What are you scared or afraid of? Most, if not all of the people we know are afraid of something. It could be something 'normal', that most people refer to (like flying), or you could have a phobia of something that is really obscure (like sticky labels). So, what is the difference between errors and phobias?

What is A Fear?

A fear can be described as a powerful form of thought. It is a distracting emotion aroused by endangering danger, pain etc, whether the threat is real or imagined. As this definition states; the threat can be real or imagined – most fear is in our mind.

What is A Phobia?

A phobia is described as an intense but unrealistic fear that can interfere with the ability to socialize, work or go about everyday life, bought on by an object, event or situation. As the definition of a phobia states; it is an unrealistic fear – that means a phobia comes from our thoughts; our mind.

So What Exactly Is The Difference?

As the above descriptions show, on the surface a fear and a phobia is one on the same, however they are not really the same. A fear is seen as rational, while a phobia is a fear that has become irrational. A phobia is an abnormal fear of something – usually something that we have no logical reason to be afraid of. As both a fear and a phobia are fueled by our imagination, both can be seen as having a level of irrationality in them. So, to see the difference, you can pick up on other clues.

Other Factors to Help Distinguish Between a Fear and a Phobia

The terminology being used to describe the fear or phobia offers a handy clue in deciding which one it is. Someone who has a phobia will often begin by saying “I know it's silly but …” “They are aware of the fact that what they are feeling with a phobia is mostly irrational. For example, if you are afraid of flying, you may have heard about a plane crash in the past, that people died on. You then base your fear of flying on this information. You then build on this fear by imagining the event, how you would feel etc, and you decide it's not safe – so you will drive everywhere in future. The real facts are there are more deaths as a result of car accidents, than there are of flying.