Phobias and Ways to Deal with Them Assignment Help

Phobias and Ways to Deal with Them Assignment Help

What are Phobias?

A phobia can be described as an irrational and excessive reaction to fear. A person with a phobia will experience a deep sense of panic when they encounter a source of fear. This fear may be caused by an object, a situation, or a certain place. This fear is linked to something specific.

Phobias and Ways to Deal with Them Assignment Help

Phobias and Ways to Deal with Them Assignment Help

The effect of a phobia ranges from annoying to very disabling. A person with a phobia might realize that their fear is irrational but are not able to do much about it. Phobias can easily interfere with personal relationships, school, or work.

Phobias can be described as an unreasonable and overwhelming fear of situations or objects that are not dangerous. These objects and situations however may provoke avoidance and anxiety. Some phobias are short term such as the phobia a person experiences when taking a test or writing a speech.

Other phobias are long-lasting and trigger strong psychological and physical reactions and are likely to affect the way a person functions at work, in social settings, and even at school. Some specific phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder. Some phobias need treatment while others don’t. However, if a person experiences a specific order that significantly affects their life, they should seek medical help.

Several therapies can help such a person to work through their fears and overcome them. These therapies are helpful because they might help a person to permanently overcome their fears and regain their quality of life.

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Causes of Phobias are covered at

Specific phobias may be caused by environmental and genetic factors. For instance, a child whose close relative suffers from an anxiety disorder is at a higher risk of developing a phobia. Phobia can also be caused by distressing events and situations such as nearly drowning or being in a car accident.  A person may also develop a phobia if they are exposed to extreme heights, certain animals and insects that bite, and confined spaces.

Some people with health concerns and certain medical conditions can develop phobias. For instance, people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries and depression are likely to develop phobias.  Some cases of phobias are also linked to substance abuse.

The symptoms of phobias are different from those of mental illnesses like schizophrenia. For instance, people with schizophrenia will experience paranoia, delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations, and disorganized symptoms. On the other hand, people with phobias might be irrational but they are in touch with reality.

symptoms of phobias covered in our assignment help

Panic attacks are the most common symptom of a phobia. A panic attack is characterized by:

  • nausea
  • racing heart or pounding heart
  • upset stomach
  • dry mouth
  • shortness of breath
  • a sense of impending doom
  • chest pain or tightness
  • profuse sweating
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • rapid speech or inability to speak
  • trembling or shaking
  • a choking sensation
  • elevated blood pressure

A person with a phobia usually experiences an intense fear of a certain situation or object. This fear is usually persistent. However, this fear is out of proportion compared to the actual risk the object or situation poses.

There are different types of phobias. A person might have a specific phobia about multiple situations or objects. Some people may experience phobias along with anxiety disorders.  Phobias can be classified according to fears of:

  • choking, vomiting, clowns, or loud noises
  • situations like airplanes, going to school, or enclosed spaces
  • animals or insects like spiders or dogs
  • nature such as heights and thunderstorms
  • blood, injury, or injection like accidents, needles, or medical procedures

Every phobia has its name. Examples of names used to describe phobias are claustrophobia which is used to describe the fear of confined spaces and acrophobia which describes the fear of heights. Phobias are likely to trigger the following reactions;

  • a person may try to do everything possible to avoid the situation or object or endure a situation with a lot of fear or anxiety
  • inability to function normally due to their fear.
  • a person may experience intense anxiety, fear, or panic whenever they think or get exposed to their source of fear.
  • anxiety that increases when the object or situation gets closer to them
  • feeling nauseated, fainting or dizzy around injuries or blood
  • physical sensations or reactions like difficulty breathing, tight chest, rapid heartbeat or sweating.
  • a person may be aware that their fears are exaggerated and unreasonable but will still feel powerless to control them
  • Children may cry, be clinging, throw tantrums, refuse to approach the fear, or leave their parents.
  1. Agoraphobia – this is the of places or situations a person can’t escape from. People with this phobia are afraid of being trapped outside their homes or being in large crowds. People with agoraphobia prefer staying at home to avoid social situations.

