APR09 fears

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APR09 fears
FEARS VS. PHOBIAS
WHETHER IT’S CREEPY CRAWLIES THAT GIVE YOU THE
HEEBIE JEEBIES OR SMALL SPACES THAT LEAVE YOU
JITTERY, HOLLY MACK ASKS: HAS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR
TRULY CROSSED INTO PHOBIA-TERRITORY?
Everyone’s afraid of something. Spiders, flying,
injections... they’re normal fears that are usually
born out of childhood experiences.
However, an irrational fear of an object or
situation is known as a phobia. More than 10%
of us suffer from phobias, and they affect girls
more than boys. Symptoms can include dizziness,
breathlessness, nausea and even a fear of dying,
in some cases escalating into full-scale panic
attacks.
But what’s the difference between a normal fear
and an actual phobia? Well, it’s all down to the
way a tiny part of our brain, called the amygdala,
reacts to different things.
If you showed an arachnophobe a picture of a
spider, their brain will produce the same feelings
of fear as if you’d shown them a real live spider.
But someone who’s afraid of spiders but doesn’t
actually have a phobia about them can realise that
the picture isn’t an actual threat. As a result their
10 schoolrelated phobias
(not to be used as excuses!)
1. Scolionophobia –
Fear of school
2. Phronemophobia –
Fear of thinking
3. Numerophobia –
Fear of numbers
4. Graphophobia –
Fear of writing
5. Didaskaleinophobia –
Fear of going to school
6. Catagelophobia –
Fear of being ridiculed
7. Bibliophobia –
Fear of books
8. Glossophobia –
Fear of speaking in public
9. Gnosiophobia –
Fear of knowledge
10. Testophobia –
Fear of taking tests
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brain won’t react the same way.
So ask yourself, is your biggest fear actually a
phobia?
you can worsen a fear if you spend too much time
worrying about it.
★ If you’re afraid of an animal or particular object,
These are the ten most common phobias:
1. Arachnophobia - The fear of spiders
2. Ophidiophobia - The fear of snakes
3. Acrophobia - The fear of heights
4. Agoraphobia - The fear of open spaces or of
leaving a safe place
5. Cynophobia - The fear of dogs
6. Astraphobia - The fear of thunder and lightning
7. Trypanophobia - The fear of injections
8. Social Phobias - The fear of social situations
9. Pteromerhanophobia - The fear of flying
10. Mysophobia - The fear of germs or dirt
Ten fairly ordinary fears there - I’m afraid of about
five of them, but they don’t make me suffer the
kind of symptoms related to actual phobias.
Of course if you really do suffer from a phobia, you
can get treatments and medications from your GP,
who’ll be trained to help you. But if your ‘phobia’ is
actually a ‘significant fear’ you can still take steps
to help yourself:
try to get a little closer each time you’re near it.
Get used to the way the fear makes you feel.
Eventually, it won’t have the capacity to create fear
in you any more.
★ Put your fear into perspective. A fear can rage
like an inferno, if you let it. Don’t waste too much
energy on fearing your fear.
★ Analyse your fear and see just how irrational it
is. Write down reasons why it’s unnecessary to be
frightened by your fear.
“FEAR IS JUST ‘BEING AFRAID’, BUT A PHOBIA
IS ‘BEING ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED AT THE MERE
THOUGHT’ OF SOMETHING.”
Fear is something we all have to deal with. The
important thing is to recognise our fears and
to learn how to handle them. Don’t give up on
overcoming them either – it can take a long time,
but the reward will be worth it.
★ Master some relaxation techniques to use
when you feel afraid. Learn some deep breathing
methods or try ‘creative visualisations’ – for
example, if you’re feeling panicky on a plane,
imagine yourself at your destination having a great
time.
★ Put a name to your fear. Identify it in detail –
get on the internet, research it. Once you know
the enemy, it’s easier to treat it as just another
challenge that needs dealing with. But beware:
10 really weird
phobias
1. Aulophobia – Fear of flutes
2. Chionophobia – Fear of snow
3. Chronomentrophobia – Fear of clocks
4. Consecotaleophobia – Fear of chopsticks
5. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – Fear
of the number 666
6. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia –
Fear of long words
7. Nephophobia – Fear of clouds
8. Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8
9. Porphyrophobia – Fear of the colour
purple
10. Pteronophobia – Fear of being tickled by
feathers
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