A phobia (from Greek: φόβος, phobos, "fear"), is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or persons. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Fear is an Emotional response to Threats and Danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific Stimulus, such as The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal pathological anxieties Fears and Phobias In clinical usage "fear" 
Phobias (in the clinical meaning of the term) are the most common form of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal pathological anxieties Fears and Phobias In clinical usage "fear" An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The National Institute of Mental Health ( NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in 7% and 18. 1% of Americans suffer from phobias.  Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25. Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as
It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events and internal predispositions. In a famous experiment, Martin Seligman used classical conditioning to establish phobias of snakes and flowers. Martin EP Seligman ( Albany New York, 12 August 1942) is an American Psychologist and Writer. Classical Conditioning (also Pavlovian or Respondent Conditioning) is a form of Associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov The results of the experiment showed that it took far fewer shocks to create an adverse response to a picture of a snake than to a picture of a flower, leading to the conclusion that certain objects may have a genetic predisposition to being associated with fear. Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time. Agoraphobia is an Anxiety disorder, often precipitated by the fear of having a Panic attack in a setting from which there is no easy means of escape It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of anxiety disorders and phobiasor iroticle panic attacks.
Phobia is also used in a non-medical sense for aversions of all sorts. These terms are usually constructed with the suffix -phobia. A number of these terms describe negative attitudes or prejudices towards the named subjects. Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's like or dislike for an item The word prejudice refers to prejudgment making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event See Non-clinical uses of the term below.
Phobias are more often than not linked to the amygdala, an area of the brain located behind the pituitary gland in the limbic system. The la amygdalae ( Latin, also la corpus amygdaloideum, singular la amygdala, from Greek el αμυγδαλή grc-Latn amygdalē, 'almond' The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an Endocrine gland about the size of a Pea. The limbic system, or Paleomammalian brain is a term for a set of brain structures including the Hippocampus and Amygdala and anterior thalamic nuclei and a limbic The amygdala secretes hormones that control fear and aggression, and aids in the interpretation of this emotion in the facial expressions of others. Hormones (from Greek ὁρμή - "impetus" are chemicals released by cells that affect cells in other parts of the body Fear is an Emotional response to Threats and Danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific Stimulus, such as In Psychology and other social and Behavioral sciences aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the Muscles of the Face. When the fear or aggression response is initiated, the amygdala releases hormones into the body to put the human body into an "alert" state, in which they are ready to move, run, fight, etc. 
Studies have shown a difference between the response cycles of those facing an object of a phobia and those facing a dangerous object that does not trigger phobia-like responses. In one case, patients with arachnophobia were shown pictures of a spider (the object of fear) and a snake (a control picture, intended to induce the normal response). When flashed up, the arachnophobe responded with brief fear to the snake, but the amygdala quickly shut down when the logical areas of higher thought analyzed the threat and ruled it out as unimportant. However, when shown the spider, the arachnophobe's amygdala reacted, and then did not stop secreting 'alarm' hormones, even after they had rationalized the situation they were in. 
For this reason, a phobia is generally classified as a panic disorder by most psychologists, since it involves an unnatural or illogical functioning of the brain. Panic Disorder is a Psychological condition characterized by recurring Panic attacks in combination with significant behavioral change lasting at least a month Mental health professional A psychologist is a practitioner of Psychology, the systematic investigation of the mind including Behavior, Cognition, 
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), social phobia, specific phobia, and agoraphobia are sub-groups of anxiety disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' ( DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal pathological anxieties Fears and Phobias In clinical usage "fear"
Many of the specific phobias, such as fear of dogs, heights, spiders and so forth, are extensions of fears that a lot of people have. People with these phobias specifically avoid the entity they fear.
Phobias vary in severity among individuals. Some individuals can simply avoid the subject of their fear and suffer only relatively mild anxiety over that fear. Others suffer fully-fledged panic attacks with all the associated disabling symptoms. Most individuals understand that they are suffering from an irrational fear, but are powerless to override their initial panic reaction.
