Fear is a very normal emotion, but it is also an essential emotion. To be totally without fear is to be in serious danger. Fear is an essential defense mechanism.
Phobias can be divided into these main groups :—
- Fears of situation, such as being on the top of a high building, in a confined space, at school at work (Agoraphobia and Claustrophobia).
- Social Phobias, or fear of social situations.
- Fear of a specific illness, of dying or death.
- Fears of specific objects (Simple phobia), such as mice, cats, snakes, numbers etc.
Symptoms of Phobias
Specific phobias: There are many specific phobias.Some common ones are:
- fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia);
- animals, particularly spiders, snakes or mice;
- heights (acrophobia);
- flying (pterygophobia);
- water (hydrophobia)
- excessive self-consciousness,
- fear of public scrutiny or humiliation in common social situations,
- fear of negative evaluation by others.
Fear of open spaces (agoraphobia):
- a generalized fear of leaving home or a small familiar ‘safe’ area,
- Fear of possible panic attacks that might follow leaving home
- fear of social spaces such as a mall, an elevator or a room full of people
- fear of social embarrassment (social agoraphobia),
- fear of contamination (fear of germs)
Phobias are characterized by the arousal in the patient of severe anxiety, often mounting to panic, in circumstances specific to each person — circumstances that do not in reality warrant the emotional reactions evoked. The syndrome’s degree of severity and the incapacity resulting from it depend on the practical significance for the patient of the phobic circumstances.