Phobic disorders are classified as one of the most common of all anxiety disorders; they are a persistent and unreasonable fear of a particular object, activity, or situation. Many people who suffer from this disorder know that the fears they have, are excessive and unreasonable and, the feared object can usually determine how much it affects a persons functioning. Although, anyone can develop a phobic disorder, it is found more commonly in women than in men. Phobic disorders are broken up into three categories; simple phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobia. 1
Simple phobias are an inappropriately intense reaction triggered by a single stimulus. Almost everyone has met someone with one of these phobias; they range from being afraid of closed spaces (claustrophobia) to being afraid of snakes (ophidiphobia). The most common phobias are of specific animals and insects and of the natural elements. A person with a simple phobia can react by experiencing mild anxiety or even a panic attack can occur when they are confronted with the idea of facing the situation. Although, the fear is not of the symptoms but it is of the situation itself, which is believed to be a dangerous one.
A person with a simple phobia fears that they will lose their senses and do something irrational. For example, say you have a fear of heights, you may fear that you will forget what you are doing and accidentally leap off the cliff on which you are standing. (Grilly, p. 45) Others sometimes fear that something will go wrong with the circumstance that they are in. Another example would be a McGowan 3
person with a fear of flying may vividly imagine the tail falling off the plane, or the pilot losing consciousness with no one to take over. (Grilly, p. 45) The persons fearful thoughts come automatically in spite of rational thought thus, the person may believe the only option is to avoid the problematic area.
A social phobia may also be called social...