PHOBIA: Understanding This Peculiar Phenomenon

Animals have two instincts for emergency and survival; fight and flight. These urges are powered by the natural fuel in our body system; ADRENALINE. We should also be aware that one of the most potent elements which stimulates the production of this fuel (adrenaline; which can be found as a gland on the top of the kidneys) is called FEAR. Fear is a natural instinct that forebodes survival and the need to Thrive. As humans, there are certain things to be naturally afraid of; Death, Poverty, failure, disappointment, financial disaster e.t.c but oddly enough there are extreme and irrational forms of fear. for instance, being afraid of a needle, eggs, waters, domesticated animals amongst others. This type of fear is called PHOBIA. Phobia, like almost any other word has an etymology (Word Origin). The word "phobia" originates from classical mythology ; A form of ancient worship , study and divination in which there was a belief in the existence of gods and goddesses suited for a particular purpose and highly venerated. The most notable ones are; 

1) Zeus -The Father of all Greek gods. 

2) Hercules -The Greek god of supernatural strength. 

3) Mercury -The Roman god of motion 

4) Ra -The Egyptian god of the sun. 

5) Thor -The Norse god of lightning and thunder. 

6) Venus -The Roman goddess of beauty.

 7) Athena -The Greek goddess of wisdom.

 8) Vulcan -The Roman god of volcanoes and cataclysms.

 9) Thanatos -The Greek god of death. 

10) Phobos -The Greek god of fear.

  Phobia originates the word "Phobos" which as we have previously read is the Greek god of fear. Phobia is simple terms, is the abnormal, irrational and extreme fear of something, a particular event or a form of living thing. 


    Phobia not only influences our physical environment, but it also affects our visceral awareness and mental state. The major causes of phobia are;

 - Early childhood trauma/incidents: Most phobias inhabited by individuals emerge from childhood traumatized experiences, which then afflicts the person with an extreme fear of whatever he/she has experienced when recalled from memory. For Instance, if a kid is trapped in an body of water almost drowning but is narrowly rescued,  he/she will have a daunting attitude towards water or any liquid(especially a large expanse of water!). Also, if a person finds himself in an enclosed or tight space for a long period of time. He will continue to experience an overwhelming fear and apprehension of tight and stuffy surroundings. Many other similar instances can be cited to explain the reason for this unusual fear. Even famous celebrities and well known people had/has certain form of phobias; Actress Nicole Kidman has fear of butterflies, The famous Alexander the great had fear of cats. Renowned television presenter Oprah Winfrey has fear of chewing gum, The fictional Harvard university professor Robert Langdon in the Dan Brown book series has fear of tight spaces, of which he explains as a result of being trapped in a dry well for five (5) hours at the age of nine. 

- Learned Responses: This is also an important factor that influences the occurrences of phobia in persons and it is mostly developed from witnessing gruesome and macabre events while growing up. It is commonly caused in domestic homes, community settings or in organizations where there is no close association or communication among one another. We observe a Scenario where there is often quarrels, conflicts and violence between the Husband and wife, when a child witness this events incessantly while he/she is maturing, it can cause an emotional reaction which can lead to extreme fear of shouting, disorderliness and even marriage. In worst cases, a young lad/lass who is frequently being lambasted can be psychically disrupted, compelling him/her to have excessive fear of all things.

 - By Inheritance (GENETICS): Research is still being made whether phobia can be genetically transmitted from parent to offspring. Though it is still a work in progress.

  - Long Term Stress: Stress is a daily concept that health care professionals warns the All and Sundry to avoid because of its devastating effects on the human body system. Apart from causing serious illness,physical and mental breakdown and general disorientation, stress can also serve as a quick medium of acquiring a form of phobia. A person who is stressed out doesn't have full control of his surroundings, and as a result he experiences paranoia; a tendency to distrust people and things around you. And unfortunately when a bad event occurs at that time, it can lead to the excessive fear of nothing and everything. 


 The common forms of phobia are; 

1) Sweating and fidgeting.

 2) Scratching and development of minor rashes on the body.

3) Dizziness, Headache and Nausea. 

4) Disorientation and Discombobulation

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