Phobia: The Study of Fear
To many people the term “phobia” is the fear of something. It is widely known that the fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and someone who fears small spaces deals with claustrophobia, but a lot of people do not understand all of the different ways someone can deal with a phobia. The meaning of the term “phobia” is “an irrational, persistent fear of something. (565)” There are many types of phobia’s that extend way past just the fear of one specific thing of instance. Phobia’s fall into three categories; social phobia, specific phobias, and agoraphobia.
Social phobia is probably the most common form of phobia seen in people. I would say that really a social phobia is the fear of being judged by your peers. Someone who has a crippling fear of giving a speech, or someone that has stage fright, has a social phobia. Many people deal with a social phobia and therefore do not take part in things mainly for the fact that they are afraid of being humiliated or failing in some way. Social phobias range from people who cannot give a speech or be in a play to people who cannot go to parties because they are afraid that everyone will be looking at them and judging them.
Another common category of phobia would be specific phobias. Specific phobias are irrational fears of specific items or situations. Some of the most common specific phobias are those of spiders, snakes, blood, heights, needles, and small spaces. One person can have multiple specific phobias, but many people deal with just one phobia that rules their life.
The last category of phobia is agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the “fear of being in a place or situation from which escape is difficult or impossible if something should go wrong. (566)” People who deal with this kind of extreme phobia most likely are afraid to travel in a car or plane, eating in a restaurant, “sometimes even leaving the house. (566)” It is much more difficult to deal with this kind of phobia than most because it...