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Analytical Essay on Phobias: Symptoms, Types, Causes, and Treatment

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Understanding Phobias.

Everyone is not born with phobias, we might born with fear, but if you check on young children, they are born without fear until what they did harms them in some ways. A phobia is learned because it has become a connection with an object or an experience that is unpleasant and uncomfortable. According to the psychological behaviorist, a phobia has to be learned. This will happen in one or two ways: classical or operant conditioning.

Everyone is afraid of something. Everyone experiences nervousness, anxiety and even in superior feelings on or around certain people. Some people felt these feelings so deeply that their fear is considered irrational. Even they realize that it is irrational and slowly this habit became a phobia, which eventually causes them to have phobias. Millions of people suffer from phobias every day of their lives. I am one of them myself. I have several phobias that are uncommon to others.

The third largest psychological disorder in the United States is what psychologists have labeled a social phobia. A social phobia is the fear of social situations and interactions with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and scrutiny. (Olesen, 2018) A friend of mine once told me a story about her aunt who didn’t ‘t leave her house for 15 years because she was too afraid of socializing with people, and it was the only place she felt safe, I was so curious about it and I ended up found out that this woman suffered from agoraphobia.

A phobia can be defined as an abnormal, intense, and irrational fear. This fear can be of a given situation, organism, or object. Dictionary website (2010) states that the word phobia comes from the Greek word that means fear. For every letter in the alphabet, there are phobias that start with the letters A to Z. An estimated 18 percent of the U.S adult population is estimated to suffer some kind of phobia as stated in the Electronic Ardell Wellness Report (2010). In the mind of the person who has the fear, the phobias are really terrifying to them. Most ordinary people would be surprised at the common everyday people, places, or things that some individuals are afraid of.

Many people claim to be afraid of spiders, which included my best friend back in my country. I ask her why she is so afraid of spiders just by seeing them running around or just by seeing pictures or videos about the spiders, she mentioned that she could feel those spiders crawling on her skin even when she just looking at them. 35-year-old Anna Murray from California. Anna went to many lengths to be spider-free, including sealing her windows and doors with duct tape, spraying her car with bug killer, and putting every single piece of washed and ironed clothing into its own sealed plastic bag. She wasn’t just afraid of spiders; she have arachnophobia, a phobia that was extremely terrified of spiders, not to be confused with a simple fear like my friend. Phobias are not simple; they are complex in both their origin and diagnosis, with many types that people suffer from and any number of treatments that exist to date.

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There is still insufficient research in the field of phobias to determine a specific clear cause. What is known is that phobias are common in children and do not represent an abnormality. Phobias can start in childhood or adulthood. Some people have suddenly become terrified of things they’ve been doing for years, somewhat like a flight attendant that suddenly begins to have panic attacks on her 500th flight. In most cases, phobias are thought to branch from a connection with the feared object, living thing, or situation. Most phobias do not have any connection with an individual’s normal functioning to the point of seeking treatment. There is usually no family history of mental illness or of the same phobia. For example, a person with the fear of being in tight spaces such as an elevator, also called claustrophobia does not necessarily have a relative that is mentally ill or claustrophobic as they are not genetically relatable.

What are Fear and Phobia? Phobia root is always fear. Fear and Phobia will always have that connection in between. We will eventually gain phobia when the fear we had takes over us. Fear is the main point that leads the fear slowly to phobia. Fear is the word we use to explain our emotional reaction to something that is harmful for us. People fear things or situations that make them feel unsafe or insecure. For instance, someone who isn’t a strong runner might have a fear of losing. In this case, fear is helpful because it cautions the person to stay safe without injuring themselves. Someone could overcome this fear by learning how to run safely. Many people have a fear of public speaking. By overcoming the fear, they could join clubs that will help them to speak confidently in front of the crowd.

People tend to avoid situations or things they fear. But this doesn’t help them overcome fear, in fact, it can be the reverse and lead to something worst, until becoming a phobia. Avoiding something scary reinforces a fear and keeps it strong. People can overcome unnecessary fears by giving themselves the chance to learn about and gradually get used to the thing or situation they’re afraid of. For example, people with a fear of speed could go for a ride in a moderate type of roller coaster to help them to understand the concept behind the speed, experience it, and know how speed works, when they know how it works, even it might take times for them to overcome the fear, they will gradually face their fear and eventually conquer it.

Phobias are highly treatable even without medication, and people who have them are nearly always aware of their disorder. People can learn to overcome phobias by gradually facing their fears. This is not easy at first. It takes willingness and bravery. Overcoming a phobia usually starts with making a long list of the person’s fears in the least-to-worst order. For example, with a dog phobia, the list might start with the things the person is least afraid of, such as looking at a photo of a dog. It will then work all the way up to worst fears, such as standing next to someone who’s petting a dog, petting a dog on a leash, and walking a dog. The person isn’t forced to do anything and works on each fear until he or she feels comfortable, taking as long as needed. Speaking to a psychologist or psychiatrist is a useful first step in treating a phobia that has already been identified. (Lyness, 2013) A therapist could also show someone with a dog phobia how to approach, pet, and walk a dog, and help the person to try it, too. The person may expect terrible things to happen when near a dog.

Most phobias can be cured with appropriate treatment. There is no single treatment that works for every person with a phobia. Talking about this can help, too. When people find that what they fear doesn’t actually turn out to be true, it can be a great relief. Therapy is aimed at reducing fear and anxiety symptoms and helping people manage their reactions to the object of their phobia. Some people often have a panic attack when they see their fear. A therapist might also teach relaxation practices such as specific ways of breathing, muscle relaxation training, or soothing self-talk when they face their phobia, especially right in front of them. These can help people feel comfortable and bold enough to face fears on their list. When somebody gets used to a feared object or situation, the brain will start to adjust, making sure how it responds and the phobia is slowly overcome (Nordqvist, 2017). The hardest part of overcoming a phobia is getting started. Hence, once a person decides to go for it, with the right coaching and support, it can be surprising how quickly fear can fade away, so does phobia will be gone in no time.

Work Cited

  1. Lyness, D. (Ed.). (2013, May). Fears and Phobias (for Teens). Retrieved from
  2. Nordqvist, C. (2017, December 20). Phobias: Symptoms, types, causes, and treatment. Retrieved from

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Analytical Essay on Phobias: Symptoms, Types, Causes, and Treatment. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
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