How do people get phobias? (Thinkstock)
How do people get phobias?
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You asked us a question. "How do people get phobias?"
 
Roughly 10% of people will get a phobia.
 
They might be scared of spiders. Or maybe flying or clowns. Whatever it is they are afraid of that fear is not a normal one.
 
A phobia is response to what someone thinks is a danger. It does not really make sense. It is normally over-the-top. It is a response that causes people to avoid their object-of-fear like the plague.
 
There are three main types.
 
Simple phobias are a fear of something specific. Those fears might be dentists or dogs. This kind tends to form in childhood. It will often go away over time.
 
Then there are two more types of phobias. These are more deeply rooted. And they can be disabling. 

They are "complex phobias." They tend to start during the teen years or early adulthood. 

The first is social phobia. It is a fear of being judged or embarrassed.

The second is agoraphobia. It is a fear of places that make you feel trapped.
 
It is likely that genetics have a hand in phobias.
 
These unwarranted fears tend to run in families. There is evidence that they can be inherited biologically, at least in mice.
 
But life experiences play a role, too.
 
Phobias can form from a scary or stressful experience. It can even happen after one you just witnessed or heard about.
 
Unfortunately, knowing what caused your phobia does not cure you of it.
 
What might help though is exposure therapy. Patients slowly increase contact with their phobia. The hope is that they will learn to overcome their fear.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might phobias tend to run in families?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (151)
  • cogginsr-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:21 a.m.

    They can be inherited biologically.

  • gibsonn-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:23 a.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in the family because of if one of the brothers sisters or parent is afraid of it they might pick up on it.

    • GioR-tar
      5/19/2017 - 10:58 a.m.

      Yes gibsonn but where they originally get it is if they see it in person or they watched a video or something else

  • durhamb-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:23 a.m.

    You're Parents Must Have Had The Same Fear In Their Childhood, So It Runs In The Family And You'll Have The Same Fear But You Will Get Over It.

  • campbelln-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:24 a.m.

    The children see what there parents are scarced of on simetimes it becomes scary to the













  • jamesj1-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:24 a.m.

    Many people are scared of different things, but if a child see that their mother or father are scared of what ever it is then the child might get scared and think its dangerous. ~Phobia~

  • aderholdm-rob
    10/29/2015 - 10:26 a.m.

    Well they may inheret their phobias them from their parents.

    • GW-tar
      5/18/2017 - 10:27 a.m.

      Not just their parents, it can be their grandparents, too

      • Anabelle T-tar
        5/19/2017 - 09:35 a.m.

        It could come from the whole family, also.

      • Anabelle T-tar
        5/19/2017 - 09:36 a.m.

        Kids might see their parents scared of something, and then the kids think it's dangerous, and that's how they get a phobia.

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