A phobia is an excessive or unreasonable fear of an object, place or situation. Simple phobias are fears of specific things such as insects, infections, flying. Agoraphobia is a fear of being in places where one feels “trapped” or unable to get help, such as in crowds, on a bus, or standing in a queue. A social phobia is a marked fear of social or performance situations. Phobias are extremely common. Sometimes they start in childhood for no apparent reason and sometimes they emerge after a traumatic event.
Feelings of fear are normal and good. They prevent us from making dangerous decisions. But when these fears become unreasonable, then there’s a problem. Among the anxiety symptoms associated with phobias are restlessness, shakiness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dry mouth, light headedness, difficulties in swallowing, irritability, and difficulties in sleeping. In attempting to avoid anxiety provoking situations, phobics often are forced to severely constrict their lives, travel and interactions with others, even the act of going out of one’s home can be seriously, affected by one of these phobias. While true fears are based on the perceptions of the environment and present signals in the presence of danger; unwarranted fears and phobias, ‘ are based on your imaginations or memories.
Some people can sidestep the thing they fear without ouch difficulty. Some, especially adults, can hide their distress and conceal their phobias. Even those who usually adjust their lives to fit their phobias are sometimes able to confront what they fear, “toughing it out,” suffering all the while. While children may outgrow their phobias, adults usually do not get rid of them unless they receive treatment. Sufferers typically avoid repeated encounters and go to great lengths not to subject themselves to the feared situation again. Invariably the person recognizes that his or her fear is excessive or unreasonable.