Am I Scared or do I have a Phobia?!

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There are many phobias, which do you have? Photo From: SYN Website: SYN.org.au

By Aaron Ilia Merritt

With all the ghosts, vampires, zombies, and spiders out this time of year, many people show their phobias.

Arachnophobia, chemophobia, acrophobia, they’re all common phobias we have. But why? What is a phobia? What is a fear? Is there a difference? If so, what is the difference between a fear and a phobia?

A fear by psychologists’ definition is an emotional response to a real, or perceived threat, while phobias share many of the same qualities as fears, phobias are more extreme. Phobias bring a case of anxiety to a fear. Phobias can disable someone’s ability to work, function, or even life comfortably.

For example, arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is a common thing to have. There is, however, a difference between fearing the spider and having arachnophobia. Those who fear spiders will fear the spider once it has been spotted or touched. People with arachnophobia will try to avoid the whole situation completely. They will not go to a place known to have lots of spiders. They will take all precautions to avoid even seeing a spider.

Knowing the difference between a fear and a phobia has helped psychologists learn how to conquer or control fears and phobias alike.

There are many known phobias today. For instance, acrophobia is the fear of heights, germaphobia, the fear of germs, and many more. Phobias are common and okay to have. Heck, even celebrities have phobias. Howard Hughes was a major germaphobe. Johnny Depp and Daniel Radcliffe are said to have coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Coulrophobia is perhaps one of the most common phobias along with acrophobia, the fear of heights.

Many people may not know it but they may have had  nyctophobia, an extreme fear of the dark most commonly seen in children.

Now you know the difference between a fear and a phobia, so this Halloween you know that you have a fear of zombies, werewolves, and vampires, but you still have arachnophobia, because spiders are just flat out creepy.