All of us, at one time or another, have experienced what it means to be afraid. Fear is a normal feature of human existence and serves an adaptive function in that it triggers reactions which allow us to respond to danger or threat. At times, however, fear can become excessive, disturbing and out of proportion with reality. Persons who experience such abnormal fear are described as having a form of anxiety disorder known as a phobia.
The term phobia refers to an intense, irrational fear of a particular object or situation, whether real or imagined. The fear is so severe that it interferes with the individual’s daily functioning, restricting their activities and causing much distress. In many cases, individuals experiencing phobias recognize that their fears are irrational but feel helpless to control them. Continue reading