“Mama, I do not want to go tuition, please do not send me again”, a 9-years old girl was crying badly and her mother could not understand the situation, as she had never reacted like this before. The mother sent her daughter for the tuition but she came back home crying and asked her not to send her again. “What happened dear? Why are you crying like this? Did anyone say something to you or try to hurt you?” the mother asked suspiciously. But after the reply of the little girl she became angry and gripped her hand and started dragging her to the way to her tuition. The girl replied, “Mama I feel scared, because in my way there are feathers scattered all over the place because a cat had ateen a pigeon there.” She had the fear of feathers or Pteronophobia (feather phobia).
Phobia is an ellogical, strong and persistent fear of specific situations, activities, animals, people or things. Phobias are usually generated by a combination of external threat and internal weaknesses. The word phobia has been derived from a Greek word “Phobos”, which means fear or morbid fear. Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorders. Fear is a natural emotion but irrational fear makes life miserable for the affected person. According to a research, phobia is the most common mental illness among females of all age group whereas it is the second most common illness among males above 25 years of age. A phobia can be very difficult to tolerate, both for the person experiencing it and those around them, especially if the anxiety-producing stimulus (whatever is causing the anxiety) is hard to avoid (eg thunderstorms, height).
According to facts and figures collected from internet, 28 out of 100 people experience some type of phobia. In Pakistan, 6,730,727 people face this mental illness. Normally the phobias are separated in three groups ie Social Phobia, Specific Phobia and Agoraphobia. Top most phobias around the world include the fear of height, flying, loneliness, snake, spider, dark, public speaking, rejection, confined space, injection / needle and strains. Some more phobias which are considered weird and strange are the fear of clowns, feather, insects, maths, dentist, lizards, beggars, thunderstorms, pickle, helmet etc.
There is no specific known cause for phobias. According to experts, phobias travel in families and are influenced by cultures. Generally the main reason of phobias is considered to be the fear of anything which the person experienced before, typically in the childhood. Usually the creator of the fear is a family member, teacher or any elder attached to the child. Miss Sarah, 21, BBA student said that “when I was 4 years old, our servant thread a feathery chicken leg piece towards me to frighten me and he repeated this for 3 times. of feathers. Now I can not go near a chicken shop and I can not pet any bird, even if any feather Touches my body I start crying and screaming.
At the same time it is also observed that some people become phobic by observing Parent or relative behavior. The person then can take in the data or scene he / she saw and then generate a fear of the situation or thing they experienced. Mrs. Ibrahim, 38, housewife has a fear of being alone, when I asked her about the cause of this fear she answered, “I was young when I saw my grandmother being scared of loneliness. others are not there. From observing her behavior I started feeling the same. Now I feel scared when I m alone and I ask my husband or children to be with me all day long I know that my fear is causing problems for them ”
The symptoms of different phobias are usually same ie a panic attack. When the phobic person encounter the anxiety-stimulus then start to panic and get terrorized. They also undergo the physical symptoms like shivering, rapid heart beat, sweating, trouble breathing, screaming and crying. The person starts thinking that these are the last moments of his / her life and he / she is about to die, the person can not control his / her behavior without the feared object is removed or the person exits the situation.
A person can experience more than one type of phobia at the same time ie social phobia and specific phobia. Mr. Hashim, 29, a Professional man, while talking about his phobias said that. “I suffer from three different types of phobias. I'm scared of injections, height and flying. I can not look down when I'm at height and I can never travel through an airplane. it rejected in vomiting and headache. ”
When the anxiety and fear continues, certain problems can arise. The parents do not focus much on such anxieties and they think that their child will be fine after some years but the condition usually get worse and it become a strong persistent fear or phobia which starts affecting the child's life. It has been observed that phobic anxiety can be dangerous for some people and it can increase the risk of heart attack in both genders. Here the sufferer should consult some psychological expert to cover it because without any help it is not possible to get rid of it. Mr. Khalid, 33, a chemical engineer, “I have complete command on my work and I never had any problem in performing my duty but the only problem I faced was due to my public speaking phobia. , I became fearful and started trembling. On my turn I could not properly speak and even I could not pronounce the right words. confidently in the presence of many people. ”
Living with a phobia can be complicated, even if the feared object or situation does not regularly appear in the daily life of the phobic person. If the phobia is left untreated, it can seriously affect the person and can cause huge number of problem. So, one should contact a psychiatrist and should get treatment, before the phobia cause serious issues in life.