What is phobia? Phobia is described as an extreme, irrational fear of a specific object or situation. It is also classified as a type of anxiety disorder, since anxiety is the chief symptom experienced by the sufferer. Phobias are thought to be learned emotional responses. It is generally held that phobias occur when fear produced by an original threatening situation that is transferred to other similar situations, with the original fear often repressed or forgotten. An excessive, unreasoning fear of water, for example, may be based on a forgotten childhood experience of almost drowning. The person accordingly tries to avoid that situation in the future, a response that, while reducing anxiety in the short term, reinforces the person’s association of the situation with the onset of anxiety. In today’s society, everyone suffers from some type of phobia. They would fall into one of three categories: Agoraphobia, Social phobia, or specific phobia.
The first category, Agoraphobia, the person suffers from irrational anxiety about being in places from which might be difficult or embarrassing. How many times have you been in a situation that made you feel uncomfortable or that you really did not want to even go because you felt under the weather? This shows that you might have this type of phobia.
Social phobia is an irrational anxiety elicited by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations, also leading to avoidance behavior. Many people, in the world today, suffer from this phobia. Public speaking is the leading fear in today’s society. People will go to the high extremes to get out of a speech or an event where they are the center of attention. How many times have you been nervous about giving a speech in front of your class?
The last category is specific phobia. This phobia is a persistent and irrational fear in the presence of some specific stimulus which commonly elicits avoidance of that stimulus, i.e., withdrawal. This category also has many subtypes which include animal type, natural type, blood- injection- injury type, situational type, and other type. Some examples of these phobias would be: situational type is induced by a specific situation, such as public transportation, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, driving, or enclosed spaces. Another example would be other types. This is caused by such actions as choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness.
It is easy to see that you could fit into one of those categories. In retrospect, there is a phobia for almost everything in the world today. Phobias can interfere with everyday normal activity and they cause you to be unable to concentrate and work or in some cases even function.