Phobias: Fear and Phobias Let Essays

Submitted By yuliya14
Words: 1109
Pages: 5

Yuliya Makar
English 1010
Explaining a concept

PHOBIAS Let just imagine a minute in a cozy room, a short dip in the ocean, a cute animal twenty feet away, a friendly hug from a family member, a nice walk in the library, a banana with a morning breakfast. All of the aforementioned situations seem like friendly, innocuous, and overall positive scenarios. For many people, however, these circumstances can lead to extreme panic, irregular heartbeats, and even severe mental disorders. Although on the surface phobias can sometimes seem like silly, trivial fears that only some people acquire, phobias are prevalent in all sorts of societies around the world and the consequences that can arise from the workings of phobias can cause extreme discomfort and dire consequences for those who must suffer through them. Though phobias generally are defined conceptually as an “irrational fear,” they are far from irrational to those who deal with them. At the time that the fear or discomfort strikes its victim, nothing else in the world matters except for getting through or away from the unbelievably scary trigger. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders extends the conceptualization of phobias to say that they can sincerely affect multiple facets of peoples’ lives, causing some to “avoid” or alter their “daily routine”. Many people believe that phobias are not particularly widespread, yet it has been documented by the RCP (Royal College of Psychiatrists) that at least 10% of people deal with one or more significantly problematic phobias during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the true statistic is probably much greater than that. Most of those who suffer from phobias are embarrassed to admit that they are scared of certain things, which can lead to participant bias and selective responses in scientific studies on the subject. I know that I would be a bit embarrassed to admit that I suffer from kathisophobia (fear of sitting down) or leukophobia (fear of white color), so it is simple to understand why the statistics may be skewed. Despite the potential confounding variables in studying phobias and their prevalence, it is inevitably true that phobias affect people from all different areas of the world. Though it is hard to pin down exactly what causes a specific phobia, there certainly are general rules we can apply to better understand the triggers that lead to these fears. Usually, phobias arise from previous events in a person’s life; though one may be more prone to a certain phobia due to genetics, phobias are more often originated at specific events. Phobias can develop actively or passively. In other words, the phobia can either arise from an active encounter one has with the stimulus, or it can emanate from simply hearing or listening to the media’s or fellow humans’ horror stories. For example, my cousin’s extreme cynophobia (fear of dogs) originated from a horrific encounter in which a German Shepherd bit him, whereas my father’s aviophobia (fear of flying) developed progressively as he read blogs about certain plane crashes and other people’s fears about traveling in an aircraft. Regardless of how they develop, phobias can cause serious problems for those who struggle with them. Phobia rates differ drastically when we are talking about different types of people in varying cultures around the Earth. Surprisingly, women are at least twice more likely than men to develop phobias during a lifetime. Though based predominantly on extrapolated data, social phobias – one of the many subgroups of the anxiety disorder — seem to be more common in the Americas (North, Central and South) than in European and Asian countries. No matter where or when a person experiences a phobia, he or she is exposed to a very dangerous and serious anxiety disorder that can be unbelievably painful. Although diagnosing phobias is ultimately subjective (even if by a trained psychologist or