Ever been terrified of something that others are not bothered by? Most likely you could be suffering from a phobia or an irrational fear that poses nor real or immediate danger to you. Phobias range in severity from being an annoyance to severely affecting someone’s life but can be successfully treated. Living a life with a phobia can really affect someone’s quality of life.
Some of the more common phobias include fear of public speaking, fear of snakes, fear of severe weather, and a fear of heights among others. Phobias can cause physical and psychological symptoms as well. Some of the physiological symptoms of a phobia include trembling, sweating, abnormal breathing, and hot flushes or chills. The psychological symptoms may include increased anxiety, irrational thoughts, and even a panic attack. What distinguishes a phobia from a simple fear is when a person starts to avoid triggers in his or her daily life at great costs. According to the National Institute of Mental Health “Of adults with specific phobia in the past year, an estimated 21.9% had serious impairment, 30.0% had moderate impairment, and 48.1% had mild impairment.” This statement is alarming because it demonstrates that many people suffer phobias. For example, someone living with a driving phobia may be limited in the types of employment they can obtain. Obviously, someone with a driving phobia may not want to become an uber or lyft driver, bus driver, or kinds of jobs that involve driving thus severely limiting employment and career opportunities.
Living with a phobia may be self-manageable for some people; however, for others professional help will be needed. Fortunately, there are several successful treatments available to treat phobias including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, medication, and other talking therapies. CBT involves changing one’s behavior and thinking to better allow them to react to their problems. Mindfulness techniques include meditation and visualization among others. This type of activity can help those suffering from phobias by helping them cope with their fears. Medication is mostly used to treat some side effects of phobias like anxiety.
Phobias can wreak havoc on a person’s life; however, there are treatments available for them. So for those that dream of becoming a police officer or a tax driver, the time may come where you will be able to overcome your fears and accept the job.
Specific Phobia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/specific-phobia.shtml