They are in constant fear that they may experience a panic attack at a place they cannot escape. For instance, people with agoraphobia who have other health problems fear that they might experience a medical emergency in a place where they cannot get help or in a public area.

  1. Social phobia – social phobia is also called social anxiety disorder. Social phobia is being worried about social situations. In some people, social phobia might lead to self-isolation. Sometimes social phobia is so severe that a person may have a hard time even with the simplest interactions. Such a person may panic when answering the phone or even ordering a meal at a restaurant.

Social phobia might cause a person to go out of their way to avoid public and social situations.

Other types of phobias

It is common for people to dislike certain objects or situations. However, for them to be classified as a phobia, these situations or objects have to interfere with their daily lives. Additional common phobias include:

  • Gloss phobia – glossophobia is also known as performance anxiety. It can also be described as the fear of speaking in front of crowds. People with glossophobia will experience severe physical symptoms even by just thinking about being in front of an audience. Glossophobia can be treated using medication or therapy.
  • Acrophobia – acrophobia is the fear of heights. People with acrophobia will avoid higher floors of buildings, mountains, and bridges. Symptoms of acrophobia include dizziness, sweating, loss of consciousness or passing out, and vertigo.
  • Claustrophobia – claustrophobia is the fear of tight or enclosed spaces. Severe cases of claustrophobia can be disabling especially if they prevent a person from riding in elevators or cars.
  • Dentophobia – this is the fear of dental procedures or the dentist. Dentophobia will start after a person has had an unpleasant experience at the dentist’s office. Some cases of dentophobia are harmful because they may prevent a person from getting dental care.
  • Aviophobia – this is the fear of flying
  • Arachnophobia – this is the fear of spiders
  • Cynophobia – this is the fear of dogs
  • Hemophobia – this is the fear of injury or blood. People with hemophobia may faint if they come in contact with their blood or that of another person.
  • Ophidiophobia – this is the fear of snakes
  • Nyctophobia – this is the fear of darkness or nighttime. Most times, nyctophobia begins in childhood. When this fear persists past adolescence, it becomes a phobia.

Complications of Phobias

Some phobias may be seen as silly but that does not mean that they are not devastating to the people with them. Severe phobias usually interfere with a different aspects of the life of people. Such complications include:

  • Social isolation – social isolation is when people with specific phobias avoid things and places, they are afraid of. Social isolation causes relationship, academic and professional problems. Children with social isolation may have academic problems and may have trouble with their social skills especially when the difference between them and their peers is very clear.
  • Substance abuse – the stress that comes from living with a specific phobia can lead to alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Mood disorders – people with specific phobias usually have anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Suicide – people who are at risk of certain severe phobias are at risk of suicide.

diagnosis of phobias

Phobias are diagnosed based on diagnostic guidelines and thorough clinical interviews.  During diagnosis, the doctor will enquire about the symptoms. go through the person’s social, medical, and psychiatric history.

The doctor will use the diagnostic criteria as is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

treatment of phobias

Exposure therapy is known to be the best treatment for specific phobias. Exposure therapy is a form of psychotherapy. In some instances, the doctor may recommend medication or additional therapies.

Treatment of specific phobias focuses more on treating the avoidance behavior that a person develops over time and not on the cause of the phobia. The goal of treating specific phobias is to improve the quality of life of a person. This helps make sure that the person is not limited by their phobias.

Learning how to relate to and to better manage a person’s thoughts, feelings and reactions will help reduce the fear and anxiety and ensure that the two no longer control the life of a person. Treatment focuses on one phobia at a time.

  • Psychotherapy – psychotherapy involves talking with a mental health professional to help manage the specific phobia. The most effective treatments of psychotherapy are cognitive behavior therapy and exposure therapy.
  1. exposure therapy – the goal of exposure therapy is to change a person’s reaction to the particular situation or object that they fear. Being repeatedly exposed to the source of the fear and the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that come with it can help a person to learn how to manage their anxiety.

