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Encyclopedia > Phobia

A phobia (from Greek: φόβος, phobos, "fear"), is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. [1] Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Phobia may refer to: Phobia, a psychological disorder of persistent fear Phobia (album), an album by Breaking Benjamin Look up phobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... Disorder may refer to : Disease, an abnormality of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress (see also: types of disorders) Chaos, unpredictability and in the metaphysical sense, it is the opposite of law and order Entropy, a state function of a thermodynamic system Lawlessness, a lack of... Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of fear, phobia and nervous condition, that come on suddenly and prevent pursuing normal daily routines including: general anxiety disorder social anxiety, sometimes known as social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD) specific phobias agoraphobia claustrophobia panic disorder separation anxiety...

Contents

Phobias

Phobias (in the clinical meaning of the term) are the most common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from phobias. [2] Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25. Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fears, phobias. ... The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness. ... A mental illness or mental disorder refers to one of many mental health conditions characterized by distress, impaired cognitive functioning, atypical behavior, emotional dysregulation, and/or maladaptive behavior. ...


Causes

It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events and internal predispositions. In a famous experiment, Martin Seligman used classical conditioning to establish phobias of snakes and flowers. The results of the experiment showed that it took far fewer shocks to create an adverse response to a picture of a snake than to a picture of a flower, leading to the conclusion that certain objects may have a genetic predisposition to being associated with fear[3]. Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time. It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of anxiety disorders and phobias. Martin E.P. Seligman (Albany, New York, 12 August 1942) is an American psychologist and writer. ... Classical Conditioning (also Pavlovian or Respondent Conditioning) is a form of associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov. ... Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. ... Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder precipitated by the fear of having a symptom attack or panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape. ...


Other uses of term

Phobia is also used in a non-medical sense for aversions of all sorts. These terms are usually constructed with the suffix -phobia. A number of these terms describe negative attitudes or prejudices towards the named subjects. See Non-clinical uses of the term below. The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (of Greek origin) occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e. ... Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individuals like or dislike for an item. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial...


The anatomical side of phobias

Phobias are more often than not linked to the amygdala, an area of the brain located behind the pituitary gland in the limbic system. The amygdala secretes hormones that control fear and aggression, and aids in the interpretation of this emotion in the facial expressions of others. When the fear or aggression response is initiated, the amygdala releases hormones into the body to put the human body into an "alert" state, in which they are ready to move, run, fight, etc.[4] This article is about part of the human brain. ... | Latin = hypophysis, glandula pituitaria | GraySubject = 275 | GrayPage = 1275 | Image = Gray1180. ... The limbic system is a historically defined set of brain structures that support a variety of functions including emotion and memory. ... For other uses, see Hormone (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ... Photographs from the 1862 book Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine by Guillaume Duchenne. ...


Studies have shown a difference between the response cycles of those facing an object of a phobia and those facing a dangerous object that does not trigger phobia-like responses. In one case, patients with arachnophobia were shown pictures of a spider (the object of fear) and a snake (a control picture, intended to induce the normal response). When flashed up, the arachnophobe responded with brief fear to the snake, but the amygdala quickly shut down when the logical areas of higher thought analyzed the threat and ruled it out as unimportant. However, when shown the spider, the arachnophobe's amygdala reacted, and then did not stop secreting 'alarm' hormones, even after they had rationalized the situation they were in.[4]


For this reason, a phobia is generally classified as a panic disorder by most psychologists, since it involves an unnatural or illogical functioning of the brain.[4] Panic Disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by recurring panic attacks in combination with significant behavioral change or at least a month of ongoing worry about the implications or concern about having other attacks. ... A psychologist is an expert in psychology, the systematic investigation of the human body, including behavior, cognition, and affect. ...


Clinical phobias

Most psychologists and psychiatrists classify most phobias into three categories: [1] [2] A psychologist is an expert in psychology, the systematic investigation of the human body, including behavior, cognition, and affect. ... For other uses, see Psychiatrist (disambiguation). ...

  • Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder - fears involving other people or social situations such as performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment by scrutiny of others, such as eating in public. Social phobia may be further subdivided into
    • generalized social phobia, and
    • specific social phobia, which are cases of anxiety triggered only in specific situations. [5] The symptoms may extend to psychosomatic manifestation of physical problems. For example, sufferers of paruresis find it difficult or impossible to urinate in reduced levels of privacy. That goes beyond mere preference. If the condition triggers, the person physically cannot empty their bladder.
  • Specific phobias - fear of a single specific panic trigger such as spiders, snakes, dogs, elevators, water, flying, catching a specific illness, etc.
  • Agoraphobia - a generalized fear of leaving home or a small familiar 'safe' area, and of possible panic attacks that might follow.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), social phobia, specific phobia, and agoraphobia are sub-groups of anxiety disorder. Social phobia (DSM-IV 300. ... Social anxiety, sometimes known as social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD), is a common form of anxiety disorder that causes sufferers to experience intense anxiety in some or all of the social interactions and public events of everyday life. ... Social phobia (DSM-IV 300. ... Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fears, phobias. ... Paruresis (IPA ), also known as pee shyness, shy kidney, bashful bladder, stage fright, or shy bladder syndrome is a type of social anxiety disorder, that can affect both men and women, in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in... Specific phobia is a generic term for any kind of anxiety disorder that amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. ... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... For other uses, see Arachnophobia (disambiguation). ... Ophidiophobia or Ophiophobia refers to the fear of snakes. ... Aquaphobia is a kind of specific phobia, an abnormal and persistent fear of water. ... Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder precipitated by the fear of having a symptom attack or panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape. ... Panic attacks are sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, fear and discomfort that are associated with a variety of somatic and cognitive symptoms[1]. The onset of these episodes is typically abrupt, and may have no obvious trigger. ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States and other countries. ... Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fears, phobias. ...


Many of the specific phobias, such as fear of dogs, heights, spiders and so forth, are extensions of fears that a lot of people have. People with these phobias specifically avoid the entity they fear.


Phobias vary in severity among individuals. Some individuals can simply avoid the subject of their fear and suffer only relatively mild anxiety over that fear. Others suffer fully-fledged panic attacks with all the associated disabling symptoms. Most individuals understand that they are suffering from an irrational fear, but are powerless to override their initial panic reaction.


Phobias in children

Severe fears are present in about 10-15% of children and specific phobias are found in about 5% of children. Children with specific phobias experience an intense fear of an object or situation that does not go away easily and continues for an extended period of time. Children often have specific phobias of the dark, varieties of insects, spiders, bees, heights, water, choking, snakes, dogs, birds, and other animals. For many children, these fears and phobias interfere with their participation in and enjoyment of various activities. It may also interfere with their education, family life, or their social life. However, effective treatment is available for children who experience phobias.


Treatments

Some therapists use virtual reality or imagery exercise to desensitize patients to the feared entity. These are parts of systematic desensitization therapy. This article is about the simulation technology. ... In psychology, desensitization (or graduated exposure therapy) is a process for mitigating the harmful effects of phobias or other disorders. ... Systematic desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy used in the field of psychology to help effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders. ...


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be beneficial. Cognitive behavioral therapy lets the patient understand the cycle of negative thought patterns, and ways to change these thought patterns. CBT may be conducted in a group setting. Gradual desensitization treatment and CBT are often successful, provided the patient is willing to endure some discomfort and to make a continuous effort over a long period of time. This article is about Becks Cognitive Therapy. ...


Hypnotherapy coupled with Neuro-linguistic programming can also be used to help remove the associations that trigger a phobic reaction. Hypnotherapy is therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. ... This article is about the alternative interpersonal communications and psychotherapy model, neuro-linguistic programming. ...


Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications can be of assistance in many cases. Benzodiazepines could be prescribed for short-term use. SSRI redirects here; for other uses, see SSRI (disambiguation). ... Benzodiazepine tablets The benzodiazepines are a class of drugs with hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, amnestic and muscle relaxant properties. ...


Emotional Freedom Technique, a psychotherapeutic alternative medicine tool, considered to be pseudoscience by the mainstream medicine, is allegedly useful. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a controversial psychotherapeutic tool that is claimed to be able to relieve many psychological conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, addictions and phobias. ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Alternative medicine has been described as any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain.[1] Alternative medicine practices are often based in belief systems not derived from modern science. ... A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ...


These treatment options are not mutually exclusive. Often a therapist will suggest multiple treatments.


Non-psychological conditions

The word "phobia" may also signify conditions other than fear. For example, although the term hydrophobia means a fear of water, it may also mean inability to drink water due to an illness, or may be used to describe a chemical compound which repels water. Likewise, the term photophobia may be used to define a physical complaint (i.e. aversion to light due to inflamed eyes or excessively dilated pupils) and does not necessarily indicate a fear of light. Look up Hydrophobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Photophobia (also light sensitivity) or fear of light, is a symptom of excessive sensitivity to light and the aversion to sunlight or well-lit places. ...


