Causes of phobias

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Fear of natural phenomena

Phobias can occur for various reasons. However, in psychology evolve two basic preconditions for their development – genetic and social. Below you will see several hypotheses regarding the reasons for the formation of phobic disorders.

Phobia inherited genetic factor

The American psychiatric Association conducted research among a number of parents and children. In the experiment it was revealed: if at least one parent suffers from any kind of phobic disorders, with a probability of 25% of his penchant for phobias future generations. If phobias are exposed to both parents, this probability increases to 50 %.

The study also allowed to identify the most critical age periods in a person’s life, during which most likely the formation of various apprehensions. It is – puberty, the crisis of middle age (30-40 years), late maturity (50 years), in women the period of menopause. In these age periods of the human psyche is especially sensitive and vulnerable, which increases the risk of developing phobic disorders.

Genetically determined-phobia is the excessive predisposition to anxiety, which is pathological and beyond the normal and natural fear as a reaction to stressful, dangerous situation. This phobia is passed by inheritance due to the fact that along with the body type, color of eyes and hair, and the other parent signs the child inherits the type of the nervous system of both parents.

Also genetically the child is the tendency to respond to a stressful situation, way of perceiving the world, the level of sensibility and the intensity of response to the stressor. Due to the fact that the child inherits the type of the parent of the nervous system, his emotional perception, sense of self is also such a parent. On the maternal side the baby is often transferred in such feminine traits like restlessness, anxiety and fear. The father may transmit such typically male characteristics as a tendency to question any of the settings and actions, mistrust, suspicion.

Inherited by the child from the parents and speed of response to a stressor or extreme the situation, the degree of concentration on the stressors and negative experiences. Transmitted and the type of temperament that also in the future may have to phobic disorders, or Vice versa makes their formation unlikely.

Social causes of phobias and fears

Social factors may be the main cause phobias in humans. Cognitive psychology makes assumptions about what the most inclined to develop anxiety sensitive and hyperemotional personality with such traits as suspiciousness and suspiciousness. This psycho who react violently to any stress, you feel bright and strong emotional experiences, both negative and positive.

According to statistics, among patients seeking psychological help, is dominated by individuals prone to psychological dependence on other people, with widespread evasion and avoidance of stressful situations and difficulties that prefer to get away from the problem, not solve it.

Hypothesis biochemical predisposition to phobias

Some psychologists and psychiatrists have put forward the hypothesis that the tendency to develop mental disorders, particularly phobias, caused by biochemical processes occurring in the body. For example, the psychological state of the individual really is largely determined by the production of hormones – serotonin, melanin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, dopamine, and several others. There is a theory that such diseases and disorders, such as hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), reinforced or decreased production of thyroid hormones, disturbances in the heart muscle and valves, failures in the respiratory process (oxygen starvation) contribute to the emergence or aggravation of anxiety and phobias.

Another group of people suffering from disorders – people suffering from addictions: drugs, alcohol, tobacco-dependent antidepressants and sedatives. Substances acting on the Central nervous system, provoke or inhibit the secretion of certain hormones. Normal hormonal balance in the body is disturbed, which contributes to the development of mental disorders.

This hypothesis is confirmed by real research. So, for example, 30% of patients suffering from mental disorders are prone to use of alcohol and psychotropic drugs or narcotics. In some cases, they resorted to the use of alcohol and other drugs in order to relieve anxiety. And it really helps in the short term. Prolonged impact on the psyche causes significant changes in CNS and aggravates the disorder. Abrupt withdrawal of drugs and alcohol can also be a catalyst for the formation of phobias and anxiety.

With regard to nicotine addiction, then the reasonable use of nicotine (Smoking) really possible to blunt the nervous sensibility and to reduce anxiety. However, this effect is short-lived. But the abuse of tobacco easily provokes panic. Abrupt withdrawal from nicotine, in turn can cause the appearance of a phobia in a patient.

Food also affects on the human psyche and is a biochemical factor in the formation of mental disorders. Incorrect, unbalanced diet leads to the acute shortage of nutrients, making the emotional state is unstable. In other words, do “man is what he eats”.

Psychological causes of phobias

Psychological prerequisites for the formation of anxiety disorders can be personal manifestations and man’s decisions, his behaviour and character. For example:

  • Pessimistic view of life (the individual focuses attention on their negative traits and negative life events)
  • self-Criticism, low self-esteem, negative self-perception, “gnoblenie”, the denial of self-worth and uniqueness
  • the Tendency to see the further life-course perspective in black, the willingness for the worst
  • a Negative psychological atmosphere among the entourage: a complicated relationship with family, sexual partner, in the workplace. Constant conflict, tension, criticism from loved ones, and reaction to it
  • Stressful life situations (serious illness, divorce, death or illness of a loved one)
  • a Forced or deliberate isolation from society, the inability or failure to have a trust relationship with other people
  • Negative experience from childhood: traumatic to a child’s psyche events, hatred and inattention of parents, the lack of harmonious education
  • Excessive development of such negative traits as a tendency to question everything, to be overly cautious, excessive demands to themselves, an increased sense of responsibility, self-criticism, biased being a perfectionist

Noteworthy is the fact that phobic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder are rarely seen in the egomaniac, narcissistic individuals with high self-esteem, prone to shifting responsibility for their negative actions on others, aggressive and able to fully Express your emotions (don’t be shy in screaming, crying, easy to create conflicts), as well as for those who for their own ends, able to “go over the heads” to use any means. In other words, the complete absence of any self-criticism and self-centeredness virtually eliminate the possibility of phobias. Are personality types prone to completely different psychological diseases.

Chronic fatigue syndrome – the perfect breeding ground for the formation of phobic disorders.

Psychoasthenic condition or different chronic fatigue syndrome is quite common today. Excessive emotional, mental and physical stress, lack of adequate sleep and rest combined with a psychological trauma or difficult life event can be the basis of a phobic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The situation is aggravated by the weakening of the immune system and the deterioration of physical health: disruption in the hormonal and endocrine systems, infections and viruses, deterioration of General health.

I. Sosin gives statistics of the factors, influencing the development of phobias:

90% of problems in the professional sphere (for men more significant)

56% – family problems (a greater effect on women)

21% is a way of life and the circle of close persons

14% – financial difficulties

8% – ideological issues and self-perception

3% – the need to compete in society

Separate item you can highlight such factors as “family anxiety”. This term refers to the unconscious fear, characteristic of the entire family as a whole, or which is available to one family member and influences the thinking of others. So, for example, anxiety of the mother about cleanliness and sterility unknowingly passed on to children who become afraid to touch any objects outside the home.

Sometimes, family phobias are inherited, the next generation appear in a more magnified form. Therefore, psychologists say that family foundations and traditions, the overall situation can serve as a background for the development of phobias and nervous disorders. That is why the genetic factor is considered to be one of the main prerequisites.

Most phobias have their origin from childhood, from a family where fear has formed a close and often actively encouraged. Identifying the cause of phobias, finding its “root” is a good psychologist or psychiatrist will be able to develop the most effective treatment plan for the patient.


We hope that this article has helped you learn more about the causes of phobias and the regularities of their development. Adhering to are recommendations, you will be able to protect themselves from stressors, and to learn to control your fears. Please share this information with others! This can be done by clicking on the repost at the bottom of the page. Together we can help people get rid of fears and phobias!

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