Alphabet of Psychology: Phobias

    The psychologist Sergio García Soriano continues to elaborate his ABC of Psychology for EFEsalud and arrives at a letter that opens the door to a complex word, with multiple perspectives and always current: F for Fobia

    Phobia is an anxiety disorder. It is a very strong fear of an object, an animal or a situation that cannot be understood from everyday logic.

    We have to differentiate between phobia and fear since it generates a series of rituals and has a greater consistency that is included within the DSM-V.

    phobias are the most common mental illness

    We can see that the disorder has developed when the person organizes her life to avoid the source of her anxiety.

    The National Institute of Mental Health of the United States states that between 8 and 18% of the population suffers from it in some of its variants. In addition, phobias are the most common mental illness among women of all ages and the second most common among men over 25 years of age.

    They are divided into several types, specific phobia that occurs before an object and its presence is necessary for the nervous response (to a dog).

    Or complex phobia that occurs in the face of a situation and has a path in the biography of the sufferer, having produced a generalization of discomfort in different contexts (agoraphobia: pharmacy queue, uncovered sites …)

    We can also differentiate them into: animal, environmental, blood-injection-damage … now due to the pandemic situation, the casuistry that grew the most was social phobia and contagion.

    Psychotherapy is going to be based on reducing its components and derealizing the cause and the factors that support it. For this reason, relaxation will be used against excess activation, flight behaviors will be resolved and healthy thoughts will be added against catastrophic and imminent death.

    The prognosis of improvement is high because when the human being discovers what this “flee”, “avoid” means and accepts that symbolically he has to solve the cause of the conflict, most of the symptoms remit.

    At present, the term has been popularized, adding phobia to situations where an adaptation is necessary, meaning a certain level of nervousness in the first experiences, such as school phobia or dental phobia.

    A connotation of hatred has also been added to some group, for example homophobia or xenophobia. However, this new meaning goes beyond the clinical perspective.

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