A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by a feeling of continuous anxiety and too much fear of a specific object or a situation. It involves an extreme sense of fear or panic when the affected individual gets to encounter his source of fear. A phobia is commonly related to some particular object or situation. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY We help those dealing with phobias by providing the required psychological and medicinal treatment of phobias and helping the individuals to move forward.
Phobias are more noticeable and disturbing than fears. They usually occur when a person has an excessive or impractical sense of threat about an object or a situation. If a phobia progresses into severity, the affected person may settle his life around escaping the thing that is causing his anxiety. Also by restricting his life it can also lead to a lot of disturbance. There are countless types of phobic disorders.
Although many specific phobias cannot be prevented, still treatment and intervention, following a distressing event, might help in preventing the person from developing an anxiety disorder or phobia. For majority of the people, specific phobias can be effectively treated with the help of psychological therapy, medicines, or a treatment through both. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY We create a platform for your needs in order to give you a better mental picture of your phobias and how to cope with them in a better and established way.
Types of Phobias:
Phobias are divided into 2 main categories:
Specific or simple phobias
Specific or simple phobias revolve around a particular object, animal, situation or activity. These phobias often occur during childhood or adolescence and might get lesser or severer with the passage of time. Some examples of simple phobias include:
- Environmental phobias
- Bodily phobias
- Animal phobias
- Situational phobias
- Sexual phobias
Complex phobias are more disturbing as compared to simple phobias. They usually occur during adulthood and are often related to an extreme anxiety or fear about a specific situation or circumstance. Common examples include:
- social phobia
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Signs and Symptoms of Phobias:
One may not recognize any symptoms until he gets into contact with the source of his phobia. In some cases, only thinking about the source of phobia can make someone feel uneasy or anxious and it is called anticipatory anxiety.
Physical symptoms of phobias may include:
- Instability, vertigo and lightheadedness
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Higher heart rate (palpitations)
- Trembling of limbs (legs or hands)
- Stomach upset
If one does not comes into contact with the source of his phobia often, it may not affect his life, but if one has a complex phobia, leading a normal life might become difficult. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY we provide targeted symptoms based appropriate approach for social phobia symptoms (DSM 5) as well as for other phobias for better understanding towards the current stage or progression of phobias which helps the patient to be more aware about the current state of disease.
Causes of Phobias:
There are a number of factors to describe possible causes of phobias e.g. a phobia may be related to a specific incident or trauma or it may be a response that a person develops through learning from other people’s response to a specific thing or situation, biological causes of phobias i.e. dysfunction of neurotransmitters in brain and genetic causes of phobias i.e. some people are born with a propensity to be more nervous and anxious than others. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY we understand that it is difficult to live with symptoms of having a phobia, we provide certified and professional help for patients struggling with phobias and help them to identify the red flags concerned with finding out the possible causes of phobias and treating them timely, to promote healthier psychological status.
Different types of phobias:
|Acrophobia||Fear of heights|
|Aerophobia||Fear of flying|
|Agoraphobia||Fear of public space|
|Ailurophobia||Fear of cats|
|Amathophobia||Fear of dust|
|Arachnophobia||Fear of spiders|
|Astrapophobia||Fear of lightening|
|Claustrophobia||Fear of being closed in spaces|
|Emetophobia||Fear of vomiting|
|Ereuthophobia||Fear of blushing|
|Genophobia||Fear of sex|
|Heamatophobia||Fear of blood|
|Keraunophobia||Fear of thunder|
|Keraunophobia||Fear of thunder|
|Microphobia||Fear of germs and small things|
|Mysophobia||Fear of dirt|
|Nyctophobia||Fear of dark / night|
|Ochlophobia||Fear of crowd|
|Ornithophobia||Fear of birds|
|Pathophobia||Fear of disease|
|Pnigophobia||Fear of chocking|
|Pteronophobia||Fear of feathers|
|Pyrophobia||Fear of fire|
|Triskaedekaphobia||Fear of number 13|
|Xenophobia||Fear of strangers|
|Zoophobia||Fear of animals|
Complications of Phobias:
Such complications can include:
- Social isolation. Escaping places and things you are afraid of can cause problems at school, work and can also give rise to relationship problems.
- Mood disorders. Many people with particular phobias have depression as well as other anxiety disorders with phobias.
- Substance abuse. The tension of dealing with a severe specific phobia may give rise to alcohol or drug addiction.
- Some people having specific phobias may be at an increased risk of suicide due to increased stress and anxiety levels.
Phobias can be devastating to the people who have them, causing complications that affect many aspects of life. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY we create a place for you to be open to us about the emotional symptoms of phobias, feel heard, and heal. We are committed to providing considerate, accepting and quality care for you to deal with your phobias by minimizing the chances of phobia’s complications, and ensure better mental health.
Diagnosis of Phobias:
Diagnosis of phobias depends upon a detailed clinical assessment and diagnostic strategies. Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and ask for a medical, psychological and social history. The doctor might consider the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, for the diagnosis of phobias. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY we provide clinically validated and evidence based diagnostic tools in order to create a justified and on time identification of all types of social phobias as well as all other types of phobias, that will help the clients/ patients to get quicker mental health care/support.
Treatment of Phobias:
In order to provide the best treatment for phobia therapists use both medicinal and behavioral treatments for phobias. The specific phobias treatment involves both psychological therapy and medications. For the phobia treatment psychology related options include:
- Exposure therapy involves repeated exposure of the affected individual to the source of his phobia, the associated feelings, thoughts and sensations; this therapy helps the individual to get familiar with the fears and seems to be helpful in the management of anxiety. It is used for social phobia treatment as well as several other types of phobias.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves exposure, including other methods to learn different ways to view and deal with the feared object or situation. At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY we are helping the individuals suffering from phobias by providing them with evidence based, action oriented exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for the possible treatment of phobias.
For the most effective treatment of phobias, medicines can help to lessen the symptoms of anxiety and panic one experiences from thinking about or being exposed to the object or situation he fears. Medicines commonly used for the phobic disorder treatment are:
Anti-depressants are prescribed to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually used to treat social phobia, anxiety, or panic disorders. Anti-depressants include Sertraline (Lustral) and Escitalopram (Cipralex) etc.
Beta-blockers are usually prescribed to treat heart problems and high blood pressure etc. These are sometimes used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety i.e. palpitations (irregular heartbeat). E.g. Acebutolol (Sectral) and Atenolol (Tenormin) etc.
Benzodiazepines also called minor tranquillizers include medicines such as Alprazolam (Xanax) and Diazepam (Valium) etc. These are sometimes prescribed on a short-term basis at the minimal dose to treat severe anxiety caused by phobias.
At First Light Psychological Services, in Kew Gardens, NY & Farmingdale, NY We provide clinically approved medicines for phobias along with providing appropriate empirical dosage which creates affective healing process and promotes better mental health state.