Q1. The 411 Ewha students who participated in the survey were suffering from various phobias. Are there certain personality types that are more prone to phobias?
A1. Demographically speaking, phobia occurs more in the younger generation than in older people. Usually, women suffer more from phobias than men. Sensitive people, perfectionists, and scrupulous people tend to show more symptoms than well-rounded people.
Q2. There are two types of phobias: fear of a subject or situation that can cause direct harm and fear of subject and situation where one's emotions or reaction will cause harm. What consequences can result when suffering severely from a phobia?
A2. A serious state of phobia does not result in a psychotic state. However, serious levels of social phobias (fear of people or society) or Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places) can restrict people's social life, as they will avoid social activities and isolate themselves. In the movie "Copycat"(1995), we can see how the main character (played by Sigourney Weaver) does not go out and lives in isolation because of Agoraphobia.
Q3. What is the most efficient treatment when suffering from a phobia?
A3. Medically, all phobias are divided into three main branches: Agoraphobia, social phobia, and simple phobia. When one suffers from a slight degree of phobia, being aware that their phobia is irrational helps one to focus on reality. In this case it's helpful to just stop thinking about the phobia and concentrate on work or some other topic. However, if the phobia gets serious, it is difficult to overcome the fear by oneself, so medical help from professionals is beneficial.
Q4. What are the symptoms of phobia?
A4. The mental symptoms are:
◆Sudden and intense terror.
◆The feeling of falling down to the ground.
◆Losing touch with reality
◆Losing your sense of identity.
The Physical symptoms are:
◆Nausea and Vomiting.
◆Increased Heart rate.
◆Difficulty in Breathing.
Q5. Children suffer from some phobias such as Astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightening), but the fear lessens when they grow older. Why does this happen?
A5. This happens as children get used to the stimulus and comfortably accept it. It is called a desensitization phenomenon. Also, as the brain matures, cognition skills develop. Therefore, children learn the distinction between real threats and imaginary threats.
|This information has been provided by Kim Jeong-soo M.D., Ph. D. from the Vie Psychiatric Clinic.|