Phobias: The Myths And The Truth
Written By May 8, 2017-
Fear is nothing that is uncommon to anyone living on planet Earth. While everyone is admittedly afraid of something, not everyone can claim to have a legitimate phobia. Phobias are miles beyond the traditional feelings of fear, and can cripple someone’s social life or make everyday activities a chore to endure. Depending on the nature of the phobia that a person experiences, there might be a lot of limitations to what they will allow themselves to see and experience throughout their life.
Myths about Phobias & Anxiety
But even with all of the research into this condition, there is still quite a lot that doctors and trained medical professionals don’t know. The less that they know, the more that people are left to produce answers on their own. Living with phobias might be a little bit easier to manage and deal with if you understood what is currently known about them. In addition, you will be made aware of potential treatment options that exist by the end of this article as well.
Myth: People With Phobias Are ‘Crazy’
Fact: Phobias Are Common To People All Over The World
Let’s begin by saying that the term “crazy”, when dealing with any mental health issue, is highly offensive. There is nothing all that uncommon about the presence of those who have legitimate phobias, and when they aren’t taken seriously, this can start to cause the person dealing with the phobia to develop other anxiety rooted issues like GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
Instead of thinking about people who suffer from phobias as needing to be in straight jackets and looney bins, you should think about the kind of added stress that some debilitating phobias add to a person’s life when they have to deal with them. This should put things into perspective, especially if you aren’t someone that admittedly even has a highly elevated fear of something.
Additionally, with the common nature of phobias, it is statistically unlikely that so many people around the world are certifiably crazy. While it is understood that many of these phobias are rooted in irrationality, it isn’t unlikely at all for someone to be able to intelligently defend their position on the matter if they are the one who suffers from the condition.
Myth: Kids Will Always Take On Their Parents’ Phobias
Fact: Children Are Not Predisposed To Fall In Line With Phobias
There is certainly a camp of people that seem to be under the impression that there is some sort of correlation between the phobias that a parent might have, and the concept that their children would inevitably take on those same exact phobias. There is nothing to suggest that this is actually the case, but there are a few considerations about this theory that you should know.
While there is no way that a parent would transfer their specific phobia to a child simply through the genetics, this isn’t to suggest that their parental influence might ingrain a fear of whatever that parent battles with into the child. Over the course of their average 18 years in the daily care of their guardians, a child will be more inclined to fall into a similar pattern of likes, dislikes, hobbies and fears.
Even if a child is not genetically predisposed to a specific phobia that is experienced from their respective parent, this does not mean that they won’t experience phobias of their own completely unrelated to their parent’s fears. There is science to support that immediate family members to someone who has a diagnosable phobia are more likely to develop unique or shared phobias as well.
Myth: Every Phobia Is Just An Exaggerated Fear Blown Out of Proportion
Fact: Phobias Can Be Caused By A Large Number Of Things
There is a camp of people that don’t even really believe in the power of phobias over the human mind at all. They just believe that these are common fears that have been allowed to develop to an almost comical proportion. While the existence of phobias deserves a little more credit and respect than this camp would care to provide, it does not even begin to touch on the other root causes of phobias far beyond the average fear that has ballooned out of control.
Another common cause of phobias rests in those that suffer from PTSD. For example, someone that has been brutally assaulted might develop a phobia about being outside after the sun has gone down. While there is a rational and defendable backbone to this phobia, it is also not associated to a common fear that most people have that was left unchecked to spiral out of control.
Treatment Option For Phobias
There are a few different approaches to treating phobias, those the most common of these would be to consult the counsel of a licensed therapist. They will be able to help you work through your fears and make sense of their primary source. Through behavioral therapy practices, they can often even ease these phobias (or potentially cure them altogether) over time.
Of course, this requires someone to be open and honest with a complete stranger about their innermost fears. This isn’t something that is easy to do, even for those that are not prone to social anxiety. However, by allowing yourself the opportunity to talk openly about your worst phobias, you can hear the experienced input of someone who isn’t going to judge you, but rather take their time to help you overcome this fear.
It is generally understood that not everyone necessarily has a phobia, even if they themselves use the term in conjunction with a powerful fear that they have. A legitimate phobia is nothing to be taken lightly.
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms associated with an actual phobia of some type, you should get out and seek the experienced treatment plan of a licensed professional. They have ways to help you overcome the barriers that you have built up around your fear, and with time and a lot of effort, can even help you to conquer your debilitating fear.