Phobic anxiety disorders

Phobic anxiety disorders

Phobic anxiety disorders include neurotic forms of pathologies with pronounced cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Within the framework of pathology, doctors consider both phobias and a whole complex of symptoms that characterize the body’s response to the phenomenon of fear.

Frustration is accompanied by the presence of a strong unreasonable fear that appears when performing an action: getting into certain situations or during contact with certain objects. Today, psychotherapists have not been able to establish the exact number of existing phobias, but there are lists with more than 300 items.

Classification of phobic anxiety disorders

Despite its many forms, psychiatrists divide phobic anxiety disorders into three key groups: agoraphobia, social phobias, and a complex of simple phobias. The complex of simple phobias includes several hundred varieties. The most common of them are: claustrophobia, tetraphobia and aerophobia.

Let’s consider some phobias in more detail:

  • Agoraphobia

It is a complicated phobic disorder, accompanied by the appearance of fear in a specific situation, when there is no way to get help quickly, or in a place from which you cannot quickly and imperceptibly leave. People suffering from this pathology try to bypass wide streets, avoid large open spaces, squares, large transport hubs and other similar places. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a person can either stop leaving the house or lead a fairly active life with entertainment and attending work.

  • Social phobias (social phobia)

It is accompanied by the strongest experiences and fears when falling into typical social situations. As a rule, fear among anti-social people is associated with the possibility of not justifying the demands and expectations of others, being humiliated in front of other people. During the period of experience, a person develops characteristic symptoms: nausea, tremors and a number of other reactions of the body. Such people are afraid of performing at public events, they may be afraid to go to saunas, swimming pools, restaurants, as well as other places where other people are.

  • Hypochondriacal phobias

They are characterized by the appearance of an unreasonable fear in a person of an illness. People suffering from this phobia are very afraid of getting sick or suffer from an obsessive thought about the presence of any disease. Due to acute fear, characteristic symptoms appear, which may be accompanied by indigestion, heart palpitations, dizziness, etc.

After visiting a doctor and hearing from him information that they do not have a particular disease, hypochondriacs may feel disappointed.

  • Panic attacks

They are accompanied by severe and painful attacks of anxiety, provoking vegetative symptoms and causeless fear. The physiological manifestations of a panic attack are: tachycardia, a feeling of impending death, a feeling of inner trembling, confusion of thoughts, etc.

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Causes of disorder

Despite the impressive progress in modern psychiatry, it has not yet been possible to establish the exact reasons for the formation of phobic anxiety disorders. But there are a number of factors that can provoke the development of the problem. Physicians working in the field of behavioral therapy associate the development of phobic disorders with a specific reaction of the body to a specific stimulus, similar to an allergy.

In some cases, phobias can be passed from parent to child, for example, if a mother sees an insect and shows panic, the child may develop an insect phobia.

Symptoms and clinical picture

A key symptom of all phobic anxiety disorders is a pronounced fear at sight or contact with phobic objects. As a rule, it is accompanied by active reactions of the autonomic nervous system: tachycardia, dizziness, indigestion, increased pressure, etc.

The first symptom that manifests itself when a person collides with a phobic object is a panic attack, which develops into fear with its further aggravation. With prolonged contact, the phobia depletes a person morally and physically – to reduce discomfort, patients may become addicted to alcohol or drug abuse.

Phobic anxiety disorders and treatment

Despite the high complexity of mental disorders, timely and correct medical care can provide effective treatment. The most common psychotherapeutic method that demonstrates a positive effect is cognitive-behavioral therapy, aimed at complex desensitization of the body against the background of muscle tissue relaxation.

In difficult cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be carried out in conjunction with medical treatment, involving the use of: tranquilizers – to influence physiology and antidepressants to normalize mental state.

The duration of treatment depends on a number of factors: the complexity of the psychological disorder, the individual characteristics of the organism and the chosen method of treatment.

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