Topics: Fear, Phobia, Social anxiety disorder Pages: 2 (428 words) Published: February 2, 2014

Phobias are is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. When the fear is beyond one's control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. Phobias are known as an emotional response learned because of difficult life experiences. Generally phobias occur when fear produced by a threatening situation is transmitted to other similar situations, while the original fear is often repressed or forgotten. The excessive, unreasoning fear of water, for example, may be based on a childhood experience of almost drowning. The individual attempts to avoid that situation in the future, a response that, while reducing anxiety in the short term, reinforces the association of the situation with the onset of anxiety. Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from phobias. Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25. Claustrophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of closed spaces, of being closed in or being shut in, as in elevators, tunnels, or any other confined space. The fear is excessive and quite common. Social Phobia also known as social anxiety disorder, social phobia is an excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that is extremely intrusive and can have debilitating effects on personal and professional relationships. Examples include fears of public speaking, meeting new people, and other social situations. How Are Phobias Treated? Helping those who suffer from phobias by supportively and gradually exposing them to circumstances that are...
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