Three most Common Phobias

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Updated: Jan 30, 2019
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Three most Common Phobias essay

Many human beings have things that petrify or cause them to have a nervous reaction to certain insects, places, or objects. This terrified reaction causes people to have a fear that makes it unstoppable for humans to surpass it, as a result, this is called a phobia. There are many different types of phobias that have an effect on humans. Critics have identified phobias into three different categories: agoraphobia, social phobia, and specific phobias.

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which one fears and avoid places or situations that might cause one to panic and feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed (“Agoraphobia.”) This is a fear that causes people to feel that they are not able to flee or ask for help when they feel their anxiety is escalating. People tend to develop this phobia when they feel like they have gotten this phobia in the past and they try to avoid it by not going to the same place that caused this intense fear. In addition, the symptoms of this phobia can affect a person physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. This affects a person physically because it causes them to have a rapid heartbeat, hyperventilate, feel hot and sweaty, ring sensation in the ears, etc. (“Agoraphobia”). Furthermore, this affects a person emotionally because you may lose control in public, a panic attack will make you look stupid or feel embarrassed in front of other people, people may stare, etc. (“Agoraphobia”). Lastly, this phobia affects people behaviorally because one will avoid situations that could lead to panic attacks, such as crowded places, public transport, needing to go somewhere with someone you trust and not being able to leave home (“Agoraphobia”). Consequently, these symptoms affect a person in their everyday lives because they stress on how they will appear in public. People with agoraphobia have an increased risk of panic disorder.

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In addition, agoraphobia has a major effect on one’s everyday life because they are not able to do certain things or go to specific places. For example, severe agoraphobia can prevent you from keeping a job outside your home, not to mention having any semblance of normal life (“Understanding Agoraphobia”). This is an effect that one suffers in their daily life because they find it difficult for them to attend school, workplaces, or public places. As a result, one will find themselves not being able to uphold a normal life due to their fear of open spaces. However, one can find a treatment to help cure their agoraphobia, for instance, one can use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a type of psychotherapy and they could use medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used as exposure therapy, it works by encouraging patients to confront the situation they fear rather than avoiding it (“Agoraphobia Treatment”). This treatment demonstrates that one can get help by receiving cognitive behavioral therapy because it helps change one’s thoughts and feelings about the agoraphobia that gives them fear. To add on, not only does psychotherapy help cure agoraphobia but medication is also available to those who are suffering. For instance, medicine that includes antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can be used to help manage the fear and anxiety from agoraphobia (“Agoraphobia Treatment”). This medication is used to help patients that are suffering from agoraphobia because it helps calm down their anxiety and it helps them feel more active than gloomy.

Another common phobia is social phobia but it is also known as anxiety disorder, this is notable as the third major mental health issue. Social phobia is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation (“Social Anxiety Disorder”). The evidence shows that some people tend to develop this phobia due to their traumatic experiences in the past where they had to speak in front of a public. Also, people who grow up being criticized or disapproved by their surroundings will most likely develop this phobia. The symptoms of social phobia appear in a person physically, emotionally, and behaviorally and this can affect a person’s daily life and relationships. This phobia affects a person physically because one starts to experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, muscle tension or twitches, stomach trouble etc. (Shelton). Furthermore, this affects a person emotionally because one will start to feel high levels of anxiety and fear, nervousness, panic attacks, negative emotional cycles (Shelton). Lastly, this affects a person behaviorally because they will try to avoid situations where the individual thinks they may be the center of attention, refraining from certain activities because of a fear of embarrassment, excessive drinking, or substance abuse (Shelton). As a result, the idea of large social gatherings is terrifying for someone with social anxiety because they will most likely experience each of these symptoms without having full control of them. This will gradually affect one’s life because they will suddenly become isolated and the individual will feel the need to quit their job or drop out of school.

However, treatments for social anxiety disorder depend on the severity of your emotional and physical symptoms and how well you function daily. For instance, there are several types of medications to help cure this phobia and there are also many methods for one to cure their treatment by therapy. Some medications that help cure this phobia are Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam). These types of medications are known as benzodiazepines which are mild tranquilizers that alleviate the symptoms of anxiety by slowing down the central nervous system (“Treatments for Social Anxiety”). Another way one can help cure social phobia is by having therapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps one to influence their emotions. For example, under cognitive behavioral therapy one can gain social skill training and cognitive restructuring. Social skills training involves various exercises such as modeling, rehearsal, and role-playing designed to help people learn appropriate behaviors and decrease anxiety in social situations (“Treatments for Social Anxiety”). Furthermore, cognitive restructuring involves a series of exercises designed to identify negative thoughts, evaluate how true they are, and construct alternative thoughts to challenge original thoughts (“Treatments for Social Anxiety”). As a result, these treatments can help diminish the individuals’ fears because they will provide them to face their fears with therapy.

Lastly, an extremely common phobia is a specific phobia that is described as a concern or fear about certain situations, activities, animals or objects is not uncommon (“Specific Phobias”). Many specific phobias tend to be developed as a result of a negative impact or in a traumatic experience. People with specific phobias are often well aware that their fears are exaggerated or irrational, but feel that their anxious reaction is automatic or uncontrollable. For example, one common specific phobia is acrophobia which is defined as someone who is afraid of heights. Acrophobia affects an approximation of twenty-three million individuals, those who suffer from this phobia may go to great lengths to avoid high places such as bridges, towers, or tall buildings (“Common Phobia”). In that event, an individual will find it difficult to cope with the severe fear that can lead to a panic attack and evitable of behaviors. In addition, specific phobias cause individuals to have emotional and physical symptoms. For example, an individual who suffers from specific phobias will most like have emotional symptoms which result in feeling overwhelmed, knowing that your fear is irrational but feel powerless to overcome it, and fear of losing control (Sheldon). An individual will also experience physical symptoms such as rapid heart beating, difficulty breathing, trembling or shaking, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, and chest pain or tightness (Sheldon).

As a result, specific phobias can affect a person’s everyday life because the impact of a phobia on a person’s life depends on how easy it is to avoid the feared object, place, or situation. Phobias can disrupt daily routines, limit work efficiency, reduce self-esteem, and place a strain on relationships. An individual is able to receive treatment to cure their specific phobia. For example, a medication an individual can use is called beta-blockers which is a drug that blocks the stimulating effects of adrenaline, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, pounding heart, and shaking voice and limbs that are caused by anxiety (“Specific Phobia”). Another method to help cure specific phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which involves exposure combined with other techniques to learn ways to view and cope with the feared object or situation differently (“Specific Phobia”). In this event, this treatment will be effective for the individual because it will help the individual face their fears to the specific phobia by taking medication or having cognitive behavioral therapy.

Agoraphobia is described as someone who fears trapped or helpless places where one is unable to escape, Social Phobia is the fear of being judged or fear of public speaking, and Specific Phobia is having the fear of a specific situation or object. Thus, each phobia appears to be different but usually has the same symptoms and treatments to cure the phobia. Although there are innumerable types of phobias that exist in the world, the three most common phobias are agoraphobia, social phobia, and specific phobias.

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Three Most Common Phobias. (2019, Jan 30). Retrieved from