Around 19.2 million people have a phobia – an anxiety disorder that produces an intense fear reaction to a place, situation, or object of fear. Phobias can be debilitating, affecting nearly every aspect of a person’s life. If you have a phobia, you may experience sweating, trembling, hot flushes or chills, shortness of breath, choking sensations, rapid heartbeat, pain or tightness in chest, and more. You may find yourself constantly thinking of ways to avoid your fear, even if it means going out of your way or missing out on something you might otherwise enjoy. Mental Health America states that phobias fall into 3 main categories: specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia (fear of crowded places).
Research thus far has not been conclusive regarding to the causes of phobias, but genes and environmental factors are considered. For example, the Scientific American states that genetic contributions to a specific phobia likely factor in from 25% to 65%, although science has not identified one specific gene that links to this. Overall, it seems that a variety of genes influence the development of a phobia.
The belief is that a person may develop a phobia after a particularly frightening event; for example, if you have never been fearful of snakes but a loved one of yours got terribly bitten by a snake, you may shift your perceptions to be extremely fearful of them because you don’t want that to happen to you. From this, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that most events that trigger a phobia occur unexpectedly, during childhood or adolescence.
The origin of a phobia can be particularly difficult to discern because most people who seek therapy for it are unable to recall the very first event that triggered that fight or flight response. Thankfully, however, treatment is available if you have been struggling with a phobia. Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are effective forms of treatment to help you take back control over your life. Make the decision to seek help today. Recovery is possible.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.