Phobia- Fear no more

PHOBIA: A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

This is how the American Heritage Dictionary defines it. This definition is particularly helpful in knowing the difference between phobia and fear. While fear is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger, a phobia arises when fear is exaggerated, irrational or unwarranted. Phobia can be of an object, an activity or a situation. There is a common misconception that people with a low self-esteem largely suffer from phobias. According to psychiatrists, a phobia can strike anybody, but those who get easily worried, withdrawn and are introvert can be termed as risk groups for developing a phobia.

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A phobic person develops a behavior pattern in which he starts avoiding not only the object of his phobia, but also the symbols related to that particular phobia. In time, some people get over the phobia on their own or with a little support from family and friends, but for most it comes in the way of their daily functioning. This is time when clinical help is required. Phobia can affect any one from a small child to middle aged person. If a person have phobia of moving through trains then he will spend more money on plane. A small child who has developed an extreme fear towards a teacher will avoid going to school. Another type of Phobia is social phobia, “Many people fearful of facing an audience or striking up a conversation with a stranger.”

Following are some symptoms of a person suffering from phobia.
1) Palpitations.
2) Hand Tremors
3) Breathlessness
4) Giddiness
5) Perspiration
6) Rapid, shallow breathing
7) A feeling of impending disaster
8) Exaggerated worry
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