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Phobias - Research Paper Example

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Phobias Introduction A phobia is “an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger (Mayo Clinic).” Though some people may be afraid of speaking in public or in front of a large audience, or if they have jitters before taking a test or a doctor’s visit, people that have a phobia, or more than one phobia, have an irrational fear about an object or situation that is long-lasting…
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Types of Phobias There is no way of knowing or even being able to count how many phobias exist in the world. It is often believed that there is a phobia for everything, including many concepts or situations that others are even unaware of. With this being the case, it is possible that there are millions, if not billions, of phobias in the world. As there are so many, it is also believed that everyone is likely to have at least one phobia, if not two or three. Phobias come in all possible forms, showing that every little thing in this world is someone else’s fear. There are three main types of phobia categories: specific phobias, social phobia, and a fear of open spaces, also known as agoraphobia, all of which will be briefly discussed forthcoming. Despite the endless amount of phobias in the world, some are definitely more common than others. The most common phobia is arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. This phobia may be more common in females, but there are plenty of men that also wish to have nothing to do with spiders. The second most common phobia experienced throughout the world is social phobia, the fear of being judged negatively in social situations. Roughly 5.3 million American adults between the ages of eighteen and fifty-four have social phobia (Craske 87). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the age group is correlated with the approximate ages of people that are working or in the middle of careers - situations where social judgment is not only unavoidable, but often required as part of their job. Other common phobias are aerophobia, which is the fear of flying; claustrophobia, the fear of being trapped in small, confining spaces; acrophobia, the fear of heights; agoraphobia, which is the fear that brings about extreme fear and avoidance of any place where it might be hard to escape or seek help, such as in an elevator or a larger space, such as the Grand Canyon; and necrophobia, which is the fear of dying or of dead things. There are also phobias that are not as common, and some are simply bizarre. Most of these phobias are fears of concepts or situations. Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive or being anywhere near a cemetery. Anablephobia is the fear of looking up; this is considered strange, as looking up is an action that is done almost unconsciously and can seldom be avoided. Geniophobia is the fear of chins. Possibly the most interesting phobia is phronemophobia, which is the fear of thinking. There are fears for having or seeing certain body parts, certain foods, smells, tastes, or textures. The very paper that this is being written on, or even the ink that typed it, can be the fear of one or more people in this world. This is why phobias are considered to be irrational, since many of these objects, situations, or concepts should not be feared. With a few exceptions, such as a fear of death or even sharks, these phobias are unable to cause harm to a person. As such, by having these phobias, people may risk causing harm to themselves in their attempts to avoid the cause of their phobia. Causes Since each phobia is as different as the person experiencing them, it has become difficult to pinpoint how phobias are caused. Unlike other ... Read More
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