Most people are not aware that they are having a phobia. However, it is very important to know whether you are having it. Try to determine the following:
a) Are you afraid to fly?
b) Are you unable to stand needles?
c) Do you tend to cancel your appointments with the doctor?
If the answers to the above mentioned questions is in a 'yes' may have a specific phobia.
What is it? The term may sound bizarre to you but it is not. This is an anxiety disorder. It is a type of fear. However, it is quite different from the usual fear that we tend to face on a daily basis or we normally have. These are intense fears.
An individual having specific phobia can suffer from intense or excessive fear of a certain object or situation. The object or the situation may not be very difficult or dangerous. The person still reacts to it.
It starts during childhood or during the adolescence stage of a person. These are very common among men.
In order to know whether a fear you have is an actual phobia, you must understand different diagnostic criteria.
1) Here are some diagnostic criteria:
a) The fear is intense and may start even with the imagination of the object or situation that is feared.
b) The anxiety starts as soon as the person sees the feared object or situation. The anxiety may also take shape of an attack.
c) Adults with this disorder are aware that their fear to a specific object or situation is intense.
d) The person usually tries to avoid the situation an object that is feared.
e) The fear and avoiding certain objects or situation tends to interfere with daily activities. The person tends to spend most of his time worrying about the phobia.
2) Here are some different types of the condition:
a) Animal type
The person worries about a particular animal and can not stand the right or imagination of this animal.
b) Natural environment type
Here, the individual tends to worry about a specific environmental object such as water, heights or storms.
c) Blood, injection or injury type
As the name suggest, the person fears blood and needles.
d) Situational type
The patient feels anxiety when facing or thinking about a situation such as airplanes, enclosed places, elevators etc.
A person with this phobia shows the following symptoms
a) Intense feeling of terror when face to face with feared object.
b) A panic attack such as shortness of breath, sweating, numbness, and dizziness.
c) The person tends to avoid the feared object to such an extent that it starts to interfere the daily activities.
d) The person faces obsessive worry related to an upcoming in counter with the feared object or situation.
Visit a health care practitioner as soon as you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms.