What is Phobias?
What is Phobias? Phobias are excessive fear of a particular object or situation. This excessive fear often leads to severe depression, anxiety, and panic.
Based on the type of fear, the phobia is divided into two. The first phobia is a specific phobia. Specific phobias usually begin to develop from childhood or adolescence. Examples of specific phobias are environmental phobias (water depth or altitude), animal phobias (snakes, caterpillars, or spiders), phobias of the situation (visits to the doctor), sexuality phobia (fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases), and phobias Physically (fear of syringes or blood).
The second type of phobia is a complex phobia. This type of phobia usually develops in adulthood. One example of a complex phobia is social phobia. People who suffer from this phobia will feel anxious when in the social environment. They are afraid of humiliating others or embarrassing themselves if they do not speak. Of course this will greatly disrupt the daily life of the sufferer, including its impact in the business world, work, relationships, as well as inhibition of self-development.
Another type of complex phobia is fear of places where they feel trapped or afraid to leave home for fear of crowdedness. These symptoms will become-so if they are attacked by panic. Therefore, people will usually avoid situations, such as traveling by public transport or in public places (restaurants, markets, or supermarkets). The term phobia like this is also called agoraphobia.
In addition to psychological symptoms of fear, phobias can also affect the physical condition. Some examples of physical symptoms that arise from phobias, among others:
- Disoriented or confused
- Dizziness and headaches
- Chest tightness and pain
- Hard to breathe
- Increased heart rate
- Body shaking and sweating
- The ears are buzzing
- Sensation wants to always urinate
- The mouth is dry
Causes of phobias
Until now the cause of phobias is not known clearly. However, there are several factors that are strongly suspected to cause this condition, including:
- Traumatic events. There are several examples of events that can cause a person to experience trauma until it eventually triggers a phobia, such as the experience of being attacked by an animal or an insect, an experience trapped in a closed room or an elevator, the experience of being in the middle of a riot or riot, Rejection from others.
- High temperatures. Someone who is too sensitive personality, always negative thinking, and very shy will be more susceptible to having a phobia.
- Have an elderly person with phobias. Alleged that the phobia is a condition that can be inherited. If there are family members who have a phobia against a particular situation or object, then your risk of phobias is also high.
Diagnosis of phobias
It is advisable to see a doctor if your fear has had an impact on happiness in living and disrupting daily activities. Usually such cases are related to complex phobias.
To diagnose whether the patient has a social phobia, the doctor will usually ask the patient whether he is afraid of having to attend social events, communicate with others, or speak in public. The doctor will also ask whether during the past six months the patient is worried about others judging him / her negatively, feeling ashamed when interacting with others, or the patient feeling anxious while in a social environment. If almost all responses to the question have been experienced by the patient, then certainly the patient is experiencing a social phobia.
Similarly in agoraphobia diagnostic methods, the doctor will ask if the patient is anxious when he is out or away from home, in the middle of the crowd or open space (eg the park), and anxious when doing the queue. In the opposite case, the patient will be asked whether he or she is afraid of being at home alone or in a confined space (eg elevator). In addition, the doctor will also ask whether during the past six months the patient is worried about an anxiety attack that often avoids these situations. If almost all the answers are positive, then the chances of the patient having agoraphobia.
For specific cases of phobias, patients often rarely consult a doctor because most of them realize what objects they fear and try to avoid. Therefore, this condition is less likely to interfere with the daily activities of patients.
Treatment of phobias
Phobias can be dealt with in two ways, namely through therapy and drugs. The type of therapy generally applied to phobic cases is cognitive behavioral therapy combined with exposure therapy or desensitization. In this combination therapy the patient’s fear of an object or situation will be reduced gradually by increasing the frequency of exposure to the object or situation gradually.
For example the case in patients who are afraid of spiders. As a first step, the patient will be asked the doctor to read the material around the spider. Then the patient will also be shown some pictures of the insects. If at this stage the patient has been accustomed, then the next doctor will raise the level of exposure by taking the patient to visit the insect museum and see the spider directly from close. If at this stage the patient successfully overcome his fear, then at the peak therapy, the patient will be invited to the doctor holding the spider directly.
Combination therapy is often applied by physicians to treat phobias rather than other methods, such as drugs, because the results are very effective.
Handling phobias with drugs
Drugs given are usually more aimed at helping the patient calm down and control his fear and panic against an object or situation he fears. One of the drugs commonly prescribed by doctors in cases of phobias is the antidepressant drug of the type of inhibitor of serotonin release (SSRI). This drug works by influencing the transmitter in the brain called the hormone serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in creating and managing mood.
Another type of drug phobia is a beta-blocking drug. This drug is often used in the short term because it effectively reduces fear in certain situations. An example is the use of drugs shortly before the event takes place by a singer who has severe stage fright. Beta blockers work by inhibiting the reactions that arise from the stimulation of adrenaline from anxiety, such as sound and trembling, heart palpitations, and increased blood pressure.
In addition to antidepressants and beta blockers, other medications that can be used to treat phobias are benzodiazepines or tranquilizers. This drug works by reducing anxiety and help the patient feel relaxed or relaxed. However, it is important to adhere to the instructions of doctors in the use of benzodiapezine because this drug has the potential to cause dependence on the wearer.