Causes and Development of Phobias

What are Phobias?

Phobias are fears which can be triggered by some situations or objects and interfere with the coping mechanism in individuals. This can eventually lead to people avoiding triggers. Most of the time, situations or objects are not particularly threatening – but people with phobia issues tend to get anxious. Statistics show that most people will experience some kind of phobia in their lives – even though they are rational and calm in a lot of the time, they will become fearful.

Types of Phobias:

There are different categories of phobias and both men and women are affected equally. These issues can start in childhood and become full blown handicaps by adulthood. Some people even suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. Some of the phobias are:

  • Social phobia where people avoid being in crowds due to shyness or fear of embarrassment.
  • Agoraphobia is a fear of public places and crowds as well. This affects women more.
  • Specific phobias encompass a number of fears like:
  • fear of animals, reptiles or insects
  • fear of heights or water
  • claustrophobia – a fear of closed spaces
  • fear of flying
  • fear of loud noises

Causes of Phobia

Some phobias like social and specific ones can be inherited from families – proving a genetic link. The most obvious one is where people are born predisposed to anxiety and susceptible to phobias in the future. Most often, phobias are a response to pressure situations or even trauma.

Development of Phobias

In some people, fears which are unreasonable develop for no particular reason. Adults are able to recognize and accept that irrational and excessive nature of their fears and the fact that they can become isolated. Social and specific phobias sometimes run in families, providing evidence of a genetic connection. Some people are born with a predisposition towards anxiety, which makes them particularly susceptible to developing phobias. People who have phobia issues usually don’t talk to anyone about their problem believing that they may get laughed at or the thought that it is silly.

Phobias occur naturally as a part of the development process. Quite a few children go through stages of being afraid of the dark, the bogeyman and even strangers. This can carry on into adolescence where peer perception and pressure can cause deep seated anxieties. These are quite normal and quite a few people outgrow them – but it is not the case with some others who can become incapacitated.