As human beings we all fear something sometimes. That’s a normal reaction to something we don’t know, don’t expect to happen. We need to understand that fears and phobias aren’t the same things.
Fear is a strong, unpleasant feeling that you get when you think that something bad or dangerous might happen. It’s a feeling that everyone experiences at some point of our life. It is not abnormal to be scared of something that could somehow threaten your life or hurt you. Fear is an instinct that helps people to survive. Since childhood, we fear something. It is common for children to be afraid of darkness, loud noises, thunder and etc. This fears probably fade away when you become older.
Fear can be characterized by nervousness, anxiety, discomfort and distress. For example, many people have a fear of public speaking. However, you can overcome this fear easily. People afraid of this because it’s something unknown and people afraid of being rejected or embarrassed. That is what we are afraid of but not itself public speaking.
As for phobia, it differs from fear. Phobia is an irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous. Also, phobias can seriously limit a person’s life and the quality of life. For example, if a person has a kynophobia, which is a fear of dogs, he will be afraid to walk somewhere in case he sees a dog on his way. Or for example, person needs to fly somewhere because of his work, but he has aerophobia.
There are pretty common phobias like claustrophobia, acrophobia, arachnophobia, astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning) and kynophobia, aerophobia, which already was mentioned by me. Besides usual phobias, there are pretty weird phobias. For instance, turophobia (fear of cheese), papaphobia (fear of the Pope), nomophobia, which is the fear of being without your cellphone. This fear is becoming very common among the younger generation. So, we could see that people are afraid of a lot of things, it can vary from fear of cheese to fear of death.
Therefore, the question arises whether the phobias can be treated successfully. Yes, they can be treated, but it’s a long and painful process. First of all, phobic should pay a visit to a psychologist or psychiatrist. You should discuss what are you afraid of and try to be more rational about what you fear. What is more, there is a cognitive behavioral therapy, which includes exposure to a fear. This therapy works by gradually increasing the level of exposure to your fear, which allows you to gain control over your phobia. However, you need to remember that no treatment is guaranteed to work for all phobias. That’s why you need to see a specialist.