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Anyone can suffer phobias or obsessions, regardless of race, gender, culture, and economic status. It is estimated that phobias affect 7.5 percent of the population worldwide (Ferber, 2006). According to The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook phobias are an intense fear of a specific thing or situation. Phobia can be defined as an irrational fear which prompts a person to avoid contact with a feared object or situation even when there is no danger from the source itself (Ferber).
Common phobic fears include heights, flying in an airplane, snakes, spiders, and public speaking among many others. Obsessions are persistent thoughts that trigger anxiety. They interfere with day-to-day activities and may result in physical symptoms. Very often, the phobic person tries to ignore or suppress obsessive thoughts by engaging in a mental ritual. Common obsessions include fear of dirt and contamination, relationship phobias, sexually transmitted diseases, doubt about love for others, and sexual orientation among many others. If left untreated phobias can have a huge impact on both your personal and professional life because phobics tend to avoid situations that trigger their phobia.
Phobias are described as being either simple phobias or complex phobias. Simple phobias involve fears of specific objects or situations such as dogs, insects, heights, water, etc. The treatment involves gradual exposure to the object of anxiety until the patient becomes desensitized. Complex phobias are phobias of phobias, phobias of social situations or phobias involving anxiety about the effect of the phobia on other people (Ferber). Some phobic individuals experience panic attacks. Panic attacks can occur spontaneously without warning and may result in extreme discomfort, with symptoms similar to those of a heart attack.
An estimated 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder, which is roughly 18% of the population (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009). Anxiety disorders fall into a category known as anxiety disorders, which include: generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia. In general, clinical studies find that approximately 3% to 5% of children and adolescents suffer from phobias. In one particular study, 4.6% of children between the ages of 5 to 12 years were phobic (He is also a child psychiatrist, 2009).
Phobias can begin at almost any age. Phobias are more common in women than men – occurring 2-3 times as often in women compared to men – and phobias affect twice as many adults as children (Ferber). The prevalence of phobics tends to peak around puberty and decline sharply after age 25-35 (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009).
Ask about Pranic Healing treatments if suffering from Phobias or Obsessions.