Fear: What Are You Afraid Of?
Everybody is afraid of something. Some people are afraid of things others would think they shouldn't be afraid of, such as clowns.
It is normal and good to experience fear to keep us from harm. For instance, it is a good thing to fear swimming with sharks. It is good to fear playing with a loaded gun. It is good to fear running in front of a moving car. Often times, our fears protect us from obvious harm.
Fear is a Response to a Terrifying Experience
Fear is a normal response to physical and emotional danger.
There might be a legitimate reason for every fear. Some fears are brought on because of one terrifying experience. For instance, if a child almost drowns he will have a fear of swimming even as an adult. A person who has survived a terrible car accident may have a fear of driving.
Top 10 Fears Among Teenagers
According to a Gallup Poll, the top ten fears among teenagers include the following:
- terrorist attacks
- criminal violence
- gang violence
- being alone
- the future
- nuclear war
It is interesting that only two things appear on the list of things teenagers fear and on the list of things adults are afraid of. They are death and failure.
Top 10 Fears Among Adults
According to queries online, adults are most afraid of the following things:
What the Bible Says About Fear
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
What is a Phobia?
The word phobia comes from a Greek word meaning "aversion," "fear" or "morbid fear."
Phobias exist when people have intense fears of particular things or situations. Usually, fears are greater than the actual danger or harm. However, that doesn't keep people with phobias from feeling like the danger is magnified and very real. Experts estimate that about 5 percent of people in the United States have at least one phobia. They also conclude that women are slightly more likely than men to have phobias.
Phobias can significantly impact everyday life and interfere with normal activities. When people have phobias, they will avoid situations related to their fears. For instance, if a person has a phobia of dogs, he might avoid going where he knows dogs will be. People with a phobia of elevators will step the stair and avoid using an elevator.
All phobias are fears, but not all fears are phobias.
While there are hundreds of phobias among people, there are some common phobias. They include the following:
- claustrophobia (fear of enclosed places)
- acrophobia (fear of heights)
- arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)
- cynophobia (fear of dogs)
- Agoraphobia (fear of having a panic attack in public)
- Mysophobia (fear of germs)
How Phobias Can Be Overcome
Some phobias come into a person's life because of particular personality traits, certain genetic factors he has been born with, or a combination of some past life experiences.
People do not have to live with phobias all their lives. Phobias can be overcome when people slowly facing their fears one small step at a time. Someone who fears dogs may begin by looking at pictures of dogs in books, magazines and on television. Then he can build up enough courage to pet a dog before playing with a dog.
Professional help may be necessary for people who have strong phobias that cripple their lives. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can help in some cases.