Categories for Fear

Types of Phobias Essay

Types of Phobias Essay

Our psychics still stands very far away from the complete understanding of the processes that take place inside our mind. One of the striking evidences for this statement is the widest variety of fears that quite often enthrall people, and what is more, there are no easy ways to find any reasonable explanation to expand their origin. However, this problem is widely discussed in psychology and there is a special term to denote strong fear, aversion or terror, phobia. Anyone can be affected by phobia – even celebrities such as Nicole Kidman who is afraid of butterflies, Johnny Depp who is terrified of clowns, and Christina Ricci who is scared of sharks in the swimming pool.

In this essay we shall describe a number of different instances of phobia and illustrate that generally they can be divided into to types, namely those which fall under rational explanation and respectively those which are based on deep psychological roots and defy any rational interpretation or explanation.

Exactly the complexity and even sometimes impossibility to explain certain phobias, together with the need to apply an individual approach to examine each such case allows us to assert that our psyche and mental activity still is full of uncountable mysteries.

Hundred thousands or even millions of people all over the world suffer from acrophobia or in other words the fear of heights. Basing on evidences and psychological studies this is likely to be the most spread form of phobias. Many of us have met people who feel petrified staying on an absolutely safe balcony of the skyscraper. So these are the apparent victims of acrophobia.

There is little or no distinction between this kind of phobia and bathophobia, fear of depths; both involve fear of falling. The both forms of phobia have a simple rational explanation. Height and depth contain certain potential danger for a person. What helps realize this danger is person’s instinct for self-preservation, which compels a person to leave potentially dangerous place. However, in some cases the instinct for self-preservation transforms into exceptionally acute form, known to us as phobia.

Another instance of phobia is arachnophobia or fear of spiders. Unlike the phobias discussed above this kind of fear is not related to the possible danger for life and cannot be explained by any reasonable means. To understand this phobia nature let us illustrate the particular case described in the newspaper Daily Record. Carol-Ann Swanson has been scared of spiders since she was a girl. At the age of 29 she admitted her tendency to scream and run away from anything that looked remotely like a spider and understood it was not quiet a normal thing for a psychiatry worker, so she decided to find the reasons for her fears.

The psychoanalysis brought her back to her childhood when Ann’s older brother used to get her to close her eyes put a spider in her outstretched hand. Later that fear became a firm phobia in primary school. The teacher found out she was scared so she put a poster of a huge spider on the wall and asked her to touch it. The whole class discussed her fear, so it made her feel really embarrassed. Even the pom-pom spiders that hung from the classroom ceiling were ‘terrifying’. Thus we can see that in this given example through thorough psychological analysis one can derive the origin and explanation of the phobia.

Nevertheless, there is a huge number of phobias which cannot be so easily interpreted of studied. For instance, if a lot people do not often feel very happy when seeing a spider then arachnophobia does not seem too abnormal phenomenon. However, such phobias like ailurophobia (fear of cats), koniophobia (fear of dust), anthophobia (fear of flowers), aurophobia (fear of gold) are considerably more complicated for interpretation.

The problem of phobia origin still contains a lot of undiscovered facets. Among them the specialists (Kleinknecht R.) underline the following: Why some people at certain circumstances suffer from phobia and others do not? Why a person cannot overcome his or her phobia by the understanding that this fear is groundless?

Are there any universal methods applicable to all people suffering from phobia? While there are no direct answers to these questions there is a strong need to apply individual approach to study each particular instance of phobia. The difficulty and sometimes even the helplessness in dealing with phobia gives the grounds for claim that our mind and mental processes occurring there still present a lot of riddles to be solved.

References:

Kleinknecht, Ronald A. Mastering Anxiety: The Nature and Treatment of Anxious Conditions. New York: Insight Books, 1991.

“Does This Tarantula Scare You? Amazing irrational fears that plague so many terrified victims; The like Carol-Ann You Are One of 50,000 Scots with a Phobia. Lifestyle Coach Alastair Campbell Helps Her Face Her Demons.” Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) 2 Mar. 2005.

Biography.ms. Retrieved on 22 Jan. 2006 from http://www.biography.ms/List_of_phobias.html

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Thought Experiment Essay

Thought Experiment Essay

The fear of death is natural for all human beings regardless of race or culture and perhaps the only thing that separates the fear among different cultures are the vast array of concepts and views pertaining to it. After the concept of a higher being, death is perhaps the second most philosophically debated topic and rightly so, because as the text supplied to us said “we can and must postulate, as reasonably as possible, what our end has in store for us.

