23/10/2022 05:09 PM | Click to read full article
We are all driven by our fears and desires, and sometimes we are in thrall to them. To be diagnosed as a specific phobia, a fear must be excessive, unreasonable, and have lasted for six months or more; and it must interfere with normal life. Though these fixations are more responsive to treatment than other anxiety disorders, most people don’t report them, choosing instead to avoid the objects that they fear. This makes it difficult to measure their prevalence, but recent studies suggest that one woman in 10 experiences a specific phobia, and one man in 20. They identified dozens of irrational fears, among them fears of public spaces, small spaces, blushing, and being buried alive (agoraphobia, claustrophobia, erythrophobia, taphephobia).