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Transcript of Phobias
Aries, the Greek god of war, had a son named Phobos.
The story goes that Phobos was a frightening and formidable
man to the point where the warriors would paint his face on
their shields to have their enemies experience real fear and run
away in terror. Therefore, a phobic reaction resembles someone who
is completely terrified of an object.
So what's the difference between a "fear" and a "phobia"?
Anxiety vs. Avoidance &
Physical and emotional symptoms associated with exposure
In the clip shown, the man is suffering from cynophobia, the fear of dogs.
2. History of Phobias "High Performance Self-help." High Performance Self-help. N.p., 28 May 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2013
1. Feldman, Robert S. "Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders; Module 47: The Major Psychological Disorders - Anxiety Disorders." Understanding Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. 529-30. Print.
4. "Phobias." Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1984. 73-75. Print.
A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear which may manifest as fears of specific animate or inanimate objects.
3. Menninger, Karl A. "Symptoms." The Human Mind. New York: knoph, 1937. 251. Print.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the word was not modernly used until 1786.
How does one obtain a phobia?
How did the ridiculously long names for phobias come to be?
Prefix of the
+ Suffix (
) = Name
(flying) + Suffix:
It's been said that there is no actual explanation for what we're afraid of. It's known as a theory in our minds.
Attachment to objects or situations, usually one that was involved in a traumatic experience
Exposure makes a fear turn into a phobia.
Living with a phobia
People with phobias realize that their phobia is illogical, but they can't control their feelings.
Thinking about it can make you anxious, while being exposed can be terrorizing.
Neuroscience of a Phobia
The thalamus decides where to send incoming sensory data from the eyes, ears, skin or mouth.
The sensory cortex interprets the sensory data.
The hippocampus stores and retrieves conscious memories and processes sets of stimuli to
The amygdala decodes emotions, determines possible threats and stores fear memories.
The hypothalamus activates the "fight-or-flight" response.
6. Caseras, Xavier, et al. "Dynamis Of Brain Responses To Phobic-Related Stimulation In Specfic Phobia Subtypes." European Journal Of Neuroscience 32.8 (2010): 1414-1422. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Nov. 2013
7. Layton, Julia. "How Fear Works." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013
Why do we react the way we do to our fear & phobias?
Our brain takes us on two paths
when experiencing our fears.
The "low road" is quick and messy.
The "high road" takes more time and
delivers a more precise interpretation
Your "low road" response is what gives you the sudden fear before analyzing the situation.
What role does evolution play in our phobias?
Top Five Most Common Phobias
1. Arachnophobia: fear of spiders.
People suffering have an uneasy feeling when they feel like they are near a spider. This will cause them to scream, cry, have difficulty breathing and even heart problems.
2. Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.
This phobia usually develops from past experience. One out of every three adults suffer from this phobia and they don't like seeing them, talking about them or even seeing them in pictures or television.
3. Acrophobia: fear of heights.
This phobia can lead to serious anxiety attacks. Between two to five percent of the popluation suffer from this phobia. Those who suffer from acrophobia often also suffer from the fear of falling.
4. Agrophobia: fear of situations.
This phobia is extremely difficult to escape but usually ensues around big crowds, large spacious rooms and traveling. This phobia often coincides with social embarassment.
5. Cynophobia: fear of dogs.
This fear is often developed from past experiences but it need not to have affected you directly. Parents warning their children about approaching strange does can cause the fear to be instilled at a young age.
Top Five Most Rare Phobias
1. Abultophobia: fear of washing, cleaning and bathing.
Most common in females and children who are not emotionally stable.
2. Chorophobia: fear of dancing.
Also a fear of any event, outcome, situation or person that resembles any type or form of dancing. People suffering from this show shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and avoidance of places where dancing would take place.
4. Arachibotyphobia:: the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
People suffering will often swallow the peanut butter. Symptoms include shaking, feeling of nausea and sickness, sweating, dizziness and heart palpitations.
3. Koumpounophobia: the fear of buttons.
Sufferers are usually disgusted by the sight of buttons and wash their skin when coming in contact with them. They won't wear clothes that have buttons and in extreme cases, cannot write the word, or say the word.
5. Phobophobia: fear of developing a phobia.
More of a psychological condition but still classified as a phobia. Sufferers often experience panic attacks and intense anxiety.
8. Juan, Stephen. Who's Afraid of Butterflies?: Our Fears and Phobias Named and Explained. Pymble, N.S.W.: HarperCollins, 2011. Print.
Works Cited Con't
"Chapter 16: Principles of Evolutionary Psychology." (n.d.): 5-9. Rpt. in N.p.: Gregory Carey, 1998. 5-9. Web. 15 Nov. 2013
From the evolutionary perspective, fear and panic are viewed as adaptive responses.
A majority of our fears and phobias evolve from spatial stimuli, specific animals and public speaking.
Age onset is also a factor in the evolution of our phobias.
Most common fears such as heights, snakes and spiders, stems from hominid times.
Psychologists have also proven that if your parents show a phobia of a factor, the child is more likely to show the same fear.
Peurifoy, Reaneau Z. Anxiety, Phobias and Panic. New York: Warner, 2005. Print.
exposes a patient to a phobic response
patient is trained to substitute relaxation for fear and panic
three step processes that goes along with counter-conditioning
Cognitive reconstruction therapy:
trains the patient to rid negative thoughts when encountering their fear
used in very severe cases as last resort.