Phobia Research Paper

Topics: Anxiety, Phobia, Fear Pages: 6 (2243 words) Published: April 30, 2010
Known as a mental disorder a phobia is a persistent fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to compelling desire to avoid it. Phobias tend to affect the way people live their lives, for example, their working and social environments, considering that they last for a very long time and are capable to cause intense psychological physical stress. It is considered today the most common mental and anxiety disorder in the United States (Matig Mavissakalian & David H. Barlow 1981 pp 2). There are many phobias such as: the fear of aging, fear of changing, fear of clowns, fear of getting fat, fear of being in closed spaces, etc.

One who encounters phobias has to deal with a collection of uncontrollable symptoms when their fear is presented. The mild cases, if not psychology cured, tend to grow into fears that are not able to be controlled which lead a person to feel like their life is being taking away from their own control (Erin Gersley 2001). In order to avoid their fear he or she will do anything in their power to not have to encounter it. Although feeling powerless and helpless, the people with the phobias tend to believe that their fears are irrational and exaggerated. These fears are avoided because when encountered they will bring the inability to function normally due to the anxiety provoked. Physical reactions are also encountered although psychologically is mostly common. Severe panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, sweating, difficulty breathing are some symptoms that people experience (Mavissakalian & Barlow 1981 pp 2-3). Hence, regardless the phobia, he or she will most likely experience a particular set of symptoms.

Observable psychologists have found that the pupils become dilated, the skin perspires, they might suffer from tremulousness, or their face becomes flushed when encountering their phobia. In some cases, a person will do anything that they can to escape the situation of fear causing them to take excessive measures to relief themselves from that fear. Symptoms of a phobia include the recognition that the fear goes beyond normal boundaries and the actual threat of danger, as well as the reactions are autonomic and uncontrollable, particularly taking over a person’s thoughts (Gersely 2001).

More is yet to be found over the broad subject over phobias. Researchers, however, have come to believe that experienced events and inner conflict might be the reason for these blown up fears. It is also believed that phobias are genetically predispositions. Phobias are also known to be looked as learned behavior. Gersely (2001), found that identical twins may develop the same type of phobia even when they are put into different environments and sent to different schools. Referring to the genetic research, they found that, even when they are raised apart, identical twins tend to develop the same phobia. Because children tend to act the same as their parents react, it is found that children that are exposed to parents that are, for example, afraid of frogs, they will ultimately develop the same fear of that reptile (Gersley 2001). The anatomical version of phobias may be looked upon to explain the causes or origins of certain fears.

Many things are experienced when fear is taking place in the body. The combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and heredity are responsible for the development of phobias or other anxiety disorders. Gersley (2001) stated that neurotransmitters are released into the brain. Many the amygdala, that is located in the pituitary glands in the limbic system, is related to phobias. When a response is initiated, the amygdala produces hormones that are dependable for the control of fear and aggression. The hormones are sent to throughout the body causing it into a state of alertness. Social phobias, others still believe, are responsible for abnormalities in neurotransmitter receptors of the brain.

Phobias are divided into three classifications. The...
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