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The Nature of Phobia

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Text Preview Your heart starts beating faster. Your palms start to sweat. You're shaking, and suddenly you're short of breath. This is fear, an emotion we all experience at some point in our lives. It warns us when something is not safe, or even when we are outside our own "comfort zone". Like, for instance, some of us might be glossophobic. Not familiar with the term? Well, it means you're afraid of public speaking. According to a recent study, it affects at least 75% of the population. Glossophobia is the most common phobia, even more so common than Necrophobia, the fear of dying. But what exactly is a phobia, anyway? Well, to have a "phobia" of something is to have an extreme and irrational fear of something to a point where it is disabling and is considered a mental disorder. Sometimes people will say they have a phobia when they're just afraid of something. For example, many people tend to say that they're arachnophobic, which is the fear of spiders and other arachnids. But really, most people are just afraid of them and don't have an actual phobia for them. In fact, an American study found that only somewhere between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from a phobia. Now I've introduced, what, three phobias to you already? Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally hundreds of phobias out there, and if you can name it, there's probably a phobia for it. Like there's heliophobia, the fear of sunlight; anthophobia, the fear of flowers; phonophobia, the fear of loud noises; and tetraphobia, the fear of the number four. These may seem a bit ridiculous to us, these phobias affect hundreds of people around the world. And I suppose one must wonder… how is it possible for someone to develop a fear of flowers? There are a few ways. People can be taught to fear something, by predisposing someone to something specifically to frighten them or simply by telling them they should be afraid of it. For example, if a small child is told not to play by the well... Show More

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