Friday, April 10, 2009

PHOBIAS from A to Z - Part 1

In this posting I cover the subject of phobias. There is a listing of many phobias in alphabetical order and a lighthearted and serious view of phobias. I also give definitions of phobias, the brain the functioning of the sub-conscious and its effect on the conscious mind and how the brain forms phobias.

Phobias from A to Z

Fears and phobias have been with us since we first walked the planet.
They have been the subject of stories around a campfire, of books, of short stories, movies, radio shows, television and more.

As you can see from the following list, there are hundreds of phobias;
some seem understandable like Lilapsophobia – the fear of tornadoes;
some seem silly like Dendrophobia – the fear of trees;
some seem obvious like Aichmophobia – the fear of needles;
some seem bizarre like Octophobia – the fear of the number 8;
some seem strange like Barophobia – the fear of gravity;
some seem exhausting like Somniphobia – the fear of sleep;
some seem redundant like Phobophobia – the fear of phobias;
some make sense like Atychiphobia – the fear of failure
some seem common, like the number 1 phobia in the world...
Glossophobia - Fear of speaking in public.

Below is an alphabetical listing of just some phobias…

Achluophobia - Fear of darkness.
Acrophobia - Fear of heights.
Agliophobia - Fear of pain.
Agoraphobia - Fear of open spaces or crowds.
Aichmophobia - Fear of needles or pointed objects.
Amaxophobia - Fear of riding in a car.
Androphobia - Fear of men.
Anginophobia - Fear of angina or choking.
Anthrophobia - Fear of flowers.
Anthropophobia - Fear of people or society.
Aphenphosmphobia - Fear of being touched.
Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders.
Arithmophobia - Fear of numbers.
Astraphobia - Fear of thunder and lightening.
Ataxophobia - Fear of disorder or untidiness.
Atelophobia - Fear of imperfection.
Atychiphobia - Fear of failure.
Autophobia - Fear of being alone.
Bacteriophobia - Fear of bacteria.
Barophobia - Fear of gravity.
Bathmophobia - Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
Batrachophobia - Fear of amphibians.
Belonephobia - Fear of pins and needles.
Bibliophobia - Fear of books.
Botanophobia - Fear of plants.
Cacophobia - Fear of ugliness.
Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed.
Catoptrophobia - Fear of mirrors.
Chionophobia - Fear of snow.
Chromophobia - Fear of colors.
Chronomentrophobia - Fear of clocks.
Claustrophobia - Fear of confined spaces.
Coulrophobia - Fear of clowns.
Cyberphobia - Fear of computers.
Cynophobia - Fear of dogs.
Dendrophobia - Fear of trees.
Dentophobia - Fear of dentists.
Domatophobia - Fear of houses.
Dystychiphobia - Fear of accidents.
Ecophobia - Fear of the home.
Elurophobia - Fear of cats.
Entomophobia - Fear of insects.
Ephebiphobia - Fear of teenagers.
Equinophobia - Fear of horses.
Gamophobia - Fear of marriage.
Genuphobia - Fear of knees.
Glossophobia - Fear of speaking in public.
Gynophobia - Fear of women.
Heliophobia - Fear of the sun.
Hemophobia - Fear of blood.
Herpetophobia - Fear of reptiles.
Hydrophobia - Fear of water.
Iatrophobia - Fear of doctors.
Insectophobia - Fear of insects.
Koinoniphobia - Fear of rooms.
Leukophobia - Fear of the color white.
Lilapsophobia - Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.
Lockiophobia - Fear of childbirth.
Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking.
Megalophobia - Fear of large things.
Melanophobia - Fear of the color black.
Microphobia - Fear of small things.
Mysophobia - Fear of dirt and germs.
Necrophobia - Fear of death or dead things.
Noctiphobia - Fear of the night.
Nosocomephobia - Fear of hospitals.
Obesophobia - Fear of gaining weight.
Octophobia - Fear of the number 8.
Ombrophobia - Fear of rain.
Ophidiophobia - Fear of snakes.
Ornithophobia - Fear of birds.
Papyrophobia - Fear of paper.
Pathophobia - Fear of disease.
Pedophobia - Fear of children.
Philophobia - Fear of love.
Phobophobia - Fear of phobias.
Podophobia - Fear of feet.
Porphyrophobia - Fear of the color purple.
Pteridophobia - Fear of ferns.
Pteromerhanophobia - Fear of flying.
Pyrophobia - Fear of fire.
Scolionophobia - Fear of school.
Selenophobia - Fear of the moon.
Sociophobia - Fear of social evaluation.
Somniphobia - Fear of sleep.
Tachophobia - Fear of speed.
Technophobia - Fear of technology.
Tonitrophobia - Fear of thunder.
Trypanophobia - Fear of injections.
Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women.
Verminophobia - Fear of germs.
Wiccaphobia - Fear of witches and witchcraft.
Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners.
Zoophobia - Fear of animals.