For instance, for a person who is afraid of elevators, therapy may progress from thinking about getting into them, to looking at images of elevators, to going near them and to getting into them.

  1. cognitive behavioral therapy – this therapy combines exposure and other techniques to help the patient learn ways to see and cope with the object or situation they are afraid of. It helps them deal with their fears in a different manner.

The patient learns different beliefs about their bodily sensations and fears in addition to their impact on their life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims at helping the person to learn how to develop a sense of confidence and mastery with their feelings and thoughts instead of being overwhelmed by them.

  • medications – in most cases, exposure therapy is successful in treating specific phobias. However, some cases may need medication to reduce panic attacks and the anxiety a person experiences from being exposed or even thinking about the situation or object they are afraid of.

In the treatment of specific phobias, medications are used for short-term use or during the initial treatment. Medication may also be used during situations that are not frequently encountered such as public speaking, going through an MRI procedure, or when flying on a plane.

  1. sedatives – particularly those known as benzodiazepines can help a person to relax by reducing their anxiety. However, sedatives should be used with caution because they can be very addictive. People with a history of drug dependence or alcohol dependence should stay away from sedatives.
  2. beta-blockers – beta-blockers block the stimulating effect of adrenaline like a pounding heart, shaking voice, elevated blood pressure, and increased heart rate that occurs due to anxiety.

Prevention of Phobias

People with specific phobias should get psychological help, especially those with children. In some cases, genetics contribute to the development of certain phobias. Specific phobias are also caused by repeating someone else’s phobic reactions.

Parents should deal with their fears to teach their children resiliency skills and encourage them to deal with theirs. Children often fear being left alone, some fear monsters and the darkness. Normally, they outgrow them before they become adolescents.

However, if these or other fears persist and interfere with their lives, the parent needs to talk to the child’s doctor.

Lifestyle and home remedies for specific phobias

It is important to ask the doctor about lifestyle changes and strategies that can help manage the anxiety that comes with specific phobias. For instance:

  • mindful strategies can help a person learn how to reduce avoidance behavior that is triggered by phobias and how to deal with anxiety.
  • relaxation techniques like yoga and deep breathing can help deal with stress and anxiety
  • physical exercise and activity can help manage anxiety.

Coping and support

Important steps a person can take to manage or overcome their phobia include:

  • reaching out by joining support groups or self-help groups can help a person connect with people going through the same problem
  • taking care of themself by eating healthy, getting enough rest, and being physically active. Avoiding things like caffeine that may worsen anxiety can also help.
  • trying not to avoid situations you are afraid of. Frequently staying near situations, you are afraid of the can to help instead of avoiding them.

How to help children cope with fears

Parents can do the following to help their children deal with their fears:

  1. talking openly about fears – parents should let their children know that people experience scary feelings and thoughts sometimes although some experience more than others. They should not belittle their children for being scared or afraid. Instead, they should talk to them about their feelings and fears and reassure them that you are there to listen and help.
  2. do not reinforce the specific phobias – help them to cope when confronted with their fears and show them how to be brave.
  • model positive behavior – children mostly learn by watching. Parents should take advantage of this and demonstrate to their children how they should respond when they are confronted by situations or objects that they are afraid of. Parents should demonstrate fear followed by how to work through the fear.

If parents notice that their child’s fear is persistent, excessive, and interferes with their daily life, they should talk to the child’s doctor. The doctor will advise them on whether there is a need for professional diagnosis and treatment.


Excessive and unreasonable fear can be annoying. For example, excessive fear of driving on the freeway or taking an elevator can force a person to take the stairs and take the long way to work respectively.

Fears are not considered phobias unless they interfere with the daily life of a person. If you experience fears that affect how you function in social situations, school, or work, it is important to talk to your doctor or mental health professional for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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