Encountering certain obstacles or situations may leave one frightened, such as being afraid of the dark, high heights, or animals. Most of us are able to remain calm, rationalize the situation, and find a way around it,  but this doesn’t work everyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 10 million adults live with some kind of phobia.

What is a phobia?

Phobias, according to the American Psychological Association, are intense fears that result in distress and can be intrusive. Individuals who experience phobias have an irrational fear of things that don’t pose any real threat.

The American Psychiatric Association has simplified the symptoms into two points:

  • An out-of-proportion reaction, as well as the age playing a role in being inappropriate
  • The individual’s capability to behave normally is compromised

Common phobias:

  • Arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders
  • Acrophobia, this is the fear of heights 
  • Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in a situation you can’t escape from

Phobia Treatment options:

  • EMDR Therapy is a very effective way to treat phobias.
  • CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) by changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts which then changes feelings and behavior.
  • Psychotherapy is talk therapy. 
  • Medications, on the other hand, aren’t a cure but they help patients deal with symptoms.
  • Individuals can also learn stress-management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or other holistic approaches.

Phobias may be due to genetics, the environment, or even developmental. People dealing with phobias should seek help.   

More detailed information is listed below:

Phobia Behaviors:

  • Describes a persistent and unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation that promotes avoidance behaviors because an encounter with the phobic stimulus provokes an immediate anxiety response.
  • Fears and avoids the phobic stimulus/feared environment or endures it with distress, resulting in interference with normal routines.
  • Acknowledges a persistence of fear despite recognition that the fear is unreasonable.


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