Specific phobias are an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety you may feel when giving a speech or taking a test, specific phobias are long lasting, cause intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect the ability to function normally at work, at school or in social settings.
Specific phobias are among the most common anxiety disorders, and not all phobias need treatment. But if a specific phobia affects daily life, several therapies are available that can help them work through and overcome fears — often permanently.
Symptoms of Fear Phobias
A specific phobia involves an intense, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that's out of proportion to the actual risk. There are many types of phobias, and it's not unusual to experience a specific phobia about more than one object or situation. Specific phobias can also occur along with other types of anxiety disorders.
Common categories of specific phobias are a fear of:
- Situations, such as airplanes, enclosed spaces or going to school
- Nature, such as thunderstorms or heights
- Animals or insects, such as dogs or spiders
- Blood, injection or injury, such as needles, accidents or medical procedures
- Others, such as choking, vomiting, loud noises or clowns
Each specific phobia is referred to by its own term. Examples of more common terms include acrophobia for the fear of heights and claustrophobia for the fear of confined spaces.
No matter what specific phobia have, it's likely to produce these types of reactions:
- An immediate feeling of intense fear, anxiety and panic when exposed to or even thinking about the source of your fear
- Awareness that fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them
- Worsening anxiety as the situation or object gets closer in time or physical proximity
- Doing everything possible to avoid the object or situation or enduring it with intense anxiety or fear
- Difficulty functioning normally because of fear
- Physical reactions and sensations, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, tight chest or difficulty breathing
- Feeling nauseated, dizzy or fainting around blood or injuries
- In children, possibly tantrums, clinging, crying, or refusing to leave a parent's side or approach their fear
Causes of Fear Phobias
Much is still unknown about the actual cause of specific phobias. Causes may include:
- Negative experiences. Many phobias develop as a result of having a negative experience or panic attack related to a specific object or situation.
- Genetics and environment. There may be a link between own specific phobia and the phobia or anxiety of parents — this could be due to genetics or learned behavior.
- Brain function. Changes in brain functioning also may play a role in developing specific phobias.
Homeopathic Medicine for Fear Phobias
Aconite – Useful for fear phobia with fear of death coupled with anxiety. Useful when patient believe that he or she may die soon, going so far as to predict the day of demise.
Arsenicum Album – Arsenicum Album is a homeopathic medicine used to treat the fear of death accompanied by restlessness. The affected person does not feel the need to take any medication and may change places continuously.
Stramonium – Useful for fear phobias having fear of closed places with desire to escape.Useful when patient feel anxiety when going through a tunnel or similar closed space.
Phosphorus – Homoeopathic medicine for fear phobias having fear of open places. Also there is fear that something terrible will happen.
Lycopodium – Useful for fear phobias having fear of failure with weak memory. Useful when patient has strong aversion to undertaking new challenges and may feel unable to reach a destination.