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what causes phobias

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2. Agoraphobia is a fear of places or situations that you can’t escape from. However, it isn't entirely clear how much of this may be due to genetics and how much is due to learned behavior. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. All phobias have much the same causes; it’s just the details which differ from one phobia to another. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to something specific. Genetics and environment. Anxiety Disorders. Negative experiences. Brain function. Phobias are divided into three main categories: Factors that may increase the likelihood that a phobia will develop include: Ever wonder what your personality type means? Severe claustrophobia can be especially disabling if it prevents you from riding in cars or elevators. 2013;27(4):379-88. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.04.007. Learn about agoraphobia causes, symptoms, and…. People with this phobia avoid mountains, bridges, or the higher floors of buildings. Adults generally recognize that their fears are irrational or excessive, and this can act as an isolating factor. Many people dislike certain situations or objects, but to be a true phobia, the fear must interfere with daily life. Photo Credit: Pexels / terovesalainen. People with a genetic predisposition to anxiety may be at high risk of developing a phobia. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family. The root of the problem is that the human mind and body is not really built for modern life. A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal or insect bites can all be sources of phobias. Some are responses to traumatic events, like a bite from a dog. Is Your Fear of Haunted Houses Really a Phobia? Social phobia - also called social anxiety or social anxiety disorder is an intense fear in social situations. Do You Know How Many People Have Phobias in the U.S.? Causes . Genetic and environmental factors can cause phobias. The fear can be of a certain place, situation, or object. Phobias Causes. Still, most have no obvious cause. People with ongoing medical conditions or health concerns often have phobias. Block, MD. dry mouth. Those with chronic health problems may fear they will have a medical emergency in a public area or where no help is available. butterflies in the stomach. An estimated 19 million Americans have a phobia that causes difficulty in some area of their lives. While there is no single known cause for phobias, they are thought to run in families, be influenced by culture and how one is parented and can be triggered by different life events. It involves exposure to the source of the fear in a controlled setting. It is different from…, Millions of people live with anxiety disorders, but many don’t seek treatment. Symptoms include vertigo, dizziness, sweating, and feeling as if they’ll pass out or lose consciousness. extensive media coverage of a terrorist attack). While traditionally considered a “negative” emotion, fear actually serves an important role in keeping us safe as it mobilizes us to cope with potential danger. Hemophobia: This is a phobia of blood or injury. Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships. It can be harmful if it prevents you from obtaining needed dental care. In schizophrenia, people have visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, negative symptoms such as anhedonia, and disorganized symptoms. The exact causes of complex phobias, such as agoraphobia and social phobia, are unknown. What Causes Fear - A Scientist's Perspective... Well, it is a natural response to danger or pain for one thing. Because the foundation of the phobia is organic, the phobia can be difficult to treat. However, it is thought that genetics, brain chemistry and life experiences may all play a part in the development of these phobias. Nyctophobia: This phobia is a fear of the nighttime or darkness. Phobias may be irrational, but people with phobias do not fail reality testing. Acrophobia is an intense fear of heights. Claustrophobia: This is a fear of enclosed or tight spaces. Read about why it happens and how to manage it. Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Flying, Why It Happens, and More, Everything You Should Know About Claustrophobia. The physical reactions (symptoms) a person experiences when faced with the object of their fear are real and aren't simply "in their head". What Causes fear. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. However, if you need help dealing with a phobia or the symptoms it causes, you can speak to a doctor who can work with you to help uncover the cause.

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