Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, in which a person may have a persistent irrational fear of a person, object, animal or situation. When a person has a phobia, he might feel a deep sense of panic or fear when encounters the cause for which he is phobic. These might sometimes lead to panic attacks, preventing person from functioning normally. Despite of knowing that the fear is irrational, person cannot control the panic and fear reaction. Unlike general anxiety disorders, phobias are mostly connected to something specific. A person having phobia tries to avoid the things that act as a trigger, but if they are not able to, they endure it with great anxiety and distress.
We can roughly categorise phobias into two broad groups- * specific phobias
* complex phobias
1. Specific phobias- They are about a specific object or situation and often start at childhood or adolescence, and mostly lessen as the age increases.
Some more common specific phobias are: from animals like snake, dogs, insects etc;
situational phobias like from flying, going to a dentist, tunnels, etc; environmental phobias like from heights, darkness, germs, thunder storms, etc; body based phobias like blood, vomit, medical procedures, etc; sexual fears like for sexual act or nudity; other phobias like from certain fruits, objects etc.
2. Complex phobias- These phobias tend to develop in adults and have more disruptive effects on life of a person than any specific phobia. This type of phobia can be further categorised into social phobia and agoraphobia.
*Social phobia- A person having social phobia will feel a feeling of intense fear when he has to enter a social situation to which he is phobic and will try to avoid it. Social phobias can make life miserable and difficult in engaging in daily activities like talking in groups or starting any conversation, speaking in public or phone, meeting new people, eating and drinking in front of others, etc. Social phobias can be very debilitating, affecting self confidence and esteem of a person. These can make anybody’s life miserable and a person may not be able to carry out his daily work properly.
*Agoraphobia- In agoraphobia, a person fears, or is anxious about being at places or in a situation from where it would we difficult or embarrassing for him to get out or escape. Agoraphobia might develop after a panic attack, in which a person starts getting fearful if he again faces a similar situation and start trying to avoid it, but all people who have agoraphobia need not have panic attacks in the past. People having this phobia might start avoiding situations like being in open spaces, being alone outside home, being in enclosed spaces like lifts, etc.
Psychotherapy, exposure therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy prove to be very useful in cases of phobia. Along with these Homoeopathy has also proven its worth in helping people combating their fears. Homeopathy is the safest way for relieving anxieties. The homeopathic approach in such cases is mostly Individualistic and medicines depend on individual symptoms. Some common medicines used are aconite, arsenic album, argentum nitricum, stramonium, pulsatilla, etc.