Phobias: Many people suffer from common and uncommon fears

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Many people suffer from tropanophobia, which is the fear of needles. Around ten percent of people avoid medical care because of their fear.

Emma Cole, Staff Writer

Phobias affect many people, causing them to have irrational fears. An extreme fear could affect someone’s everyday life and a person’s behavior.

Many phobias develop from past experiences. For example, chromophobia, the fear of colors could be developed from something as simple as a traumatic event taking place in a green room. Because the room was green, the chromophobe could fear the color green, according to phobiasource.com.

Other fears have more complex meanings, such as the fear of dogs. The fear of dogs, or cynophobia, can develop after a person was attacked or injured by dogs.

Another example is the fear of thinking, or phronemophobia, which develops from within the mind, most of the time not from experiences. Often, phronemophobes are afraid of what goes on in their own mind.

According to phobiasource.com, a phronemophobe could have imagined doing something they would never do in real life. They often don’t realize that what takes place in their minds doesn’t have to happen in real life, causing them to not want to think.

Many phobias are considered irrational or too extreme. The majority of people who favor dogs would find cynophobia to be irrational. Dog lovers often don’t understand cynophobia because they haven’t had bad experiences with dogs, causing them to not understand why anyone could fear them.

The fear of needles, called trypanophobia, is common in ten percent of people, according to healthline.com. Around twenty percent of people avoid medical treatment because of their fear of needles. The fear, usually considered normal, develops from experiences with needles, which could have gone good or bad. Most people fearing needles find themselves afraid of the pain, while others are afraid of something being in their skin.

Marie Schlaf, a seventh grader, said she had some fears that people may consider odd or unnatural.

“My mom thinks it’s weird that I’m scared to use the cheese grater,” said Schlaf.
Schlaf said she is afraid of using the cheese grater because she fears cutting herself on it. The fear came from a past experience when she cut herself using it and she would rather not repeat the experience.

“I think a lot of phobias develop from past experiences, especially if they were traumatic,” said Schlaf.

Lexi Taylor, a seventh grader, said that the majority of fears develop from past experiences, even if they weren’t that traumatic.

“I think the fear of cats is weird because they’re just domestic house cats. You could probably just pick them up and move them if you don’t like them,” said Taylor.

Though phobias come from traumatic experiences, they can be overcome with help. A majority of fears could possibly be overcome with exposure to what they fear. Therapists may try to reintroduce the object of fear in a non-threatening way. For example, someone with chromophobia could overcome it with exposure therapy. A therapist may expose the person to the color they fear.

Phronemophobes may have a harder time overcoming their fears. Since their fears don’t come from the past, exposure therapy may not work. To help a phronemophobe, therapists have to show them that what takes place in their mind doesn’t have to occur in real life.

Whether using exposure therapy or other complicated methods, many fears can be cured by looking into what caused the fear in the first place.