Phobias have been around for thousands of years. The first reference that had to do with phobias were written back in the 470 to 410 B. C in ancient Greek by a physician named Hippocrates (2012). Hippocrates wrote about a man named Nicanor. He explained when Nicanor went out drinking at night, he would become frightened by the flute played by the musician. The flute music only bother Nicanor at night, during the day he was fine. The word Phobia wasn’t used until 500 years later when Celsus, a roman doctor used the word hydrophobia to describe a person who had a fear for water. Celsus had got the word from Phobos, who was the son Aries. The warriors would paint Phobos pictures on their shields to frighten their enemies and make them run away.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear about a situation, living creature, place, or object (Nordqvist, 2017). There are three main groups of phobias: specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobia. For specific phobias, an intense fear of a particular object or situation that is safe. Some examples of Specific phobia can include driving a car, heights, thunderstorms, the fear of animals, fear of flying, etc. Social phobia is the fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of a group of people. Agoraphobia cause people to suffer from anxiety about being in a situation or place that might be difficult to escape. Some symptoms a person might experience with a majority of phobias can include; uncontrollable anxiety, not being able to function properly, avoiding the source of their fear, etc. When exposed to their phobia there are also physical effects such as sweating, abnormal breathing, accelerated heartbeat, trembling, and many more.
My mother has a specific phobia with thunderstorms. When she sees on the weather channel that there is a chance of a thunderstorm she begins to panic. She then has shortness of breath and chest pains. Once the storm begins she hides in her closet where her symptoms continues. She would then start to have hot flashes, sweats, and have trembles. My mother has had this phobia for as long as I can remember. I have tried to get her not to go into the closet but it’s something that she has done so many times before she can’t be in any other part of the house when there’s a thunderstorm. She won’t come out of the closet until she knows for sure that the storm is over.
My opinion about phobias is that it is an extreme fear. I think people with phobias usually had a traumatic experience at one point in their lives that has them so terrified, that they try to avoid that experience from happening again. People with phobias will do anything in their power to avoid being in the presence or situation that includes their phobia. Once the phobia is presented the symptoms then start to take over one’s body from the fear. That’s when the anxiety starts to take over with the sweating, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, etc. I feel like once a fear is presented and you overcome that fear it will be easier each time you come in contact with that phobia.
Many people with a non severe phobia such as a specific phobia tends to avoid their fear and that helps them stay in control. To treat a more severe phobia the first step would be to speak with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Then the psychologist or psychiatrist can recommend a behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, medication, or both therapy and medication. Behavior therapy focuses on changing specific actions and uses different techniques to stop this behavior. Cognitive behavior therapy teaches a person new skills to react differently to the situations which triggers the anxiety or panic attacks (2018). Sometimes mediation would be prescribed for a short term to treat the phobias. There are three different medication types that would be prescribed, antidepressants, tranquillisers, and beta-blockers.
A person that has a phobia might face embarrassment from people not knowing much about phobias or being bullied because they have a phobia. Having a phobia, a person may think they will never overcome their phobia. With a social phobia it can be tiring to alway avoid contact with a phobia.