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Millions of people suffer from phobias. Some of the weirdest phobias revolve around fear of clocks, garlic and even certain people. Find out more by watching this video.
Transcript: Any phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense, irrational fear of a particular...
Any phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense, irrational fear of a particular situation, object or animal. Most people realize their fears are extreme, but the anxiety is very real, regardless of how common or rare the phobia. Food-related phobias include the fear of garlic, fear of vegetables, fear of meat and even the fear of food itself. If these sound unusual, consider arachibutyrophobia, which is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth! Body parts also provide their fair share of terror-inducing phobias. Genuphobia is the fear of knees. Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. But surely the oddest in this category is geniophobia, which is the abnormal - and definitely peculiar - fear of chins! Animals also figure prominently in odd phobias. Ranidaphobics fear frogs, mottephobics fear moths and lutraphobia evokes horror in response to otters. But, the weirdest of these by far is zemmiphobia - fear of the Great Mole Rat, a hairless, sightless buck-toothed rodent that lives underground. Phobias of specific objects are common, but some are less common than others. Aulophibics have a morbid fear of flutes, chronomentrophobics have a horror of clocks and cnidophobics are terrified of string. However, the most perplexing may be consecotaleophobia - the fear of chopsticks. Another consideration: it's not uncommon to have more than one phobia - and conflicting phobias could be a real problem. For example, a man with pogonophobia, the fear of beards, might experience even greater anguish if he was also affected by xyrophobia - the fear of razors! Phobias may also be problematic in more ways than one. For instance, vestiphobics, who have a morbid fear of clothing, most certainly experience major issues beyond the fear itself. Clearly, it would be especially difficult also to suffer from gymnophobia, the fear of nudity. Other phobia combinations might actually come in handy. The anablephobic who's afraid of looking up might not have a huge problem with nephophobia, the fear of clouds or astrophobia, which is the fear of stars. Another odd phobia, which may not be so odd but bears mentioning is pentheraphobia, an intensely disabling fear of one's mother-in-law! Honorable mention for the weirdest phobias also goes to: pteronophobia, the fear of being tickled by feathers; helminthophobia, the fear of being infested with worms: and blennophobia, the fear of slime. Most phobias can be successfully treated. If you - or someone you know - is affected by phobias, consult a mental health professional.More »
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Imagine living your life afraid of food, or scared of people. While these phobias may seem irrational to some, to others, they are debilitating. Test your phobia IQ now!
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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Fears and phobias are not just a psychological problem, they can be physically crippling as well. Learn more about the connection in this video.
Transcript: A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and is defined as an intense, irrational fear of a particular...
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and is defined as an intense, irrational fear of a particular situation, object, animal or activity. People who suffer from a phobia may experience extreme emotional and physical reactions when encountering their particular fear. Nearly everyone fears something. Some people become anxious during thunderstorms. Others get queasy in tall buildings. Still others find themselves jumping onto a chair at the sight of a tiny mouse. But there's a big difference between temporary anxiety that's experienced occasionally and the often crippling, uncontrollable fear that can result in a person going to great lengths to avoid their phobia - even if it means missing a job interview, vacation or school play. When people with phobias can't avoid what they're afraid of, they may experience various symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, trembling or weakness. Most people with phobias realize their fear is excessive and irrational. But they typically are unable to overcome their feelings of dread and the often desperate need to escape the subject of their phobia. Ultimately, this may interfere with the ability to function in daily life. The American Psychiatric Association divides phobias into three main categories including Specific Phobias, Social Phobia - also known as Social Anxiety Disorder -- and Agoraphobia. Specific Phobias, also known as Simple Phobias, are the irrational fear of a very specific situation, place, animal or object. The most common specific phobia is fear of animals such as dogs, cats, mice, snakes or spiders. And that's ONLY the tip of the iceberg. The "Phobias List" identifies more than 500 Specific Phobias, ranging from fear of garlic, dust, clocks and comets, to dancing, snow, strings and puppets. A person with social phobia may be intensely fearful of being singled out, talking to strangers, ridicule, eating or showing embarrassment in social situations. The most common social phobia is fear of public speaking. Agoraphobia is a fear of any situation where it may be difficult to escape or get help if needed. People with agoraphobia often feel unsafe in any public place and may become so disabled by their fear that they become housebound. Phobias typically develop early in life. They may be triggered by experiences, but also tend to run in families. So children whose parents have a phobia are about three times as likely to develop a similar phobia, than where there is no family history. Phobias are the most common anxiety disorder among women overall, and the second-most common anxiety disorder among men over 25. For people who suffer from a phobia, the effects can be life altering. Their lives are often planned around avoiding, concealing or defending their phobia, while struggling to cope with their fear. Most phobias can be successfully treated. If you - or someone you know - is affected by phobias, consult a mental health professional.More »
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Everyone fears something. But there's a big difference between temporary anxiety and the crippling, uncontrollable fear that can result from a phobia. Take this quiz to learn the real facts on fear!