Severe fears are present in about 10-15% of children and specific phobias are found in about 5% of children. Children with specific phobias experience an intense fear of an object or situation that does not go away easily and continues for an extended period of time. Children often have specific phobias of the dark, varieties of insects, spiders, bees, heights, water, choking, snakes, dogs, birds, and other animals. For many children, these fears and phobias interfere with their participation in and enjoyment of various activities. It may also interfere with their education, family life, or their social life. However, effective treatment is available for children who experience phobias.
Some therapists use virtual reality or imagery exercise to desensitize patients to the feared entity. Virtual reality ( VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a Computer-simulated environment be it a real or imagined one In Psychology, desensitization (also called inurement) is a process for mitigating the harmful effects of Phobias or other disorders It also These are parts of systematic desensitization therapy. Systematic desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy used in the field of Psychology to help effectively overcome Phobias and other Anxiety disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be beneficial. Cognitive Therapy (CT is a type of Psychotherapy developed by American Psychiatrist Aaron T Cognitive behavioral therapy lets the patient understand the cycle of negative thought patterns, and ways to change these thought patterns. CBT may be conducted in a group setting. Gradual desensitisation treatment and CBT are often successful, provided the patient is willing to endure some discomfort and to make a continuous effort over a long period of time.
Hypnotherapy coupled with Neuro-linguistic programming can also be used to help remove the associations that trigger a phobic reaction. Hypnotherapy is therapy that is undertaken with a subject in Hypnosis. Neuro-linguistic programming (or NLP) is an Interpersonal communication model applied in Psychotherapy and other contexts of communication and change
Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications can be of assistance in many cases. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ( SSRIs) are a class of Antidepressants used in the treatment of depression, Anxiety disorders Benzodiazepines could be prescribed for short-term use. The benzodiazepines (pronounced, often abbreviated to "benzos") are a class of Psychoactive drugs with varying Hypnotic
Emotional Freedom Technique, a psychotherapeutic alternative medicine tool, considered to be pseudoscience by the mainstream medicine, is allegedly useful. Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living The term alternative medicine, as used in the modern western world encompasses any healing practice "that does not fall within the realm of conventional Medicine. Pseudoscience is defined as a body of knowledge methodology belief or practice that is claimed to be Scientific or made to appear scientific but does not adhere to the
These treatment options are not mutually exclusive. Often a therapist will suggest multiple treatments.
The word "phobia" may also signify conditions other than fear. For example, although the term hydrophobia means a fear of water, it may also mean inability to drink water due to an illness, or may be used to describe a chemical compound which repels water. Hydrophobia may refer to Rabies especially a set of symptoms of the later stages of an infection in which the victim has difficulty swallowing shows panic when presented with liquids to drink Likewise, the term photophobia may be used to define a physical complaint (i. Photophobia is a Symptom of excessive sensitivity to Light and the aversion to Sunlight or well-lit places e. aversion to light due to inflamed eyes or excessively dilated pupils) and does not necessarily indicate a fear of light.
It is possible for an individual to develop a phobia over virtually anything. The name of a phobia generally contains a Greek word for what the patient fears plus the suffix -phobia. Creating these terms is something of a word game. Few of these terms are found in medical literature. However, this does not necessarily make it a non-psychological condition.
A number of terms with the suffix -phobia are primarily understood as negative attitudes towards certain categories of people or other things, used in an analogy with the medical usage of the term. Attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's like or dislike for an item Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring Information from a particular subject (the analogue or source to another particular subject (the target and Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, dislike, disapproval, prejudice, hatred, discrimination, or hostility towards the object of the "phobia". The word prejudice refers to prejudgment making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event Unlike most discrimination policies discrimination between, which is the discernment of qualities and recognition of the differences focused here discrimination against is Often this attitude is based on prejudices and is a particular case of general xenophobia. Xenophobia is an intense and/or irrational dislike and sometimes fear of people from other countries
Class discrimination is not always considered a phobia in the clinical sense because it is believed to be only a symptom of other psychological issues, or the result of ignorance, or of political or social beliefs. In other words, unlike clinical phobias, which are usually qualified with disabling fear, class discrimination usually has roots in social relations.
Below are some examples: