Agoraphobia is the condition in which anxiousness is felt by an individual when one is running from problems which may humiliate them. The sufferer of agoraphobia might experience fear in a crowded place, while home alone, on a public transportation, etc. Therefore they try to avoid crowded place and rarely socialize with people. They feel embarrassed – talking, communicating, and it is really difficult for them to chat with others. So, in order to avoid the fear and anxiety, they tend to run away from such situations. The condition is always up and down depending on how severe the agoraphobia sufferer is. Some individuals with agoraphobia can live normally as they keep away from things that could scare them. Nevertheless, some individuals with severe agoraphobia are confined from going anywhere because they get anxious easily; therefore, being homebound is the best way to avoid unwanted conditions from happening. It is very easy to identify people with agoraphobia, because the sufferers will be reluctant to leave their homes or avoid certain things that would scare them away because of their fears and anxiety. In this condition, there are three ways to treat the sufferers. Therapy, medication and a combination of therapy and medications are the treatments available to treat these sufferers. Thus, the dosage given by the psychologists to the sufferers also depends on how severe is the agoraphobia. Moreover, investigation done by psychologists show that 75% of agoraphobia sufferers are female, and agoraphobia are commonly caused by a tense and traumatic incident in their life. Furthermore the most common age of onset of agoraphobia is 20th. Nonetheless, people who suffer from agoraphobia make up less than 1% of the total population in this world. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010)
The second category of phobia is the Social phobia or social anxiety. Social phobia is the trickiest types of phobia to identify because social phobia is not well known by the community or by medical and health care experts. The characteristic of the social phobia is when a person is overpowered by anxiety and extreme awareness in their daily life. In addition, people with social phobia have importunate, concentrated, unrelieved anxiety when a person watches them; it makes them feel discomfort and even mortified by their own act. Additionally, education, occupation and daily life activities are troubled by the fear and anxiety that cannot be overcome by the sufferers. The sufferers are often afraid and act unreasonably when they work because they often feel awkward socializing with their colleagues, since they cannot conquer their anxiousness in the dreaded state. The symptoms that social phobia sufferers usually encounters are nervousness when they speak, creating awkward situations, which leads to shyness, panic, being shaky, and depression. Hence, this is why sufferers can be much incapacitated, causing them to have fewer companions and colleagues. The cause of social phobia is the structure which implicates the sufferer’s brain and is called Amygdala. It is a structure in the brain that manages anxiety and fear reaction in human’s brain. There are two kinds of medication used in treating social phobia; they are specified medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy which is a short- term psychiatric therapy. Similar to agoraphobia the medication will depend on how severe is the anxiousness, while the cognitive-behavior therapy is a compulsory treatment that is very useful in treating social phobia. The therapy consist of three steps; the first step is to identify the things that scare the sufferers, the second step is to train them to overcome it, and lastly, the third step teaches them to use techniques such as deep breathing and social skills training to increase their confidence, self assurance and to overcome their fear while socializing. Moreover, the most common age group for social phobia’s sufferers is between 18 – 54 years old and it is predicted that every year, 3.7% of the United States population has social phobia, and the 75% of the sufferers are female. (Thomas A. Richards, 1997)
Specific phobia is the third type of the phobia and it is known as the simple phobia and it is mild in terms of sereneness compared to agoraphobia and social phobia. Similarly to the two types of phobia above, specific phobia is when a person feels fear and anxiousness when they encounter a specific situation or object. In short this specific phobia is an ordinary fear that every human possesses. The examples of specific phobia are similar to agoraphobia, which is fear of height, insects, dark places, bridges, elevator, public transportation, etc. Furthermore, the sufferers will try to avoid these things in order to prevent the anxiousness from happening; however, this anxiousness is not as severe as that of the agoraphobia’s sufferers. There are three well known causes of specific phobia; discovery and circumstances causes, traumatic causes, and social cultural causes. Discovery and circumstances causes are the simplest ones, for example when a person encounters airplane related accidents, resulting in a specific phobia of airplanes. Traumatic causes come from frightening things that scares an individual which shocks and terrifies them. Social cultural causes are the most unique one; the phobia develops when a person is fearful of magic and spirits of foreign cultures. This phobia is very odd yet common. The symptoms of the specific phobia are panic attacks, in which the sufferers attempt to endure and bear the fear they are experiencing. Moreover, the sufferers will stay away from the things that could frighten them by enduring that fearful reaction, leading to stress and even worse, a higher degree of anxiety. As the specific phobia is the mildest phobia, the anxiousness and fear are much easier to treat. The main objective of the medication is to reduce fear and there are four ways in treating them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, the most effective therapy in treating the sufferers with three important steps which are; identify their fear, learn how to overcome it, and use techniques to conquer the fear and anxiety. The second type of treatment is the Psychodynamic therapy, a therapy that helps the sufferers to discover their traumatic incident and learn to reduce their trauma level by calming them down. To adult who cannot accept these therapies, medication such as Benzodiazepines, Clonazepam , Alprazolam and Paroxetine are given to the patient to slow down their nervous system and to relieve the anxiety and nervousness. Last but not least, therapies such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy can also be applied to the sufferers to calm them down from the intense fear and anxiety. In addition, the specific phobia is a general phobia; 11.3% of humans in this world possess their own variety of specific phobia and 80% of them are female. Furthermore, there are no age groups for specific phobia, hence the sufferers range from children to adults. (disorder, 2010)
In conclusion, phobia is consisting of three types, which is Agoraphobia, Social phobia, and Specific phobia. The three types differ in severity with Social phobia being to most severe, followed by Agoraphobia and Specific phobia. Phobias can usually be treated with therapy such as cognitive-behavior therapy and Psychodynamic therapy. Also, most of the phobia sufferers are female because usually female are more fearful compared to man. However, it is impossible for phobias to be completely cured; hence, sufferers should try their best to lessen the impact of the phobia in their daily lives.
disorder, E. o. (2010). Specific phobia. Retrieved December 26, 2010, from Minddisorder.com: http://www.minddisorders.com/Pyâ€Z/Specificâ€phobias.html
Mayo Clinic staff. (2010, 7 8). Agoraphobia. Retrieved 12 23, 2010, from Mayoclinic.com: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/agoraphobia/DS00894/DSECTION=symptoms
Thomas A. Richards, P. (1997). What is Social phobia? Retrieved December 26, 2010, from Socialphobia.org: http://www.socialphobia.org/whatis.html
Guide, H. (2010). What is phobia. Retrieved December 23, 2010, from helpguide.org: http://helpguide.org/mental/phobia_symptoms_types_treatment.htm