written by: Kristina Dems
• edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick
• updated: 1/31/2011
Phobias are a fascinating, yet disturbing condition found in some human beings. They can take the form of somewhat rational fears about certain objects or situations, or completely irrational reactions to very ordinary things. Here are some intriguing facts about phobias.
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Phobia is defined as an anxiety disorder in people (an estimated 15 million Americans) who display an irrational fear of some thing or a certain situation. A person having a phobia may or may not know why they are experiencing this fear. It can be brought about by a traumatic childhood experience or simply a constant overreaction to a situation. Displaying fear is one of the most fascinating characteristics of human beings. There are phobias that seem downrig strange and inconceivable, while others are frightening in and of itself. Here are some facts about phobias that give us a glimpse of what phobias are all about.
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While there is no scientific proof that phobias can be passed down from parent to child through genetics, there are some instances when children develop the same unusual fears that their parents have. This can occur when the parent's fears are rather transparent to their children. Kids are superlative at picking up on verbal clues, subtle displays, and simply the sight of their parents showing fear of a certain situation.
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Types of Phobia
Phobia is classified into three types:
Social Phobia refers to the fear of being exposed in public due to inappropriate self-consciousness or fear of being criticized. A person with this kind of phobia is afraid that he might be embarrassed or humiliated in public. This person finds it hard to join social events or even a simple direct family gathering. Social phobia usually develops between the childhood and adolescent stage. It rarely occurs after the age of 25. According to the NIMH statistics, there are approximately 15 million Americans at the age of 18 and above who have social phobia.
Specific Phobia is the most common type of phobia. It refers to the fear of specific object or certain situation. A person only displays inappropriate fear in the presence of the feared object or situation. Person with this kind of phobia generally leads a normal life. There are approximately 19.2 million Americans at the age of 18 and above have specific phobia.
Agoraphobia is another type of phobia in which extreme fear occurs when the person feels that he cannot escape from a certain place such as plane, bus, room, or in a crowded area. NIMH statistics shows that there are 1.8 million Americans at the age of 18 and above suffering from this phobia.
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Less Known Phobias
When talking about facts about phobias, the most interesting subject would have to be the types of fears that can develop in human beings. Of course, there are the usual types of phobias like the fear of heights and the fear of snakes, but there are more bizarre types of fear out there that may seem humorous to the people who can't comprehend the very real symptoms that the people who do have it experience. These less known phobias include the following:
Alliumphobia, the fear of garlic
Asymmetriphobia, the fear of asymmetrical things
Aulophobia, the fear of flutes
Chromophobia, the fear of colors
Consecotaleophobia, the fear of chopsticks
Dikephobia, the fear of justice
Ephebiphobia, the fear of teenagers
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, the fear of long words