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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Phobias are characterized by intense avoidance of things, from enclosed spaces to social situations. While debilitating, anxiety management and exposure therapy can help alleviate fear. Take a quick look at some common aversions.
Transcript: Most everyone fears something. Typically, we control our fears and continue with our daily activities....
Most everyone fears something. Typically, we control our fears and continue with our daily activities. Some people, however, experience exaggerated and irrational fear of a specific situation, place, animal or object. This anxiety may be so intense that it results in a panic attack. People who experience such exaggerated and irrational fears have a Specific Phobia. The most common Specific Phobia is fear of animals. And, while there are literally hundreds of Specific Phobias documented, other common fears include blood, heights, enclosed places, elevators, flying, lightning, dentists and insects. Although people who suffer from Specific Phobias may realize their fear is unreasonable, they are unable to prevent the intense anxiety and dread that may occur if they encounter the subject of their fear - and, sometimes, when they're simply just thinking about it. When people with a Specific Phobia are unable to avoid the source of their fear, they may experience extreme anxiety and discomfort, along with various other symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, trembling, weakness or even a panic attack. The good news is that many Specific Phobias are relatively simple to avoid. For example, a fear of pigs probably wouldn't pose a problem in a big city. Similarly a fear of trains could be avoided by choosing a different mode of transportation. On the other hand, a fear of flying would be a significant issue for someone whose job requires traveling. And fears of making decisions, lightning or even dogs could potentially keep a person housebound, unable to attend to their daily responsibilities. Specific Phobias often begin in childhood, and rarely after the mid-20s. They also tend to run in families. For example, the child of a parent who has a fear of spiders is likely also to develop that same fear. Most people with Specific Phobias can improve their quality of life and reduce their fears through treatment from a trained therapist. Treatment may involve cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques, anxiety management or medication - usually in a combination that's tailored to the patient's needs. The aim of treatment is to help patients reduce their anxiety and overcome their fears by confronting the phobia in a controlled way, or through gradual exposure to the subject of their fear. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may also be used to help reduce symptoms and enhance the therapy's effectiveness. Specific Phobias can be treated successfully. If you - or someone you know - is affected by Specific Phobia, consult a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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Getting a proper diagnosis for a phobia will help you get control over your disorder and find a suitable treatment. To know more, watch this video.
Transcript: Fear is a normal response when health or safety is threatened. Yet for people with phobias, the MOST...
Fear is a normal response when health or safety is threatened. Yet for people with phobias, the MOST common of anxiety disorders, irrational fear of a situation or object may result in SUCH extreme emotional and physical reactions that daily life suffers dramatically. Common phobias involve an intense and unreasonable fear of anything from social situations, to public places that appear to be inescapable or dangerous, as well as objects or animals. When these fears become so all-consuming that they prevent a person from living a normal life, it's wise to consider seeking professional help. While there are no laboratory tests to diagnose phobias, a family physician will know the questions to ask in order to determine whether the fears are actually caused by a phobia - or if the symptoms may be masking a physical illness. Diagnosing a phobia involves meeting the criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association and varies slightly according to the three main categories of phobias: Specific Phobias, also known as Simple Phobias; Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety Disorder; and Agoraphobia, which may be accompanied by panic attacks. The common factor in all diagnosed phobias is the presence of persistent and irrational fear of a situation or object, the realization that the fear is unreasonable and uncontrollable, intense anxiety when exposed to the fear, and avoiding the source of fear at all costs. Most phobias can be treated effectively using various techniques to help reduce the fear and anxiety that arises in response to the fear. These techniques include: behavioral therapy, medication - or a combination of the two, depending on the type of phobia. Behavioral therapy typically involves working with a trained therapist who helps patients confront the source of their fear through real or imagined scenarios. The goal is to help patients learn to conquer fear and anxiety through gradual, repeated exposure to the subject of the phobia. A therapist may address fear of flying by having the patient look at airplane pictures, then go to an airport, sit on an airplane and - ultimately - taking a flight. A similar approach would be used with a patient who fears dogs. Various medications are also used in the treatment of phobias. Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax may be used to treat the anxiety that accompanies phobias, while anti-depressants like Zoloft or Paxil may be used to help prevent the panic attacks that often accompany symptoms of agoraphobia. Phobias can often interfere with leading a normal life. But, in most cases, phobias can be successfully treated with behavioral therapy and medication. For help with a phobia, consult your doctor or mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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What is agoraphobia? It is a type of anxiety disorder that often causes panic attacks. Learn about agoraphobia here in this video.
