Fears and phobias

Fear is an emotion that we all feel at one time or another and it is a perfectly natural reaction, triggered by our brain as something of an early warning system. While fear is innate in all of us, some people tend to be more fearful than others, often having fears that are completely illogical, yet very real to them.  That is because some fears are learned and are brought on by surroundings, learning and upbringing. That helps to explain why some people prefer fight to flight, even when they still hold the feelings of fear within ([intlink id=”736″ type=”post”]top 10 most common fears and phobias[/intlink]).

Phobias are a little different from general fear, although that emotion still arises when the person is placed in a situation that they have a phobia about. Recognizing the phobia allows the person to avoid being in situations where it might arise, yet very few people actually look to find out what the root of their phobia actually is ([intlink id=”666″ type=”post”]how to live your dreams without any fears[/intlink]). It’s almost as though the phobia itself causes them to sweep it under the rug and ignore every single part of it. That hasn’t stopped researchers though, and they have discovered that there are 5 main elements that are the cause of phobias:

1. The subconscious mind is an incredibly powerful part of the brain that prevents us from doing many things, and which also is often at the heart of phobias. The most common of those are phobias that are developed through some sort of childhood trauma. Most of us remember very little of our formative years, but all of our memories are trapped in the subconscious and will creep up when we least expect it.

2. While most people believe that phobias are all born in the mind, researchers believe that in some cases they are brought on by physiological issues. They believe that the body sends a false trigger that leads to anxiety and eventually phobia.  The good news is that once the phobia is found to be a physiological problem, it can usually be treated using medication such as beta blockers.

3. The theory that genetics play a part in phobias is one that is still somewhat under debate. The feeling  that was once believed to be a genetic disposition is actually attributed to social conditioning. Researchers still feel that genetics play a part in making one person more pre-disposed to phobias than another, rather than being the actual cause.

4. Social factors are now considered to be a much more likely cause of phobias than just pure genetics, and that is especially true if a child spends lots of time with a friend who has phobias of his own. It’s easy for the child to see his friend’s fears and believe that it’s a perfectly normal response.

5. Similar to the social learning aspect of phobias are what researchers refer to as inappropriate learning at the hands of parents. It’s hard to mask the fears of a phobia, but when parents overreact to seeing a bug in the house, that leads to irrational fears in the child. In this case, the parent doesn’t have a phobia of bugs, and instead is simply overreacting to the sight of it.

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Morgan is the founder and editor of REALITYPLEX. After suffering from a life-threatening accident, he realized that the way we perceive things around us is based on our beliefs, emotions and experiences. In an effort to draw the line between perception and reality, he launched REALITYPLEX in 2011. Get to know him better and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and G+