Causes and Effects of Specific Phobias


A Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, that you can never overcome. A phobia comes from the areas of the brain that deal with fear and stress that keep bringing back the frightening event that made them scared of the phobia. People that suffer with a phobia have a very hard time dealing with it. Phobias can be caused by stressful situations, terrifying events, or some experiences a person had. Usually when a person has a phobia, they know about it in their childhood, or teenage years. It is very unusual for a person to develop a phobia around the age of 30-35. There are 2 groups of phobias: the specific phobias, and the social phobias. The specific phobias are fear of things, like dogs, insects, or snakes. No one knows what causes them, but they seem to run into people’s families and are more prevalent with women. The social phobias are afraid of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of other people. Social phobias are also related to feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem (Mental Health America, 2018). Everyone in the world has a phobia, just some peoples are worse than others. Adult phobias stay for many years, and they are less likely to go away on their own. Without proper treatment, phobias can increase an adults risk of other types of psychiatric illnesses, especially other anxiety disorders, depression or substance abuse. If a person continues to suffer from a phobia it can interfere with many aspects of their life. The affect phobias have on the body are like those that experienced when real life and death threats are present.

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To inform, the 3 phobias that I am going to go into detail with are didaskaleinophobia, agoraphobia, and the claustrophobia. The didaskaleinophobia is the fear of school or fear of going to school  (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The ages 5-11 when a kid must go to school they cling onto their parents, they throw temper tantrums, and they are tearful. Ages 11-18 they run away, they get angry, and they become very depressed. Ages 18 and older, they have anxiety, depression, alcohol/drug abuse, and they become suicidal. The symptoms of this phobia are crying, screaming, anxiety attacks, sweating, nausea, and dizziness. The causes of didaskaleinophobia are fear of bullies, strict teachers, scary dog on the way to school, fear of failing and many more. How to overcome didaskaleinophobia is to try to talk to a counselor, go to therapy, positive visualization, music, deep breathing, and other relaxation tools can help. If a parent has a child and that child is suffering from this phobia, medication can always help. Also, try to be supportive during that period of time (, 2015).

The second phobia is agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is a disorder when you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed (Research, 1998-2018). An example of agoraphobia is using public transportation, being in an open or enclosed space, standing in line or being in a crowd. Agoraphobia is caused by fearing there is no way to escape, abuse problems, family problems, depression, or physical or sexual abuse. Most people who have this phobia develop it after having 1 or more panic attacks. If the panic attacks become more frequent, there is a chance the person experiencing them might have a panic disorder. It affects about 6 million American adults. In the UK, up to 2 people out of 100 have agoraphobia. This phobia is twice as common in women than men. Agoraphobia usually started between the ages of 18 till 35. The symptoms are: the person fears leaving home alone, being in an elevator, parking lots, bridges, and malls. You also can tell someone has agoraphobia when they are scared to go anywhere by their self, and when they need a companion to go with them. This phobia can last 6 months or longer. There is one way a person can prevent agoraphobia and it is by taking medication. The medication that can help are called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), and Anti-anxiety medications also known as benzodiazepines, are sedatives that can relieve the symptoms of anxiety in the short term. Benzodiazepines can be very addictive. With treatment, one in three people are thought to eventually overcome Agoraphobia and don’t ever experience it again. 1 out of 5 people don’t see any improvement and continue to live with their condition. Some people have a panic disorder, which is when you experience sudden attacks of extreme fear that is a few minutes and it triggers intense physical symptoms. To include, people have panic attacks when they are close to their phobia. When a person is having a panic attack, they have a rapid heart rate, trouble breathing, chest pain, dizziness, shaking, sweating and many more. Picturing a happy place, focusing on an object, exercising, inhaling lavender, and taking medication are ways to stop a panic attack. When someone is having a panic attack around a person, the person should remain calm, make sure the person has enough space around them, stay with them, help them control their breathing, and remind the person that panic attacks always end. A panic attack rarely lasts more than an hour, mostly 20-30 minutes. Panic attacks can happen anywhere and at any time (Physchology Principles in Practices, 2003).

The third phobia is claustrophobia. Claustrophobia is a fear of having no escape or being closed-in. The causes of claustrophobia are being trapped, being bullied, abused, getting separated from parents, or having a parent with claustrophobia. The symptoms of claustrophobia are sweating and chills, heart rate, fainting, dry mouth, hot flashes, and nausea. Claustrophobia involved a fear of being restricted or confined to one area, so having to wait in line at a checkout may also cause a panic attack. The reactions include checking the exits and staying near them when entering a room, feelings anxious when all the doors are closed, staying near the door in a crowded party or gathering, avoiding driving, and using the stairs instead of an elevator. How to overcome claustrophobia is observing others, drug therapy, relaxation and visualization exercises, and alternative or complementary medicine.

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In conclusion, phobias are an anxiety disorder that you can never overcome. It deals with fear and stress that keeps bringing back the frightening event that made them scared in the first place. People suffer about these 3 phobias all over the world. The 3 phobias that I had to explain are Agoraphobia, Claustrophobia, and didaskaleinophobia.

Works Cited

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  • (2015). The Ultimate list of Phobias and Fears.
  • Mental Health America. (2018). MHA.
  • Physchology Principles in Practices. (2003). In S. A. Rathus, Physchology Principles in Practices (p. 4). Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
  • Research, M. F. (1998-2018). Mayo Clinic.


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