Some Phobias in the Past


Back in the heydays of philosophy when medicine was not a very organized curative discipline, people were often detected with such fretting disorders. It lay upon the philosophers to unwind the complications and to unearth the exact causes behind.

One among the earliest interpretations (the Pythagorean interpretation) was that the phobias were ‘reminiscences’ from former lives (and was essentially believed to have a religious association).

The second half of the nineteenth century, however, saw a massive change in this sphere. Roundabout this time psychiatry began to flourish as a fully developed medical discipline.

These psychiatry professionals uncovered the real causes behind these spectacular mental disorders, putting aside all misconceptions and delusions associated with phobias.

This phase of the history of phobias is not only interesting but also exceptionally significant. It is in this phase that having identified the causal factors behind the different phobias, the psychiatrists for the first time attempted cures for them.

The year 1966 happens to be an important year in the history of phobias. It was in this year that the first phobia organization in the world, ‘The Open Door’, was founded. Now the organization has been re-named PAX – a Latin word, which means peace. PAX stands for panic attacks & anxiety disorders and ensures the peace of mind for all.

The Greek physician Hippocrates was alive over 300 years before the birth of Jesus and described a man who, ‘…through bashfulness, suspicion and timorousness, will not be seen abroad…he thinks every man observes him.’ This description of social phobia is nearly two and a half centuries old!

There are famous phobics, who can be found throughout history:

Augustus Caesar…Fear of Cats. King James I…Fear of Unsheathed Swords. King Henry III of France…Fear of Cats. Feydeau (French Playwright)…Morbid Fear of Daylight Sigmund Freud…..Anxiety Symptoms, Fear of Travel.

And right up until the present day:

Aretha Franklin (Singer)…Agoraphobia. Joanna Lumley (Actress)…Fear of Water Ainsley Harriot (TV Chef)…Fear of Snakes Ian Wright (TV Presenter)…Fear of Enclosed Spaces Wendy Richard (Actress)…Fear of Spiders – Arachnophobia Robson Green (Actor)…Fear of Wasps Kim Basinger (Actress)…Agoraphobia Phil Jupitus (TV/Radio Presenter/Comedian)…Fear of Spiders.

So what happens to the person who has a phobia when that fear is triggered?