Differentiating between fear and phobia

In the air that fills the world around humanity, there is a lot of fear, the fear of not being good enough or fear of failure. At the same time, humanity is surrounded with phobias of various kinds as well. When differentiating between fear and phobia, fear stands for exhibiting a natural and an innate part of one’s emotions. Fears are usually a defense mechanism for a person to cope with an unpleasant or unwanted situation. Whereas while understanding the difference between fear and phobia, phobia is a shade of fear or anxiety that is persistent in a person that lessens their ability to function normally. Phobias are however anxiety disorders, that are apparently in contrast to normal fear a person manifests.

What is Fear?

To establish the meaning of fear while differentiating between fear and phobia, fear is an inherent emotion that is an essential and natural aspect of our being. It can be an extension of a trigger, for instance, a dog barking and running towards you or going to a dentist for the removal of teeth.

Fear might portray an emotion or an action that is unfitting to a situation. Such as being scared of sleeping alone or fear of darkness, right after watching a horror movie.

Kinds of Fears?

Dr. Karl Albrecht had come up with five types of fear which can be:

  • Fear of ceasing to live or exist. This leads one to live a life in constant fear of what the future might hold and if a person will be able to make it.
  • Fear of your physical existence being invaded. This brings fear of living a restricted life devoid of emotional stability and mental balance.
  • Fear of loss of control, enables a person to live a life where they might have consistent fear. Fear of being sidelined or might face a loss of authority.
  • Fear of separation, living alone, or being rejected.
  • Fear of being subjected to insult or humiliation.

Hence while differentiating between fear and phobia, fear is caused by an outcome of unprocessed emotion deep within us, hence we avoid being present in those places that may cause them to panic or freeze or act as a trigger.

Fear of Failure in business
Fear of Failure in business
Image Credit: https://bit.ly/3Nl10uk

What is Phobia?

Differentiating between fear and phobia, phobias are essentially a type of anxiety disorder that can make an individual act or portray an extreme behavior. It can be socially constructed ideas or beliefs, coming out of one’s own personal experience, where a person is unable to be reasonable.

Anxiety often leads to subjects a person to unpleasant feelings/ emotions and causes distress. It can cause an everlasting effect on people.

People who have the condition of phobia often avoid phobic objects. The avoidance is usually to save themselves from extreme outcomes and consequences due to their anxiety.

Kinds of Phobias

The condition of phobia has limitless numbers of ways, means, or objects which can be a source of trigger for any person. The object of the phobia and its impact depends on the ways an individual is exposed to it.

It can include :-

  • Having social phobias, where a person might have panic and anxiety attacks due to overcrowded spaces.
  • Having a phobia towards insects, animals, or environmental reasons like heights, drowning, or thunder.
  • Having a phobia of situations that are specific in nature, for instance – flying, riding, or driving.
  • It can also include phobias of loud noise or choking.
Phobia of Drowning
Phobia of Drowning
Image Credit: https://bit.ly/3I4DrVx

Differentiating between Fear and Phobia

Differentiating between fear and phobia, the fear, that a person exhibits to protect them from unforeseen situations whereas phobias are not the same as Fear.

Phobias occur when there is a miscoordination in responsiveness from the brain side to react in a particular manner. Phobias are distinctly the anxieties and fears that have constantly been blocking a person’s ability to respond or function normally.

The person acts normal and moderately in terms of fear, however in times of facing a phobia the individual’s reaction is extreme.

The fear can be about a particular object or scenario, whereas, Phobias endure a large amount of discomfort as the main object of Phobia causes sudden anxiety and panic.

Fear of shadows
Fear of shadows
Image Credit: https://bit.ly/3Nl10uk


Differentiating between fear and phobia, that is, fears are usually a defense mechanism for a person to cope with an unpleasant or unwanted situation. it is deeply rooted in our emotions and the ways we deal with many situations at hand, so as to come out stronger.

On the other hand, Phobias are constant and never-ending intense reactions to fears and anxiety a person has towards certain situations or objects. Phobias are challenging and often make a person go through uncomfortable extremities, which might lead to taking medical help or therapy in order to attain a balanced emotional intelligence.





Tags: Fear and Phobia, Mental Health, Personality Development, Psychology, Youth Development, youth mental health,

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