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General Practice 2023

7 most common types of phobia

7 most common types of phobia
7 most common types of phobia

A phobia is the irrational fear of something or some situation, which leads to the appearance of anxiety symptoms, such as tremors, increased heart rate, cold sweat, pallor, flushing, muscle tension, panic and fainting, for example.

It is possible for a person to have more than one specific phobia, such as fear of storms and fear of flying, for example, so symptoms can be more intense when exposed to situations that trigger the different phobias.

It is important that the type of phobia is identified, so that it is possible for the psychologist to initiate the most appropriate treatment, which can be through the cognitive-behavioral method or through exposure therapy. In some cases, it may also be indicated that a psychiatrist is consulted to assess the need to use medication to control symptoms.

There are several types of phobias that must be identified and treated according to the orientation of the psychologist and/or psychiatrist, the main ones being:

1. Trypophobia

Trypophobia, also known as fear of holes, happens when you feel sick, itchy, trembling, tingling and repulsed in contact with objects or images that have holes or irregular patterns, such as honeycombs, clusters of holes in skin, wood, plants or sponges, for example. In more severe cases, this contact can cause nausea, increased heart rate, and even lead to a panic attack.

According to recent research, this happens because people with trypophobia make an unconscious mental association between these patterns and a possible danger situation and fear arises, most of the time, in patterns created by nature. The repulsion felt is due to the similarity of the appearance of the holes with worms that cause skin diseases or with the skin of poisonous animals, for example.See how trypophobia is treated.

2. Agoraphobia

Agophobia is characterized by the fear of being in open or closed spaces, using public transport, standing in a queue or being in the middle of a crowd, or even leaving the house alone. In these situations, or when thinking about them, people with agoraphobia experience anxiety, panic, or have other disabling or embarrassing symptoms.

The person who is afraid of these situations, avoids them or faces them with a lot of fear and anxiety, needing the presence of a company to bear them without fear. In these cases, the person has a constant worry that they will experience panic attacks, lose control in public, or that something will happen to put them in danger. Learn more about agoraphobia.

3. Social Phobia

Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, is a psychological disorder in which the person has excessive anxiety and fear in situations in which they could be negatively evaluated for their performance or for what other people are doing. say or think about it.

Generally, these people feel inferior, have low self-esteem, are afraid of being attacked or shamed by others, and have probably in the past gone through traumatic experiences such as bullying, aggression, or were very pressured by parents or teachers.

The most frequent symptoms of social phobia are anxiety, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating, red face, trembling hands, dry mouth, difficulty speaking, stuttering and insecurity. In addition, the person is also very concerned about their performance or what they might think of them. Social phobia is curable if properly treated. Learn more about social phobia.

4. Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is a type of psychological disorder in which the person is afraid of being in closed places, such as elevators, very crowded buses or small rooms, for example. People with claustrophobia believe that the space they are in is getting smaller, thus developing anxiety symptoms such as excessive sweating, dry mouth and increased heart rate.

The causes of this phobia can be hereditary or be associated with a traumatic episode in childhood, in which the child was locked in a room or in an elevator, for example.

5. Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia, also known as the fear of spiders, is one of the most common phobias, and it happens when a person has an exaggerated fear of being around arachnids, causing them to lose control, and may also feel dizzy, increased heart rate, chest pain, feeling short of breath, tremors, excessive sweating, thoughts of death, and feeling sick.

It is not known for sure what causes arachnophobia, but it is believed that it could be an evolutionary response, as the most venomous spiders cause infections and diseases. Thus, the fear of spiders is a kind of unconscious defense mechanism of the organism, so as not to be bitten.

Thus, the causes of arachnophobia can be hereditary, or be associated with the fear of being bitten and dying, or seeing other people with the same behavior, or even due to traumatic experiences suffered with spiders in the past.

6. Coulrophobia

Coulrophobia is characterized by an irrational fear of clowns, in which the person feels traumatized by their sight, or just imagining their image.

It is believed that the fear of clowns can start in childhood, because children are very reactive to strangers, or because of an unpleasant episode that may have happened to clowns. In addition, the simple fact of the unknown, of not knowing who is behind the mask, causes fear and insecurity. Another cause of this phobia could be the way bad clowns are represented on television or in the movies, for example.

Although it is seen by many as a harmless prank, clowns cause symptoms such as excessive sweating, nausea, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, crying, screaming and irritation in people with coulrophobia.

7. Acrophobia

Acrophobia, or fear of heights, is an exaggerated and irrational fear of high places such as bridges or balconies of tall buildings for example, especially when there is no protection.

This phobia can be triggered by a trauma experienced in the past, by exaggerated reactions by parents or grandparents whenever the child was in places with some height, or simply by survival instinct.

In addition to the symptoms common to other types of phobia such as excessive sweating, tremors, shortness of breath and increased heart rate, the most common symptoms of this type of phobia are inability to trust one's balance, constant attempts to hold on to something, crying and screaming.

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