There are many different categories of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders that can encompass a number of irrational fears. People with more general types of anxiety might feel afraid of a variety of situations but those that suffer from phobias have very specific fears. Phobias, although limited to very narrow issues can actually be just as, if not more, debilitating as general anxiety.
Some of the more well-known phobias include things like agoraphobia, the fear of public spaces, or claustrophobia which is the fear of enclosed spaces. However, there are hundreds of known phobias from which people can potentially suffer. Issues like zoophobia (the fear of animals), nosophobia (the fear of diseases) and trypanophobia (the fear of needles) can seriously interfere with a person’s ability to function if they aren’t treated by a professional.
Phobias often develop in a person’s childhood or teen years and they can be persistent if they continue to avoid what they are afraid of. When faced with their fears, people with phobias often experience severe panic attacks that make it difficult to overcome the phobia if they don’t have help from a therapist. In order to understand phobias it can be helpful to become familiar with the symptoms.
The anxiety disorder known as zoophobia is defined as the fear of animals but for individuals with this phobia it can either involve a general fear of animals or fear of a specific animal. In that sense zoophobia is a term that can encompass a number of different phobias such as arachnophobia which is the fear of spiders or ophidiophobia which is the fear of snakes. People who are diagnosed with zoophobia alone have an irrational fear or dislike of any non-human animals.
Zoophobia does not refer to the natural fear that people experience when they confronted by a dangerous animal such as wild dog or a bear. This is a healthy instinctive fear that does not represent any kind of disorder. People with zoophobia experience fear of specific animals even in completely safe situations and have enough distress in regards to their fears that it can cause problems in their lives.
Someone with zoophobia might experience a panic attack seeing the animal or even being in an area where the animal they are afraid of is present. In extreme cases they might even feel panic when they see a realistic picture or drawing of the animal. As with most phobias, people with zoophobia need to be desensitized from their fear through gradual exposure therapy in which they will eventually learn to be around the animal and stay calm.
What is Nosophobia?
People who suffer from nosophobia have an intense fear of contracting a disease and often a life-threatening illness. Commonly people with nosophobia might be afraid of contracting HIV, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, heart disease or cancer. Nosophobia can be common among students and researchers who spend a lot of time reading about symptoms of diseases.
Nosophobia is different than hypochondria because it usually involves the fear of one specific disease and being convinced that you have or will develop that illness. People with hypochondria may believe they have a variety of symptoms related to different illnesses and will not focus on one specific fear. People may develop nosophobia when someone close to them dies of an incurable illness.
Trypanophobia and Its Symptoms
People with trypanophobia may have very intense and unpleasant reactions at the doctor because of an irrational fear of needles, blood draws, or injections. Although most people don’t enjoy getting injections or having their blood drawn they usually are able to overcome their nervousness for the sake of their health. People with trypanophobia have such a strong fear of needles that they may avoid going to the doctor or have a panic attack at the sight of a needle.
Trypanophobia is a phobia that is important to overcome because it can jeopardize a person’s health and even put them in dangerous situations. People with this phobia often respond to hypnosis and behavioral therapy so that they can handle getting injections when necessary. Those who are extremely sensitive to needle pain can also benefit from numbing creams so that they can minimize their fear associated with the pain.
Although every phobia is different, most people can improve their symptoms of fear and panic through professional treatment. Tools like exposure therapy, meditation, hypnosis, relaxation techniques and psychotherapy can all help reduce issues with phobias. No matter what kind of phobia an individual has it is important for them to gradually confront their fear so that they can prevent it from interfering with their life.
There are many professional therapists and treatment centers that care for individuals with these or other phobias if you think you might have any phobia-related symptoms. Find treatment options in your area so that you can receive a diagnosis and treatment plan.