Sunday, July 27, 2008

Phobias galore...

One word or rather suffix which many people would've come across in life on many occasions is phobia...The term phobia is derived from the Greek word "phobos" meaning 'fear'. Clinical phobia is defined as an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.
Phobias are more often than not linked to the amygdala, an area of the brain located behind the pituitary gland. The amygdala secretes hormones that control fear and aggression. When the fear or aggression response is initiated, it releases hormones into the body to put the human body into an "alert" state, in which they are ready to move, run, fight, etc.
It is possible for an individual to develop a phobia over virtually anything. The name of a phobia generally contains a Greek word for what the patient fears plus the suffix -phobia. Creating these terms is something of a word game. Few of these terms are found in medical literature. However, this does not necessarily make it a non-psychological condition. To elaborate on this idea, I surveyed a few friends to discover their worst phobias. Some of them were realistic while others were pure fun; they did run their creative minds. I’ll share a few of them with you here...Though some of the words created may sound funny, you'll find that many of us do face similar fears...
1. Episodophobia: Fear of addiction to serials/soap operas
2. Escalator-phobia: Fear of escalators (I have an aunt as a practical ex. of this)
3. Studyophobia: I don't think I need to elaborate this one 
4. Ghostophobia: Yup, people do believe in ghosts....
5. Projectophobia, Schedule-phobia: Both related to fear of tight schedules on projects,etc.I'd just call it deadline-phobia (something I'm facing at IIM right now)
6. Identity-phobia: I coined this one for a friend who identifies it as "Fear of knowing who u are but wishing not to be that
7. Another friend said she was grandfather-phobic... I thought they were supposed to be God's gift to children... NOT FOR HER!!
8. Doll-o-phobia: Fear of dolls- Those of you thinking how's that possible, watch Child's Play.
9. Venusophobia: Fear of speaking to stunning women
10. Fightophobia: A very common fear; the fear of getting into a brawl
11. Speedophobia: Fear of speed; I guess most parents have this fear when giving their kids a vehicle; recently my dad has been facing the same.
12. Fatophobia: The biggest fear for all those sexy babes out there; I swear, as soon as a girl puts on 3 extra kgs. she starts hyperventilating.
13. Home alone-phobia: Ring any bells??
14. Cattle-phobia: I think people are more scared of the horns, but hornophobia sounded a bit porno...
15. Now this one came as a shock to me,but I must say, it was the best- “RAVIOPHOBIA”: How can people be scared of a sweet person like me?

Some of the most common methods of treating phobias, used by psychologists are Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Hypnotherapy coupled with Neuro-linguistic programming, Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications, Emotional Freedom Technique, etc.

For other comprehensive lists on phobias, I'd suggest:

P.S. I’d like to thank my friends (Shobi, Goks, Borve, Raj, Swathi, Bhashni, Sonali, Rohit, Rudhra, Mridu, Madhu, etc.) for their valuable inputs and creative ideas.

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