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Jordana Levine

on 25 March 2011

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Transcript of Phobia

Phobias What is a phobia? A phobia is a long-lasting, overwhelming, unreasonable fear of an object or situation
that poses little real danger. Phobias are divided into three main categories. 2 1 3 Specific phobias: The most common of these include, but are not limited to: fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), animals (zoophobia), particularly spiders, snakes or mice, heights (acrophobia), water (hydrophobia) and many others. Social phobia: Social phobia involves a combination of shyness, excessive self-consciousness, a fear of humiliation in common social situations and a fear of negative evaluation by others. Fear of open spaces (agoraphobia): Most people who develop agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks. Agoraphobia is a fear of a place with no easy means of escape if a panic attack should occur (such as a mall, an elevator or a room full of people). What are the causes? Genetics Cultural Factors Life Experience Parenting Some people are born with a predisposition towards anxiety, which makes them particularly susceptible to developing phobias. An example is taijin kyofusho, a social phobia that appears almost exclusively in Japan. This is a fear of offending or harming others in social situations. It is markedly different from a traditional social phobia, in which the sufferer is afraid of being personally embarrassed on humiliated. Some phobias occur only in
certain cultural groups. It is therefore possible that
culture plays some role in
phobia development. Many phobias are based on real-life events that may or may not be consciously remembered. People whose parents either were overly protective or were distant in raising them may be at more risk of developing phobias. There are no known causes for phobias but there are certain elements
that put you at greater risk of developing one. What are the effects? There are three main effects: Depression: Many people who suffer from phobias will also suffer from depression as well as other anxiety disorders. Substance abuse: The stress of
living with a severe phobia often
leads to substance abuse. Tests and Diagnosis There are no laboratory tests for phobias. Instead, the diagnosis is based on a thorough clinical interview and diagnostic guidelines where your doctor will ask questions about one's symptoms and take a medical, psychiatric and social history. To be officially diagnosed with a phobia, one must meet certain criteria detailed by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Medication How can it be cured? Beta Blockers These medications work by blocking the
stimulating effects of adrenaline on one's body, such as increased heart rate, elevated
blood pressure, pounding heart, and shaking
voice and limbs. Antidepressants These medications act on the chemical
serotonin, a neurotransmitter in one's brain that’s believed to influence mood. Sedatives These types of medications helps one relax by reducing the amount of anxiety that one feels. Behavior Therapy Cognitive Therapy This type of therapy involves working with a therapist to learn ways to view and cope with the feared object or situation differently and to develop a sense of mastery and control over one's thoughts and feelings. Desensitization or Exposure Therapy This type of therapy focuses on changing one's response to the object or situation that one fears. Gradual, repeated exposure to the cause of one's phobia may help one learn to conquer one's anxiety. Did you know? ? ? ? ? Alcoholics can be up to 10 times more likely to suffer from a phobia than those who are not alcoholics and phobic individuals can be twice as likely to suffer from an alcohol addiction than those who have never been phobic. Immediate family members of people with phobias are about three times more likely to also suffer from a phobia than those who do not have such a family history. Approximately 4 to 5% of the U.S. population has one or more clinically significant phobia. The average age of onset for social phobia is between 15 and 20 years of age, although it can often begin in childhood. ? Men seek treatment for social phobia more frequently than women. Thank you! by Jordana Levine ? Phobias are the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25. Social isolation: People with socially isolating disorders, such as social phobia and agoraphobia, can suffer many serious consequences, including but not limited to, academic, professional and relationship problems. Children with these disorders are at risk of academic difficulties and loneliness and often fail to develop basic social skills.
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