Phobias: What Are They

Phobia means a persistent, irrational fear of a situation, an object, or activity that the person feels compelled to avoid. Many people have phobias. There are many types of phobias but all phobias fit in a category. There are three categories of phobias, social phobia, Agoraphobia, and specific phobia.

Agoraphobia is the most likely of the three to send someone for professional help. People who have agoraphobia has an intense fear of being in a situation where they can't escape quickly or help couldn't get to them quickly , if they needed it. Which will cause them to have a panic attack or panic like symptoms. Some of the feared places are like busy streets, crowded restaurants, or crowded stores. Some people who have agoraphobia plan their lives around there fears. In some severe cases of agoraphobia, people will not even leave there home. Studies have shown that women are four times more likely to have agoraphobia than men. After one has a panic attack, they avoid the places they fear because they fear having another attack. People who have family members with agoraphobia have a higher chance of getting it. The closer the relative, the higher your chance. Some agoraphobia have successfully been treated with antidepressants and psychotherapy.

Social phobia causes people to avoid public places. People who suffer from social phobia are afraid of any social or performance situation. They are scared they may humiliate themselves. Studies have shown that about one-third of people with social phobia only have a fear of publicly speaking and the rest may fear eating or writing in public. Studies also show that social phobia will affect about 15.5% of women and 11.1% of men in some point of their life. Genetic factors also play a role in social phobia. Often people who have social phobia will turn to alcohol or tranquilizers to make it easier on them when they have to be in social situations.

A fear of a specific object or situation is specific phobia. Those who have specific phobias usually fear the same things others fear, but their fears are greatly exaggerated. Specific phobias could be storms, water, heights, airplanes, animals, closed spaces, and many more things.

To be considered a phobia, a person must fear something enough that it will cause interference or great distress to their life in a major way. People with phobias experience intense anxiety, even to the point of screaming or shaking. According to researchers genes play a role in all categories of phobias. There are many types of phobias and many people are affected by phobias.