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The History Of Phobias Essay

1427 words - 6 pages

Phobias have been in existence for many years. Phobias date back to the works of Hippocrates, a prehistoric Greek physician (Korgeski, 2009). The works of Hippocrates are still debated today. In The Seventh Book of Epidemics, one of the publications by Hippocrates, he studied an individual and he interpreted a condition that the person portrayed. The results of the observation were that the individual was petrified of the sound of a flute, if he wasn’t intoxicated. He noticed the individual was fine during the day listening to the flute but during the night hours everything was different (Korgeski, 2009). From this observation and the work of Hippocrates helped contribute to the creation of term phobia. The word phobia was formulated from a Greek god. Phobus, the son of Ares, means panic and fear (Atsma, 2000). The term phobia was used to describe psychological problems and it was used discreetly in the 1800s.
Moreover, a phobia is considered a type of anxiety disorder; because anxiety is one of the crucial symptoms individuals endure (Phobias, 2007). According to, the mental definition of a phobia is a fear of an explicit object or situation. Phobias are common amongst people in the United States. There are approximately 6.3 million Americans that have been pronounced to have a phobia (Fear/Phobia Statistics, 2012). A phobia could be a learnt emotional reaction that transpires when the innovative thought of something that has happened to the individual or object is subjugated by a similar incident. For example, as a young child the person had a bad experience while speaking in front of a big audience.
Specific Phobia
Subsequently, there are many different subtitles that fall under phobia: specific phobia, social phobia and agoraphobia. In the same way, a phobia is the fear of something, a specific phobia, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is:
“…clinically significant anxiety provoked by exposure to a specific feared object or situation, often leading to avoidance behavior… (Specific phobia, 2013, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, 1994).”

The DSM-IV distributes specific phobia into four classifications: situational type, natural environment, blood injection, and animal type (Specific phobia, 2013). Situational type phobias are fears of being in confined spaces (i.e. elevators) or being afraid of heights. An example of being afraid of heights is getting n roller coasters. Natural environment is being fearful of weather storms (i.e. thunder and lightning). Blood injection is a subject type under specific phobia because some individuals fear blood and/or going through medical procedures (i.e. giving blood). Animal type means to be afraid of animals. For instance, 30.5% of the United States society fears spiders (Fear/Phobia Statistics, 2012). Specific phobia can be treated in various ways.
One way to help treat specific phobia is through cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral...

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