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Text Preview Christine Park
Eng 122-024
All kinds of Phobia
Draft 1

Though there are many types of anxiety disorder the most common type of anxiety disorders are phobias. Phobias which means “fear” in Greek, is an excessive fear or anxiety to a situation or object. Phobias, as is all anxiety disorder, can cause heavy interference in maintaining a normal life. Typically one in seven adults will experience some form of phobia in their lifetime. Though phobias are seen to be of different genres, the experiences of phobias are similar to one another. Phobias can also be a lead way to other types of mental disorders, such as, depression, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. There are three types of phobias, agoraphobia, specific phobia and social phobia. The definition, the typical prognosis, several causations and treatments have been diagnosed and discovered in today’s time, but are continually being reevaluated for further specification.

Agoraphobia is Greek, which in literal translations is “fear of the marketplace.” Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a place where escape or help is not readily available. This term was first used by Westphal in 1871 in order to describe those with anxiety and fear of public places. It was not until the late 1970s that this disorder was widely recognized (Fisher 24). In the DSM-IV, agoraphobia was not its own diagnosis. It was indicated as an initial reaction to other anxiety disorders such as panic disorders, but in DSM-V, it came to be its own diagnosis. This was due to the many claims that there was no panic experience with agoraphobia. (Lyons 144). In Agoraphobia there are two main features: anxiety in being situated where escape is difficult or embarrassment occurs or where help is not accessible and where avoidance occurs along with serious discomfort or where a companion is needed before and during the situation.

For someone who is agoraphobic, the fear of having a panic attack (a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort that develops abruptly and reaches a peak within 10 minutes) will typically lead to the avoidance of these situations. Some symptoms of panic attacks are palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea, dizziness, feeling faint, derealization or depersonalization, fear of losing control, fear of dying, parasthesias, and or hot or chill flushes. These symptoms will typically occur during someone experiencing a phobic response. There are typically five situations in where avoidances occur: the use of public transportations, being in an open space, being in an enclosed space, being in a crowd, or being outside of the home alone (DSM-V). For agoraphobia the occurrence or idea of the situation occurring will almost always cause fear or anxiety. These symptoms will typically last for 6 months or more. Having agoraphobia causes extreme distress and fear which will typically affect daily routines. The significant distress can impair social, occupational or other various important areas needed of normal functioning. This can then lead to the individual having a lower income and education or even unemployment (DSM-V). Though these situations might occur, it is still not known whether the phobia leads to these poor circumstances or whether the stress of these circumstances causes the phobia. Many features of these situations is fear of not having help when the panic attack occurs or being embarrassed if help does occur, this reaction has been termed “fear of fear” ( Fischer 27). It has also been noticed that if there is another medical condition present with agoraphobia, the fear, anxiety, or avoidance is more heightened.

Agoraphobia usually occurs to those in late twenties. The panic disorder will usually begin as early as mid-teens, but this disorder is rarely found in early childhood and in late life (Fischer 26). It can be noticed that there seems to be a gap between the... Show More

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