapy in details as some of our in-house therapists have taken a fascination to this mode of therapy.
This is usually our last resort in treating phobias. Medications may be prescribed in some cases to help manage some of the symptoms triggered by phobia. Medications your doctor might prescribe include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drugs.
LIST OF PHOBIAS
- Achluophobia: Fear of darkness
- Acrophobia: Fear of heights
- Aerophobia: Fear of flying
- Algophobia: Fear of pain
- Agoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or crowds
- Aichmophobia: Fear of needles or pointed objects
- Amaxophobia: Fear of riding in a car
- Androphobia: Fear of men
- Anginophobia: Fear of angina or choking
- Anthrophobia: Fear of flowers
- Anthropophobia: Fear of people or society
- Aphenphosmphobia: Fear of being touched
- Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter
- Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders
- Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers
- Astraphobia: Fear of thunder and lightning
- Ataxophobia: Fear of disorder or untidiness
- Atelophobia: Fear of imperfection
- Atychiphobia: Fear of failure
- Automatonophobia: Fear of human-like figures
- Autophobia: Fear of being alone
- Bacteriophobia: Fear of bacteria
- Barophobia: Fear of gravity
- Bathmophobia: Fear of stairs or steep slopes
- Batrachophobia: Fear of amphibians
- Belonephobia: Fear of pins and needles
- Bibliophobia: Fear of books
- Botanophobia: Fear of plants
- Cacophobia: Fear of ugliness
- Catagelophobia: Fear of being ridiculed
- Catoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors
- Chionophobia: Fear of snow
- Chromophobia: Fear of colors
- Chronomentrophobia: Fear of clocks
- Chronophobia: Fear of time
- Claustrophobia: Fear of confined spaces
- Coulrophobia: Fear of clowns
- Cyberphobia: Fear of computers
- Cynophobia: Fear of dogs
- Decidophobia: Fear of making decisions
- Dendrophobia: Fear of trees
- Dentophobia: Fear of dentists
- Domatophobia: Fear of houses
- Dystychiphobia: Fear of accidents
- Ecophobia: Fear of the home
- Elurophobia: Fear of cats
- Entomophobia: Fear of insects
- Ephebiphobia: Fear of teenagers
- Equinophobia: Fear of horses
- Gamophobia: Fear of marriage
- Genuphobia: Fear of knees
- Glossophobia: Fear of speaking in public
- Gynophobia: Fear of women
- Haphephobia: Fear of touch
- Heliophobia: Fear of the sun
- Hemophobia: Fear of blood
- Herpetophobia: Fear of reptiles
- Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of long words
- Hydrophobia: Fear of water
- Hypochondria: Fear of illness
- Iatrophobia: Fear of doctors
- Insectophobia: Fear of insects
- Koinoniphobia: Fear of rooms
- Koumpounophobia: Fear of buttons
- Leukophobia: Fear of the color white
- Lilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes
- Lockiophobia: Fear of childbirth
- Mageirocophobia: Fear of cooking
- Megalophobia: Fear of large things
- Melanophobia: Fear of the color black
- Microphobia: Fear of small things
- Mysophobia: Fear of dirt and germs
- Necrophobia: Fear of death or dead things
- Noctiphobia: Fear of the night
- Nosocomephobia: Fear of hospitals
- Nyctophobia: Fear of the dark
- Obesophobia: Fear of gaining weight
- Octophobia: Fear of the figure 8
- Ombrophobia: Fear of rain
- Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes
- Ornithophobia: Fear of birds
- Papyrophobia: Fear of paper
- Pathophobia: Fear of disease
- Pedophobia: Fear of children
- Philematophobia: Fear of kissing
- Philophobia: Fear of love
- Phobophobia: Fear of phobias
- Podophobia: Fear of feet
- Porphyrophobia: Fear of the color purple
- Pteridophobia: Fear of ferns
- Pteromerhanophobia: Fear of flying
- Pyrophobia: Fear of fire
- Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween
- Scolionophobia: Fear of school
- Scoptophobia: Fear of being stared at
- Selenophobia: Fear of the moon
- Sociophobia: Fear of social evaluation
- Somniphobia: Fear of sleep
- Tachophobia: Fear of speed
- Technophobia: Fear of technology
- Tonitrophobia: Fear of thunder
- Trypanophobia: Fear of needles/injections
- Trypophobia: Fear of holes
- Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful women
- Verminophobia: Fear of germs
- Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft
- Xenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreigners
- Zoophobia: Fear of animals
This is where I end todays piece. Next week well be discussing some other interesting fact just for you. Dont let your phobia stop you from living a fulfilled and impactful life.