Fears and phobias are both forms of fear except that a phobia tends to be irrational. We fear something when we feel that we doubt our ability to cope in a situation. Meeting somebody carrying a knife late at night is a rational fear as they could potentially attack you. Whereas a fear of spiders is irrational as a tiny little spider can’t do anything to harm you. There is absolutely no logical reason why you can’t cope with the presence of the spider, that’s what makes it irrational. The phobia sufferer knows that their fear is irrational but they are unable to control their fear. This is what defines a phobia as opposed to something we are fearful about for good reason, such as the man with the knife. When a person misinterprets their ability so the fear is out of proportion to the actual threat then the fear becomes a phobia.
Fear is an important emotion as it allows you to recognize danger and to take action to remove yourself from harms way. Extreme fear and phobias can be debilitating and can prevent people from living a normal life. They can undermine a persons self confidence and cause them embarrassment. A phobia is simply an irrational fear of something and is not an illness or a mental disorder.
Types of Phobias
There are many different categories of phobias. Simple phobias are phobias where the mere site of something such as snake can trigger fear. There are complex phobias where multiple fears converge all at once such as a fear of flying where the person is scared of crashing, being in an enclosed space and losing their mind etc. There are social phobias where people are afraid of what might happen whilst in the presence of other people. They might be afraid of saying the wrong thing or not having anything to say at all.
Agoraphobia is a very common and complex phobia that is often mistakenly believed to be a fear of open spaces. In actual fact it is the fear of being in places or situations from which escape is difficult, impossible or embarrassing. People with agoraphobia usually experience fear when they venture too far from home. In the most extreme cases they might not even be able to leave their own home at all.
Phobias can lead to panic attacks where the fear is also accompanied by terrifying sensations that can convince the person that they are losing their mind or are about to have a heart attack. Panic attacks feel worse than they actually are and it is important for sufferers to understand that they cannot be harmed by a panic attack.
If you suffer from fears and phobias the good news is that you can overcome them with Panic Away or the The Linden Method. What’s more you don’t even have to discover what caused your condition like some people believe they have to in order to overcome their fear.