What is a Phobia?

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a Phobia is an uncontrollable anxiety when interacting with the object of fear or upon the occurrence of certain circumstances that the person is not able to control and perceive objectively.

The state of fear in the presence of a phobic disorder is pathological, out of control and logical explanation. An intense feeling of fear is present permanently or appears in connection with many stressors, stimuli, or events. When phobias are often fears are imaginary – that is, depend on the individual, biased perception of a particular situation, object.

How to manifest a phobia?

The individual with pathological anxiety is under constant influence of their fear. He never experiences peace and spiritual harmony. He has a feeling that he permanently resides on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Panic attacks, despair, hopelessness and confusion – that’s the constant companions of a person suffering from phobias.

a description of a person susceptible to phobias

The individual who suffers from phobic disorder begins to avoid the objects of their fear, deliberately shies away from any situations which may clash with the stressor. Also people prone to anxiety, struggling to cope with the implementation of professional activities. Because the constant anxiety and its symptoms, both psychological and somatic, can significantly reduce the efficiency of the brain. Becomes difficult the fulfillment of intellectual work, reduced alertness and performance. A person suffering from any form of social phobia, in addition, constantly worries about how her colleagues appreciate what people think about her surrounding, what impression it produces on them.

The tendency of the individual to avoid the stressor, for avoiding frightening situations significantly reduces the quality of life in all spheres. It minimizes the communication with others, refuses to new, unknown activities, from meeting new people. This, in turn, inhibits his development as a person, puts an end to the career growth and realization in professional activity. Reducing communication with other people, a person deprives himself of leisure, visiting interesting and crowded events. Depending on the object of the phobia worsens the quality of certain aspects of his life.

What are the symptoms of phobias?

The term “phobia” came to psychology from the Greek language. “Рhobos” means in translation “fear”. In psychology and psychiatry, the term has several interpretations. Highlighting the most authoritative of them, you can identify the main symptomatic manifestation of anxiety and phobic disorders:

  • the Fear is biased and pathological.
  • the Object of fear is clearly defined.
  • the Disease is intensively progressing over time.
  • the Individual evaluates their critical fear, deny it, be ashamed of or does not recognize the presence of pathology.

Common phobia that many of us suffer from them?

According to research by American specialists, the distribution of phobias in the world ranges from 2 to 9%. According to the Russian scientists Karvansara and Polyakova, anxiety disorders are suffering from 15 to 44% of patients seeking psychological help. According to statistics, the majority of people suffering from phobias and fear, are in the age group from 25 to 45 years.

Analyze the structure of the disease

We all somehow feel the fears, anxiety and even panic attacks. However, they do not always transformirovalsya in disease. Because the human psyche is arranged in such a way that any stress reaction mechanisms of psychological, emotional protection. Due to the effect of “forgetting”, we pretty quickly get rid of the effects of any negative emotions and stress. In the case of a phobia is a protective mechanism of the brain is not triggered or triggered incorrectly. Fear that cannot be explained logically, intractable conscious control, and is considered to be a phobia.

As the fears and phobias associated with other mental illnesses?

Phobic disorder – a typical companion of many other mental disorders. Often the phobia is accompanied by some form of neurosis. According to the results of the research I. karandasheva, only such pathologies as hysteria, may be accompanied by more than 14 anxiety disorders. In turn, neuroses and obsessions, accompanied by a list of 13 phobias, and neurotic at the same time may be exposed to 4 types of phobias. In psychology, phobias and fear by tradition considered in the context of the neurotic and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In accordance with the results of Gannushkina, phobias are characteristic of patients with various types of schizophrenia and depressive disorders.

Nabiullin his research identifies the manifestation of phobias when depression, epileptic seizures, schizophrenic disorders, psychotic syndromes, Central nervous system diseases: infectious lesions of the brain blood circulation disorders and vascular lesions, a tumor of brain tissue, traumatic brain injuries.

How to distinguish a phobia from an ordinary fear?

According to the thesis put forward by A. Swiadomym, normal, natural sense of fear in contrast to phobic anxiety, not associated with specific stressors or circumstances, with the relation of man to him. Natural fear is manifested for a short time and in a situation or in front of the facility that threaten the life, health, and normal psychological state of a person. It stops almost immediately after the removal of objective stressor, not leaving long experiences and somatic disorders.

Phobic anxiety may be a single and a multi-object, but the meaning of emotional experiences, situational circumstances, and the object of the phobia – it’s always the same. The natural fear, unlike pathological anxiety, always volatile, has a number of good reasons, manifests itself in relation to the actually existing factors (and not imaginary, as is the case with phobias).

So, for example, a person frightened of a snake that wants to attack him, and jumps out of the way or freezes in place. When the danger has passed, he can survive a few more days. But then his fears his no longer bother you, and next time when meeting with a snake he would be cautious, but will not experience the anxiety and tension. Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) is manifested on a regular basis. Panic ensues when meeting with any snake (even the defenceless and non-poisonous), when viewing videos and photos with images of these animals.

Theory is the study of phobias

Phobic disorders more recently attributed to the independent mind of mental pathologies. Previously, they were considered in the context of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Already in the works of Dr F. estate in 1617 meet the first scientific descriptions of anxiety and phobic disorders. And in 1858 the Russian physician I. Balinsky gives a new, independent determination of pathological anxiety, separating it in an independent class of mental disorders. It defines a phobia as an emotional state characterized by fear, anxiety, negative emotions, obsessive character that you can’t manage that are beyond the control of consciousness and visit the individual against his wishes. Psychiatrists and psychologists point out that many patients are critical of their fears, realize their bias. But to get rid of the phobia on their own can’t.

In modern psychology and psychiatry to classify syndromes like obsessive-compulsive disorder phobic (based on anxiety), compulsive (based on behavioral manifestations) and obsessive (based on emotions and thoughts).

More in-depth studies of phobic disorders as a separate class of diseases begin in 1871, after the publication of the works of the German scholar Otto Westphal. In the clinical case description anxiety disorders he mentions that fear arises from the patient against his will, is beyond conscious control. At the same time, it does not affect other functions of the nervous system, maintain the clarity of thought, intelligence, a clear consciousness outside of the sphere of influence of the stressor.

In connection with the complex patterns of formation of phobic disorders, and also with the variety of their forms, manifestations and symptomatology, phobias are still the subject of study in psychology and psychiatry.


In this article we have tried to tell our readers about the difference between phobic disorders and normal, natural fears, and to give some knowledge from the theory of psychiatry. We hope that this information will be useful to both you and your friends in the fight against fear and phobias. Look forward to your repost and left reviews.

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