            Historically speaking, the fear of death itself has been a hotly debated topic and has even been used for ulterior motives such as the case of the Catholic Church and their concept of plenary indulgence. In more recent times the fear of death has even been used as an incentive, fundamentalist Muslims have turned the fear into something that should be welcomed and coupled with the promise of seventy-seven virgins in the afterlife, has itself been used to persuade impressionable people into wearing vest bombs.

            Fear is indeed a great motivator and yes, few things can compete with the fear of death but I beg to differ about it and I’ll even go so far as to say that not only should you not fear death but you should in all sense of the word, welcome that fear and turn it into something positive.

            Following the arguments from the texts given to us, the first thing we should consider is the question of whether it is rational to fear death. Of course, death being unable to exist at the same time and place as you can therefore not harm you and should not be feared. The fear of death is irrational in all respects according to this argument and rightly so. Unfortunately, there are such things as irrational fears and I suspect that the fear of death has enough magnitude to trump rationality –at least most of the time.

            It is a given fact that we do indeed fear death regardless of whether it is rational or irrational to do so. In that regard, what other choices are there? Death being a fact of life means that we can do nothing else about it but to simply accept it. We can of course at this point minimize the fear of death by proving that it is not death itself that should be feared but rather a life unlived.

            The “badness” of death can actually depend on what would have happened to a person if that person’s death had not taken place. Suppose then that some very old and unhappy person dies and considering that further life would inevitably only lead to more pain for this person, then dying is not so bad for him (Feldman 140). Some may even see death for this person as a blessing and arguably, this is where one should start looking as death as more than something to fear but as something that could be a motivation.

            Death should not be feared, it should be seen as a reminder that a person may have a greater purpose in his life and should do all he can to strive for it. It is a reminder that regardless of whether there is an afterlife or not, this life matters and one does not have a lot of time to MAKE it matter. Yes, the fear of death is irrational, but more than that, is it not more irrational to make nothing of death and simply accept it?

            At this point it seems that I arrived at a different conclusion than the author of the given text. It just seems to me that the author is so focused on death as an end rather than as an opportunity. Yes, death is an end but is it not also an opportunity to be reminded that there are things you could achieve and people you can touch before that end ultimately comes?

            At the end of the day, I do concede that we have no doubt proven the irrationality of death but I also argue that not only have we proven that but we may have also given a solution regarding it. By considering the rationality of death, I’m was hard pressed not to consider the rationality of life itself and now I’ll have to conclude that the only solution to the fear of death is simply acceptance and doing what you can to make sure that when the proverbial clock ends, you will be able to look the reaper in the eye and say that you have no regrets.

Works Cited

Feldman, Fred. Confrontations with the Reaper. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

 

Overcoming the fear of speaking in public Essay

Overcoming the fear of speaking in public Essay

I heard several stories of how it was like speaking in public for the first time. While some would be tongue tied for the first few moments and stare in to a blank space, others knees would simply give way to the painful fact that no force would blow them away or hide them from the drowning gaze of their audience. My experience was in no way different from theirs. I had resisted and vehemently opposed every attempt to bring me to speak before the congregation of my local church.

‘I am not good at debating,’ or ‘I got the information late, so I could not prepare’ were among the several excuses I would bring up whenever I was enlisted for any debating competition in the church. But this day, I was ‘shoed’ to the front by my mother to give a testimony on my escape from a deathly road accident. At first, my buttocks felt like they were glued to the seat.

I went blank and no words would form in my head.

Standing before the congregation, I felt like running away. I searched for what could distract me and then I found the shape of the pulpit attention drawing. I slurred on the first few words, but I later gained confidence. Right there and then, I was completely discharged of all stage fright. I delivered my first public speech, if I may call it that. Ever since then, I find it easy and less disturbing to address the public, their number notwithstanding.

I joined a freelance writing company recently. I used to have problem with meeting deadlines, customers were always sending back my works for revision and I was losing my earning with the company. I was frustrated and I felt like leaving. But I decided to take it as a challenge and to resist giving in to frustration. I have been doing fine ever since. I also learnt how to relate well with customers. I acquired also professional writing skills.