What is a Phobia?
A phobia is an irrational fear of an object or situation that in reality is of little or no danger. One in ten people in the United States have a phobia. Social Phobia is the third largest mental health problem in the world.
Phobias are only considered a clinical issue if they are so severe that they make life difficult the one experiencing the fear.
A 13 year old boy, in an effort to justify his assertion that he was "freaked out" by cockroaches. He told us that one night a cockroach crawled across his body while he was in bed.
He further explained that his mattress had a hole in it and had been stored on the back porch for a time before he started sleeping on it. He wondered if the roach came from the hole in his mattress.
We asked him what he did after that. He said he killed the roach, put some duct take over the hole and went back to sleep. When we asked him how he currently reacts to cockroaches, he said, "I usually jump and then try to kill them." He does not have a phobia because his reaction is within normal limits.
By contrast, we were seated by a man on a plane once who had a phobia about flying, he was hyperventilating a good bit of the time and perspiring profusely. His reaction increased to nearly intolerable levels when we encountered mild turbulence. When we tried to engage him in conversation, he was not able to participate.
What causes phobias? How do we treat them? Is there anything a person can do to get rid of them on their own? What kind of phobias are there? The following pages will explain phobias in real world language from our experience with real people.
This topic is in process. The following items are completed if they have an active link
Getting help with phobias.
Types of Phobias
Causes and Treatment of Phobias
How do phobias develop and what can be done to treat them?
A lot can be done by those who have a phobia to reduce or eliminate it.
Afraid of What?
An example of how we help people with phobias.