Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Phobias, detrimental to one's performance

It appears fair to say that almost every individual in the world acquires a phobic horror of something or certain situations which may sound perfectly normal.One may argue that these phobias or fears are unfounded though he may fail to justify his own fear of something normal or natural.

It is obvious that people “fear” certain things for some inexplicable reason and the possible causes for these fears fall beyond general explanation. There is a popular tendency to associate the phobias with the things and situations in the previous birth of a person.On the other hand, phobias are more conveniently linked with specified bitter or horrible situations in one's childhood.

However, these extreme, irrational fears create a great obstacle for a person's life. A phobic horror of something may spoil a person's renown and reputation when he acts totally out of line with the expectations of those around him.

People with claustrophobia strongly fear enclosed rooms or confined places. Most probably a child who has been confined in a room by way of a punishment may develop signs of claustrophobia as he grows up. As they claim, they feel as if the walls of the closed room would close in to them till they are choked to death.


A person with agrophobia strongly dislikes a public or open place because he feels that he is “being unnecessarily exposed” or is vulnerable to attack or criticism from those who observe him in the open place. An agrophobiac is naturally inclined to live obscurely and to keep himself aloof from society.

There are people who have a repugnance to animals. They have zoophobia. They are either governed by a repulsion or strong horror for specific animals or have developed a dislike for all animals including those that make lovable pets. Here, arachnophobia is the fear of spiders whether they are venomous or harmless.

Technophobiacs strongly detest the modern technological advancements and highly respects traditions and conventions.They seem to fear that the modern technology might disrupt the lifestyle that flourished in the past. A similar phobia is Xenophobia which indicates strong fear or dislike for foreigners. A Xenophobiac might suspect that a person from another country would devalue his own culture and plunder the priceless things which appear as the national heritage.

Demonophobia (fear for demons) and Paediphobia (fear for dolls) represent peoples baseless fears for imaginary creations and inanimate objects.

A person with paediphobia may fear not only the horrid dolls in movies but also the models of robots and puppets operating with human actions.

Accordingly as Sigmund Freud says, this fear originates from the notion that a doll or a robot would come alive and wreak havoc on humans. At the same time Paediphobiacs detest and fear small children and even infants and do not like to touch a baby.

A person suffering from this phobia strongly detests and fears the human features added to an inanimate object (such as a doll, a robot or a puppet).

A person with Pentheraphobia (fear of the wife's mother) and novecaphobia (fear of the stepmother) practically suffers much in modern world. Most married men loathe to imagine how a mother-in-law could have poisoned their wives against them.


This is also a certain type of mental disorder which accounts for a considerable number of divorces. Also, a novecaphobiac may be constantly plagued by the feeling that his stepmother would alienate his father from him.

People suffering from social anxiety disorder or social phobia can get extremely nervous on being with people or surrounded by people they are familiar with.

Such people are continually troubled by what others possibly think about them or whether they are criticised or evaluated.

However different persons strangely fear different and ordinary things.

One may have a phobia for driving, speaking before a large gathering, being on a higher elevation, travelling in the bus, meeting strangers or building up new friendships. Whatever the phobia may be, it threatens and undermines a person's grace and personality. Fortunately, phobias can be permanently cancelled out by various forms of therapy.

Since phobias-whether simple or serious are a noticeable threat to the personal performance, it is vital that effective therapies should be applied. Phobias are definitely a serious threat to society.

These irrational fears can be removed by hypnosis or systematic desensitisation. Here desensitisation is a process of gradually desensitising a phobias of any type to the situation or the particular environment which has generated the phobia in him. Speaking to the victim for a long time and giving him positive thoughts will erase, to some extent, the phobias planted in him.

By Amal Hewavissenti - Sunday Observer