Causes and remedies for Fear and Phobia

The article covers the reasons and remedies for fear caused by an object or situation (Phobia).

Fear and Phobia

Fear is a painful emotion caused by danger or thought of danger. It is a necessary part of life. As courage puts life in danger, so fear preserves it.

Fear is not to be ashamed of. It is a protection against risks and prompts us to take action when life is in danger. When a man slips and falls in the middle of a busy road, the fear of being run over by a truck or any other vehicle will prompt him to take immediate action. Somehow or tohter he will get up and run off for safety.

Fear is of two kinds. Rational fear and chronic anxiety amounting to panic which we call 'phobia'. The Greek word ‘phobos' means ‘fear'.

A housewife discovers a lump on her skin and she is a little bit upset. She goes to a doctor for consultation due to fear. This is an instance of ‘rational fear'.

‘Phobias' are irrational and exaggerated. At times they are quite out of proportion to the facts of the situation. To run away from a spider in a web or a rat in a cage are instances of phobias that afflict a human mind. Incidents in early childhood lead to phobias in a person.

As children we conquered some of our fears by doing the very thing which we fear to do. The reason is fear and excitement are connected. When we learn to ride on a bicycle or drive a car, fear falls off. Link between fear and excitement partly explains why the very things with some people hate intensely are a source of great pleasure to others.

Mountaineering is a risky adventure. There is every possibility of losing life. The members of a mountaineering party are somewhat unwilling to climb the mountain. But the desire to do something extraordinary is not suppressed. Fear in this context conceals a fiery expression of desire.

Will power helps man to conquer fear. Develop will power and face the problems that arise without fear. To overcome phobias behavior therapy is good. It treats the symptom by exposing the patient gradually to the thing which he fears. It does not find out the meaning of fear but treats the symptom itself. Analytical psychotherapy helps a person to understand the meaning of fear and bring emotional rebirth. This treatment heals the personality problem.


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