Fear and Phobia
Fear and Phobia
The human body is a complex machine that evaluates different situations and how Fear and Phobia react and respond to them accordingly. From an instant response to our reflex action to the meticulous responses of our immune system, we can see a variety of ways in which our bodies respond in various situations. One such natural response that signals and prepares our body to deal with a situation that is unsafe or dangerous is known as Fear. It is a normal human survival instinct that we have been bestowed with since our childhood.
Different people experience fear at different levels in the same situation. It could range from mere uneasiness to a strong reaction in a particularly dangerous situation. Fear triggers our body’s natural fight or flight response, during which we either stay and confront that situation or flee from it. Experiencing fear in situations that jeopardize our safety is very much normal and natural. The problem starts when this fear is exaggerated and blown out of proportion and turns into a Phobia.
A phobia is an extreme and persistent fear of an animal, object, or any particular environment that interrupts a person’s daily functioning. It is natural and normal to be afraid of a ferocious dog, but abnormal to be scared of a small puppy or an innocent bird. A phobic person does his utmost to avoid all such situations or objects of which he/she is afraid. Genetic components or certain childhood experiences of a person could cause a phobia. It is accompanied by sheer anxiety and uneasiness. A person becomes completely absorbed in thinking about the worse possible outcomes of being in the situation of which he’s fearful. This obsessive and compulsive worrying disrupts a person’s normal functioning.
Apart from the above-mentioned, there are many more. The physical symptoms accompanying phobia include shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, shakiness, nausea, etc. One should timely seek professional help in order to get his/her phobia diagnosed and treated. In 75% of phobic cases, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps in regards to specific phobias. Systematic Desensitization is helpful, in which a phobic person is slowly and gradually exposed to the fearful situation, object, or animal. Repeated exposure and interaction help the phobic person to overcome his major fear. The idea is to inculcate a sense of control over that situation, object, or animal. A time comes when a person reacts normally in the presence of that fearful stimulus.