Phobia – an uncontrollable and persistent irrational fear of an object or situation. The fear experienced by someone with a phobia vary in frequency and severity. Avoidance of an object or situation is often the result for people who suffer from phobias. Though most people may have a phobia of some sort, based on superstitions or traditions, there are three primary types of phobias:
Simple/Specific phobia – characterized by an excessive fear of an object or situation. The person is aware of their exaggerated behavior but is emotionally unable to control their impulses. Examples of simple or specific phobias are: fear of heights, flying, closed or small places.
Social phobias – characterized by an excessive fear and discomfort in social settings. The fear of social embarrassment, in performance situations or simply meeting people, prompts their avoidance. The fear of being watched or constantly being judged by their superiors or others are core components of this irrational behavior. Though cognitively aware of these tendencies they are often unable to overcome these fears.
Agoraphobia – characterized by an excessive fear of places or situation. The fear of having a panic attack, and being in situations where escape is difficult and/or socially embarrassing, sufferers often become inactive. Fears can be so paralyzing and debilitating that sufferers can find themselves unable to even leave their home.
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