What Makes Phobias Different From Panic Disorders, Psychologically?

Updated: Jul 18

Everyone gets scared. Everyone feels fearful at some point in their lives. But sometimes fear can be the result of some pent-up emotions and derive from a place not expected. This fear has a scathing effect on our lives and daily routines. A person may have to go through many such circumstances while working towards an objective.



Phobias


We will talk about the two major types of mental illnesses that may lead to such examples; Phobias and Panic Disorder. Let us know a bit about the two first.


So, what are phobias?

There may come various times when we feel scared of a particular feeling or situation, but that’s normal and can happen to anyone. But phobias are different. People who have a mental illness are not able to live their lives in a usual manner.


For example, many people fear flying, so they avoid traveling on flights but may do so if extremely necessary, but people who have a flight phobia may not even go near the airport. People usually change their lifestyles to avoid being in such a situation. Phobias can affect your day-to-day lives, relationships, and career.


Categories of phobia.

Phobias fall under these three main categories.

  • Specific phobias

  • Social phobias

  • Agoraphobias


Specific phobias-:

Specific phobias refer to a situation of fear and anxiety related to a particular object or situation. Commonly these phobias can include fear of heights, flying elevators, blood, water animals, etc.


Social phobia-:

Social phobia refers to a person having an excessive fear of being in the social presence of others. They are constantly in fear of getting embarrassed or undermined by others. A person suffering from social l phobia will avoid going out and performing activities in public to fear getting judged.


Agoraphobia-:

Agoraphobia is similar to a social phobia that involves the fear of getting judged; however, the person is more embarrassed about going out in public places where they would be ashamed to flee. People who have Agoraphobia avoid going out in public places altogether.

Phobia Symptoms-:

  • Trembling or dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Extreme and irrational fear of a situation, object, or place

  • Panic thinking about particular circumstances

  • Hot flashes


What is a Panic Disorder?

Panic disorders refer to a mental illness wherein a person suffers from repeated and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a situation of a feeling of intense fear that lasts for a short duration. The person who suffers may feel physical symptoms such as chest pain, racing heart, shortness of breath, or nausea.


You may feel sensations such as having a heart attack or suffocation. However, a panic attack dissolves on its own after some time.

Panic attacks are usually a reaction to a stressful situation in the past or another mental illness. Sometimes panic disorders happen without reason.


And the fear leftover in a person makes them fearful of going out and about. People fear panic attacks because of the uncertainty it brings with it. They try to avoid places, triggers, or activities that may remind them of a panic attack.


Symptoms of Panic Disorder

  • Accelerated heart rate

  • Asphyxiation or shortness of breath

  • Fear of next panic attack

  • Trembling or excessive sweating


Treatment

A mental health expert can diagnose both these fatal psychological illnesses. If you notice any symptoms or signs written above, you should immediately make an appointment for a doctor before it gets worsened. He or she will assist you in your journey by giving you the treatment you require.


Both these mental illnesses have a similar treatment. A psychologist treats people who have phobia or panic disorder through a combination of medicines, self-care, and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help you manage your symptoms by learning to cope with them, while medications can help reduce stress and anxiety. Self-help techniques can be beneficial in managing the routine.


Prevention-:

There is no absolute way to prevent a panic attack or phobia completely. However, these recommendations may help you in the long run.

  • Visit a doctor as soon as you see any signs of a panic attack to prevent them from worsening any further.

  • Talk to your therapist about the trigger points and what your self-help practices can try.

  • People who have phobia should try to talk to a psychotherapist to heal the problem from its core.

  • Stick with your treatment.

  • Get enough physical activity.


How can you help?

People suffering from panic attacks or phobia usually feel embarrassed about their experiences. They always find a way to blame themselves and see their illness as a problem for the os. Supporting your loved one can be demanding as you may not be able to comprehend what he feels. But with the proper support and tools, you may be able to help someone with an illness.

  • Remember that these thoughts and behaviors are not typical and cannot be called personality traits.

  • Be empathetic towards them. Listen to their thoughts and try to be there for them as it is not easy for anyone.

  • Seek for help needed.


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