A Phobia is an extreme fear of a specific object, situation or activity. The fear an individual experiences when they suffer from a phobia is beyond normal stress or worry. Suffering from an untreated Phobia can interfere with normal activities such as school, sports and social activities.
Types of Phobias
There are several different types of Phobias:
- Natural environment phobias – these include fear of storms, earthquakes or lightening.
- Animal Phobias, such as being afraid of cats or spiders.
- Blood or injury Phobias – these include fear of seeing blood, getting an injection or sustaining injuries.
- Situational Phobias – such as a fear of elevators or airplanes.
- Other Phobias – including fear of loud noises.
Causes of Phobias
The exact cause of Phobias is unknown. However, if you have a family member that suffers from a Phobia then you are more likely to develop one yourself.
Sometimes people develop phobias because:
- They had a frightening experience.
- They had a panic attack in a particular situation.
- They witnessed something traumatic or fearful.
- They learned about something or were close to someone who was involved in a frightening situation.
Your teen doesn’t have to suffer from their Phobia forever. In fact, Phobias are highly treatable and the vast majority of those who enter treatment recover in full. The most effective treatment for a Phobia is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of therapy will first help the client imagine being close to the object or being in a situation similar to the one that they fear. This is known as exposure therapy. It is a way of gradually exposing the sufferer to their fear in a healthy, safe and controlled environment.
Sometimes a doctor may prescribe medication to help with a Phobia. This may help with the symptoms of anxiety that are associated with the Phobia and it may make it easier for the client to engage in exposure therapy with the goal of eventually stopping the medication entirely.