Phobias, Not Just Ordinary Fear

Phobias, Not Just Ordinary Fear

Phobias, Not Just Ordinary Fear


Phobias, Not Just Ordinary Fear

Phobia or phobia is a feeling of fear of excessive things that do not make sense, both objects and situations that actually do not cause harm. Unlike general nervousness (such as being nervous when you want to speak or appear in public), phobias are usually related to something specific.

What are the types of phobia?

Phobias are broadly grouped into two, namely:

Specific phobia

This type of phobia is more directed at phobias due to certain objects or situations. These phobias usually start from childhood or adolescence, and can decrease in severity as you age. Some examples of specific phobias are:

  • Glossophobia : feeling afraid to speak in public, even thinking about it can cause sufferers to experience significant physical disorders such as cold sweat, weakness, and stomach pain.
  • Acrophobia : fear of heights. Those who suffer from acrophobia will avoid high places such as mountains, bridges, and tall buildings. The symptoms that appear can be dizziness, vertigo, cold sweat, and feeling faint when at height.
  • Claustrophobia : fear of a narrow place. In more severe cases, people with claustrophobia avoid riding elevators, even vehicles such as cars.
  • Aviatophobia : fear of flying.
  • Dentophobia : fear of the dentist or the procedure performed by the dentist. Dentophobia usually appears after experiencing unpleasant experiences when visiting a dentist.
  • Hemophobia : fear of blood or injury. Those who have hemophobia can even faint if faced with blood or wounds both from themselves and others.
  • Arachnophobia : fear of spiders.
  • Cynophobia : fear of dogs.
  • Ophidiophobia : fear of snakes.
  • Nyctophobia : Fear of night or darkness. This fear usually occurs in young children, but if the fear does not disappear or even worsens to adulthood, it can be called a phobia.

Complex phobia

This type of phobia usually has a more severe effect on daily life compared to specific phobias. Tend to develop when the patient is an adult, complex phobia is a fear that comes from anxiety about certain situations or circumstances. Examples of types of complex phobias are:

  • Agoraphobia : many people define agoraphobia as fear of the open space, but actually agoraphobia is more complex than that. More precisely, agoraphobia is a fear of situations where if a problem occurs, sufferers feel they will have difficulty escaping or asking for help. Those who suffer from agoraphobia usually avoid traveling by public transportation, visiting crowded places like shopping, and even fear leaving home.
  • Social phobia: or often referred to as social anxiety disorder is simply interpreted as fear of being in a social situation. This social phobia is more than just 'embarrassed' in public. For example, those with social phobia will experience excessive anxiety both before, during, and after speaking in front of many people. Usually they are afraid to say or do something that embarrasses themselves. People with social phobia tend to avoid meeting strangers, start conversations, talk on the phone, avoid eye contact, and have low self-esteem.

Causes of phobia

There is no definite cause that can explain why a person can experience phobias. Genetic and environmental factors can increase a person's risk of experiencing a phobia. Children who have close relatives with anxiety disorder have the possibility to experience phobias. A traumatic event can also cause phobias, such as almost drowning can cause a phobia of water. Confined in a narrow room, in extreme height, and the bite of an insect or animal can also cause phobias. Phobias can also occur after a person experiences trauma to the brain.

How do you overcome phobia?

The treatment given can be psychotherapy, drug administration, or a combination of both.


  • Exposure therapy: this therapy helps change your perspective on the subject or situation you are afraid of. The subject or situation that you fear is controlled and periodically will be faced in front of you, so you can learn to overcome your fear. For example, people with claustrophobia who are afraid to use the elevator will be asked to look at the elevator image, imagine themselves standing in front of the elevator door, and entering the elevator. Then gradually you will be asked to try to use the elevator just to go up one floor until after a while you get used to using the elevator.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): this therapy combines exposure therapy with another type of therapy that aims to help people with phobia overcome fear of certain objects or situations. Therapy is more focused on how to control thoughts and feelings.

Provision of medication

  • Beta blockers: these drugs work by blocking the work of adrenaline which can stimulate the body's work (such as increased blood pressure and heart rhythm, vibrating sounds, and feeling weak due to fear or panic). The use of beta blockers is effective for reducing the symptoms of phobias that appear.
  • Antidepressants: antidepressants act in controlling serotonin which functions to control mood.


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