My inquiry question is “How do we develop phobias?” (5)
I chose 3 mini questions to make me understand my topic better. My second mini question was “Are phobias passed genetically?” If you read Blog Post #3, you would know that I did answer the basics to this question. As many researchers have proven, phobias are sometimes passed genetically. When a close family member (connected by DNA) has been affected by a phobia, you are at an approximate 40% increase rate of being affected by it as well. If one is not affected by the phobia, having an anxiety disorder relating to the phobia is fairly common (1).
Now a little more about the science part of developing a phobia, Some phobias come genetically while others are developed over time. Our body develops a phobia after experiencing a traumatic incident that triggers our amygdala to react in a certain way. The amygdala is a part of our brain that controls our emotional thinking (2) Our bodies respond to scary situations with the fight or flight response. The amygdala informs us that something that has affected us in the past is coming our way so we have to be ready to face it or to run from it (3).
Many of you asked for me to talk about some uncommon phobias. So I decided to include them in this blog post. Some of the most uncommon phobias that you most likely have not heard of are (4):
- Arithmophobia: Fear of math
- Chloephobia: Fear of newspapers
- Pogonophobia: Fear of facial hair
- Turophobia: Fear of cheese
- Xanthophobia: Fear of the colour yellow
Even though these phobias are uncommon, that does not mean that people affects by them are making these things up. Phobias do cause panic and anxiety and none should be taken as a joke. If you know anyone who is suffering from a phobia, tell them they are not alone, make them feel like you understand them, and make sure they know that they are none less than someone who does not have an irrational fear.
- Fritscher, L. (2020, October 23). Could you have inherited your phobias? Verywell Mind. Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/research-findings-on-the-genetics-of-phobias-2671935.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Amygdala. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/science/amygdala.
- Fight or flight response. Psychology Tools. (2021, November 4). Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response/#:~:text=The%20fight%20or%20flight%20response,body%20to%20fight%20or%20flee.
- Laves-Webb, L., Author: Louis Laves-Webb Upon receiving my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, Author: & Upon receiving my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. (2021, February 26). Guide: Uncommon phobias & extraordinary fears: Louis Laves. Webb. Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.louislaves-webb.com/uncommon-phobias-a-guide-to-extraordinary-fears/.
- Mandal, D. A. (2021, January 19). Causes of phobias. News. Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Causes-of-phobias.aspx. (Photo on top)