This is a frequently-asked question, the difference between agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of being in places where you might have a panic attack or escape might be difficult. Some people with panic disorder go on to also develop agoraphobia. As agoraphobia progresses, you increasingly become home-bound, as you are fearful of places […]
Is Agoraphobia a Specific Phobia or a Social Phobia?
No- agoraphobia is not a social phobia or a specific phobia. Agoraphobia is a fear of places where escape may be difficult or help may not be available in the event of you having a panic attack or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms (fear of falling, fear of incontinence, etc.). Furthermore, agoraphobia diagnosis requires the […]
Can You Develop A Fear Of Heights Through Classical Conditioning?
Yes, you can develop a fear of heights through classical conditioning. So the basic idea for classical conditioning is this: an unconditioned stimulus (US) naturally produces an unconditioned response (UR). But when you pair a US with a conditioned stimulus (CS), then this continues to produce the UR. After multiple pairings, the CS can be presented alone to […]
How Does D-Cycloserine Work For Phobias?
D-cycloserine (Seromycin) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of specific phobia, such as fear of spiders (arachnophobia) or a fear of heights (acrophobia). However, D-cycloserine is not helpful as a sole treatment for specific phobia- it is prescribed as an adjunctive treatment to exposure therapy. D-cycloserine helps to facilitate fear extinction during exposure sessions. […]
What would cause someone to have a fear of certain animals?
A fear of animals and insects is a common phobia in the population. The development of a phobia to animals and insects occurs as follows…a fearful stimulus is transmitted to a part of the brain called the amygdala. As an example, let’s say you are stung by a bee. Being stung is a noxious stimulus that […]
How are phobias caused biologically?
Phobias (also known as specific phobia) are triggered by a stressful or fearful experience or object. This fearful sensory input is then sent to the amygdala (the fear processing center of the brain), where it ‘remembers’ the fearful stimulus. The activated amygdala also starts the cascade known as the fight or flight response, where the sympathetic […]
How Specific Phobia Evolves- The Negative Cycle of Specific Phobia
Previously, we had discussed how anxiety evolves from the negative cycle of anxiety: triggers lead to thoughts about the situation or event, which lead to anxiety, which lead to avoidant behaviors which maintain the negative cycle of anxiety. When anxiety starts to disrupt your life, then an anxiety disorder may emerge. Anxiety disorders are divided […]
How Do You Get Over Your Fear of Heights?
Being afraid generally of anything can be very tiring, and it can interfere with your quality of life. Trying to avoid situations which can provoke your fears can be exhausting, especially if you are exposed to them in your surroundings. The extreme fear of heights is also known as acrophobia, and it is more common […]
Can Claustrophobia be Treated?
Claustrophobia is defined as the irrational fear of confined spaces. Like any phobia, the severity of claustrophobia can vary widely from person to person. Some people may experience symptoms in small rooms, crawl spaces, crowds or other enclosed situations; these people might find discomfort on amusement park rides such as roller coasters that use secure […]
A deliberate crash and an accidental crash landing- is it making you anxious about flying?
Recent news about the Germanwings crash and the crash landing at a Canadian airport has people quite concerned. Not only are there accidental crashes…there apparently are deliberate ones. This has triggered memories for some of the World Trade Center tragedy almost 14 years ago. Add to this the disappearance of one Malaysia Airlines flight and […]