Difference between fear and phobia

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The word “phobia” comes up a lot is often used to describe a general fear, in the same way that “bipolar” is thrown around to describe someone’s mood swing or “OCD” is used to describe someone’s obsession with cleaning. However, like bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias are actually serious, diagnosable, and more powerful than the useless use of labels in everyday culture. If you have a specific fear, you may have a phobia and not even realize it.so here’s how to tell the difference between the two.

What is a phobia?

Johns Hopkins medicine is like that defines a phobia:

“A phobia is an uncontrollable, irrational and persistent fear of a particular object, situation or activity. This fear is so strong that a person may go to great lengths to avoid the source of this fear. One response may be a panic attack. It is a sudden, intense fear that lasts for several minutes. This happens when there is no real threat.”

“Related” topics offered by Johns Hopkins include OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. It’s not just fear or discomfort, it’s a mental health issue. The last part of the definition – “when there is no real danger” – is the key: if you are being chased by an aggressive dog, you will feel intense fear. without fail that you I have a phobia of dogs. If the image of a dog causes panic or another strong reaction, even if there is no dog around and you are not in danger of being chased by the dog, it may be a phobia. If you change your daily routine to avoid dogs, even knowing that you will encounter dogs that are leashed and well-trained, it may be a phobia.

According to Johns Hopkins, approximately 19 million Americans have at least one phobia, and they can range from mild to severe. Although they can develop in early childhood, they are usually first noticed between the ages of 15 and 20. the and environmental factors contribute to the onset of the phobia. Some have linked the trigger to a “bad first encounter,” but experts aren’t sure if this is necessary for the phobia to begin.

What are the most common phobias?

There are three main categories of phobias: specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobias. Specific phobias may be familiar to you because they refer to a specific object or situation. People with these phobias know that the fear is intense, but may go undiagnosed if the trigger is easy to avoid.

For example, a person with a particular phobia of heights may avoid skyscrapers or bridges, but when this avoidance interferes with their ability to get a certain job, travel somewhere, or get a certain apartment, it is definitely a problem. Common phobias include flying, dogs, closed spaces, tunnels, heights, insects or spiders. Again, although any of these can be dangerous, phobias are characterized by intense fear and reaction in the absence of danger.

Social phobia, on the other hand, is an anxiety disorder in which someone experiences significant discomfort from the fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, or hated by others in social or performance situations. Often, social phobia involves public speaking, meeting people, eating in public, and so on, and the extreme anxiety that Johns Hopkins brings to these events is clearly what differentiates social phobia from standard shyness.

Finally, agoraphobia is the fear of panic in places where escape is impossible. The anxiety associated with agoraphobia, in turn, the reason panic attacks. Examples of agoraphobia include being outside the home, being alone at home, being in a crowd, being in an elevator, being on a bridge, or similar situations.

Treatment of phobias

Phobias can not only be diagnosed, but also treated. One deep study review The Lancet It has been noted that the course of development of a phobia is the fear of avoiding diagnosis, so that interrupting the progression may reduce the prevalence of the phobia. In addition, having a phobia strongly predicts the onset of other anxiety, mood, and substance disorders.use disorders, so early treatment is very important, not only to improve someone’s quality of life, but also to try to nip other possible problems in the bud.

The problem with treatment is, of course, the definition of phobias, which, as the review shows, make them distressing or not at all. As a result, people with phobias may be reluctant to seek treatment at all. Affected individuals are able to escape; Only 10% to 25% seek treatment.

The treatment of choice for specific phobias is exposure therapy, which involves exposure to triggers or stimuli in a professional setting in-vivo or imaging techniques. Breathing exercises along with cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are recommended for specific phobias, while CBT and medicine are recommended for people with social phobia and agoraphobia.

The first step, of course, is to make a diagnosis. An initial diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean you’re eligible for exposure therapy, so don’t let fear of confronting your triggers keep you from seeking professional help. Once diagnosed, you can work on a step-by-step treatment plan that’s comfortable for you. A mental health professional won’t do anything to panic you without warning, but every day you delay diagnosis and treatment is a day you face your real-life triggers, so if you experience any of the above symptoms, seek help. you are.


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