The one thing that all phobias have in common, (actually, there are many more than “one thing”) is that they are no laughing matter for the millions of people who suffer from them.

A phobia that may seem silly or insignificant to you may be ruining the life of its victim.
People who suffer from phobias are in a constant state of apprehension and fear.
They are haunted by their fear both day and night,
by what is causing it;
by when it will happen again;
if they will ever be able to control it;
will they be embarrassed by their phobic attack?

Their lives are controlled by their particular phobia
and they are helpless to control their fears
and because they are helpless, they become hopeless.

Fortunately, I have found a very effective tool to help people with phobias gain control over their fears
and with this control, comes hope and finally a life free from debilitating fear.

The tool I am referring to is Hypnosis;
specifically PARTS Therapy.
Started in the 1950’s by Charles Tebbetts, this therapy goes directly to the “part” of the subconscious where the phobia resides, or more accurately…hides.

In order to understand and overcome the debilitating effects of a phobia, we first must thoroughly understand exactly what a phobia is, how it works from the subconscious and how it was formed.
Then, armed with that understanding a person with a phobia has the tools to overcome it;
to live a happier, normal fear-free life.


“What is a Phobia?”

“Medline Plus” describes a phobia as

“…a type of anxiety disorder. It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. There are many specific phobias. Acrophobia is a fear of heights. You may be able to ski the world's tallest mountains but be unable to go above the 5th floor of an office building. Agoraphobia is a fear of public places, and claustrophobia is a fear of closed-in places. If you become anxious and extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations, you could have a social phobia. Other common phobias involve tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, animals and blood...”

Wikipedia has a longer description and describes a phobia as

“…a morbid fear; an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations,
activities, things, or people. 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 it is considered a phobia… "
"...Phobias (in the clinical meaning of the term) are the most common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% 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...”
"...Most psychologists and psychiatrists classify phobias into three categories:
Social phobia,
also known as social anxiety disorder - fears involving other people or social situations such as performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment by scrutiny of others, such as eating in public. Social phobia may be further subdivided into generalized social phobia, and specific social phobia, which are cases of anxiety triggered only in specific situations.
Specific phobias -
fear of a single specific panic trigger such as spiders, snakes, dogs, elevators, water,
waves, flying, balloons, catching a specific illness, etc.
Agoraphobia -
a generalized fear of leaving home or a small familiar 'safe' area, and of possible panic attacks that might follow.,,"
The human brain is the center of the human nervous system and is a highly complex organ. It has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over five times as large as the "average brain" of a mammal with the same body size. Most of the expansion comes from the cerebral cortex, a convoluted layer of neural tissue that covers the surface of the forebrain. Especially expanded are the frontal lobes, which are involved in executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought. The portion of the brain devoted to vision is also greatly
enlarged in humans.
The brain is the physical home of the conscious and subconscious…


We can (and I have) researched the heck out of phobias, but I can never find in my research, where they come from…
How and why they form…

Through working with many people with phobias,
I have found my own method of helping phobic people
and it doesn’t include months and months of talking sessions.

If you have no idea where it came from, what is the point of talking about phobias endlessly?
I feel it only strengthens its hold over you.

As I have described in other posts, the subconscious is the servant to the conscious mind, but by some of the complications it causes, you may disagree with that statement.

Picture this…

You are a caveman,
living a hunter/ gatherer existence.
You are primitive, living with your clan
and you are also hunted by other larger predators.

In order to survive, you must react instantly to a perceived threat.
But how do you instantly react?

Your primitive brain comes into play with the “Fight or Flight” instinct.
But it is not a true instinct, it must be learned…

So, there you are in the forest,
with your clan,
hunting rabbits,
picking vegetables etc.

You are 5 years old walking behind your mother.
Suddenly a large Jaguar leaps on your older brother,
dragging him screaming, bleeding and dying into the bush!

Your tribe instantly reacts!
The men throw their weapons!
The women grab you and the other small ones and run!
The image is burned into your mind, permanently!

To survive, they reacted instantly…
Fought and Fled and survived.

But, so that you never remember the horror of seeing the death of your brother,
your subconscious mind repressed and blocked the image of the scene from your conscious awareness.

You can’t recall your brother’s death,
but to survive,
it also lets the emotions of the event react in your mind,
each and every time the image of a Jaguar comes to you.

When seeing a Jaguar, from that moment on, you would either fight or flee,
without thought…

reaction MUST be immediate, without thought…
to survive.

So when a Jaguar is seen,
you like all your clan, react immediately almost instinctively,
but you will never remember why you react the way you do;
and you and your clan… survive.

This response is hard wired in our brains right now, from our distant past,
but… what was a survival mechanism then, is now causing phobias.


In my next posting titled “Phobias A to Z - Part 2”
I will be describing how this survival mechanism from our past, causes our phobias; how phobias are formed; and commonalities between many phobias.
Please feel free to make comments.