Non-clinical uses of the term

Main article: -phob-

It is possible for an individual to develop a phobia over virtually anything. The name of a phobia generally contains a Greek word for what the patient fears plus the suffix -phobia. Creating these terms is something of a word game. Few of these terms are found in medical literature. However, this does not necessarily make it a non-psychological condition. -phobia. ... The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (of Greek origin) occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e. ... A word game or word puzzle can be of several different types: // [edit] Letter arrangement games The goal is to form words out of given letters. ...


Terms indicating prejudice or class discrimination

A number of terms with the suffix -phobia are primarily understood as negative attitudes towards certain categories of people or other things, used in an analogy with the medical usage of the term. Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, dislike, disapproval, prejudice, hatred, discrimination, or hostility towards the object of the "phobia". Often this attitude is based on prejudices and is a particular case of general xenophobia. The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (of Greek origin) occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e. ... Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individuals like or dislike for an item. ... Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... For other uses, see Hate (disambiguation). ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Affirmative action in the United States Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity... Look up xenophobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Class discrimination is not always considered a phobia in the clinical sense because it is believed to be only a symptom of other psychological issues, or the result of ignorance, or of political or social beliefs. In other words, unlike clinical phobias, which are usually qualified with disabling fear, class discrimination usually have roots in social relations.


Below are some examples:

See also: List of anti-ethnic and anti-national terms

Chemophobia literally means fear of chemicals and may be used in various ways. ... This box:      Anti-Christian discrimination, anti-Christian prejudice, Christianophobia or Christophobia is a negative categorical bias against Christians or the religion of Christianity. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Ephebiphobia (from Greek ephebos έφηβος = teenager, underage adolescent and fobos φόβος = fear, phobia), also known as hebephobia (from Greek hebe = youth), denotes both the irrational fear of teenagers or of adolescence, and the prejudice against teenagers or underage adolescents. ... For other uses, see Youth (disambiguation) Youth is defined by Websters New World Dictionary as, The time of life when one is young; especially: a: the period between childhood and maturity b: the early period of existence, growth, or development. ... Teen redirects here. ... Islamophobia is a controversial[1][2] though increasingly accepted[3][4] term that refers to prejudice or discrimination against Islam or Muslims. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Look up xenophobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Nationalism is an ideology that creates and sustains a nation as a concept of a common identity for groups of humans. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Extraterrestrial life is life that may exist and originate outside our planet Earth. ... List of anti-ethnic and anti-national terms, where anti-ethnic refers to ethnic hatred, or sentiments of hostility towards an ethnic group and anti-national refers to sentiments of hostility towards a particular state or other national administrative entity. ...

See also

For other uses, see Angst (disambiguation). ... This article is about state anxiety. ... Disabled redirects here. ... -phobia. ... Panic is the primal urge to run and hide in the face of imminent danger. ... Panic attacks are sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, fear and discomfort that are associated with a variety of somatic and cognitive symptoms[1]. The onset of these episodes is typically abrupt, and may have no obvious trigger. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Edmund J. Bourne, The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th ed, New Harbinger Publications, 2005, ISBN 1-57224-413-5
  2. ^ Kessler etal, Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, June 2005, Archive of General Psychiatry, Volume 20
  3. ^ Phobias: Causes and Treatment in AllPsych Journal
  4. ^ a b c Winerman, Lea. "Figuring Out Phobia," American Psychology Association: Monitor on Psychology, August 2007.
  5. ^ Crozier, W. Ray; Alden, Lynn E. International Handbook of Social Anxiety: Concepts, Research, and Interventions Relating to the Self and Shyness, p. 12. New York John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (UK), 2001. ISBN 0-471-49129-2.
  • Lynne L. Hall, Fighting Phobias, the Things That Go Bump in the Mind, FDA Consumer Magazine, Volume 31 No. 2, March 1997 [3]

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. It has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. ...

External links

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a handbook for mental health professionals that lists different categories of mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing them, according to the publishing organization the American Psychiatric Association. ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a handbook for mental health professionals that lists different categories of mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing them, according to the publishing organization the American Psychiatric Association. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
MSN Encarta - Phobia (410 words)
Simple phobias are fears of specific objects or situations such as animals, closed spaces, and heights.
Social phobias, the third type, are fears of appearing stupid or shameful in social situations.
Agoraphobia and simple phobia are more commonly diagnosed in women than in men; the distribution for social phobia is not known.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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