Transcript: Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that often occurs in combination with panic attacks, also called...
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that often occurs in combination with panic attacks, also called Panic Disorder, and is a fear of being in any place or situation where it would be difficult to escape or get help if needed. The literal translation of Agoraphobia is "fear of the marketplace," which may lead to the incorrect assumption that Agoraphobics are simply afraid to go outside. However, a person with Agoraphobia typically feels unsafe in any public place - especially those places that tend to be crowded. Common fears of an Agoraphobic include crowded shopping malls, using public transportation or flying on an airplane, being stuck on a crowded bridge or freeway, standing in line, or attending sporting events. These fears may be heightened by fear of a panic attack, which typically involves such extreme fear and intense physical symptoms - such as trouble breathing, chest pain and lightheadedness - that a person with Agoraphobia may feel like they're going crazy or might even die. A panic attack may come on suddenly, and without warning - while standing in line at the market, sitting on a bus or simply out watching a movie with friends. The unpredictability of the panic attacks often leads to avoiding places where an attack previously occurred. As a result, people with Agoraphobia often develop "safe zones" where they can go without experiencing severe anxiety. The severity of Agoraphobia varies. Some people simply avoid fear-provoking situations and lead a relatively normal life. Others may experience such constant anxiety about when and where a panic attack might occur that they become afraid to venture from the safety of their home. Agoraphobia typically begins during adolescence or early adulthood, although it may also develop in young children and older adults. And, while the exact cause of Agoraphobia isn't known, researchers have identified several risk factors including: stressful childhood events, a tendency toward anxiety, and panic-like symptoms. Women are also three times more likely to develop Agoraphobia than men. Although Agoraphobia often results in isolation, depression and even substance abuse to help cope with fear and loneliness, there are treatments that can help. The first step is to see a doctor for a complete physical exam to rule out any medical causes. Most people with Agoraphobia can improve their quality of life with treatment from a trained therapist. The most effective treatments for Agoraphobia are cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, which help patients overcome anxiety and fear through controlled, gradual exposure. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may also be used to help reduce symptoms and enhance the therapy's effectiveness. Agoraphobia can be treated successfully. If you - or someone you know - is affected by Agoraphobia, consult a mental health professional.More »
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What is a social phobia? A social phobia is the fear of certain types of situations, such as such as public speaking. Get the basics here.
Transcript: Many people feel ill at ease in social situations. However, people who suffer from Social Phobia often...
Many people feel ill at ease in social situations. However, people who suffer from Social Phobia often experience SUCH extreme fear of scrutiny, humiliation or being judged by others that they may have a panic attack - or simply avoid social situations altogether. The most common form of Social Phobia is fear of public speaking. It is also typical to fear social situations to the extent that EVEN the possibility of interpersonal interaction can cause extreme distress and an overwhelming desire to escape or avoid the situation. Some Social Phobias are confined to a specific situation, such as intense fear of using a public restroom, eating with strangers, making a phone call, being called on in a meeting or having to meet someone new. When people with Social Phobia aren't able to avoid the feared social situation, they may experience a variety of symptoms including rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, trembling or weakness. Blushing Phobia, called Erythrophobia, may also accompany Social Phobia. People with Blushing Phobia typically experience extreme, uncontrolled blushing even in casual social situations. Knowing that others see them blushing causes considerable embarrassment and nervousness - and even more blushing. Most people with Social Phobia may recognize that their fears are unreasonable and excessive, yet they typically are unable to control their anxiety, as well as the physical and psychological reactions experienced when they come face to face with the source of their fear. Social Phobia typically develops between the ages of 11 and 15, and rarely after the age of 25. And, while Social Phobia affects both males and females, women and girls are twice as likely as men and boys to develop Social Phobia. Ultimately, Social Phobia may become so debilitating that it can keep a person from being successful at work or school, as well as prevent them from experiencing what would otherwise be enjoyable activities with colleagues, family and friends. Most people with Social Phobia can obtain relief from their fear and anxiety by seeking help from a trained therapist. Treatment typically includes behavioral therapy, medication - or, often, a combination of the two. Behavior therapy helps Social Phobia sufferers through coping skills, relaxation techniques and cognitive therapies that may help change unwanted thought patterns through controlled exposure to their fear. Medications used in the treatment of Social Phobia often include antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, which can help alleviate symptoms and enhance the effectiveness of therapy. Social Phobia can be treated successfully. If you - or someone you know - is affected by Social Phobia, consult a mental health professional.More »
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