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)
  • lunaherreran-rob
    10/29/2015 - 02:36 p.m.

    They can be inherited.

  • bravol-rob
    10/29/2015 - 02:36 p.m.

    phobias can be overcome though with a the help of a special therapist

  • christophera-mab
    10/30/2015 - 11:55 a.m.

    The reason why phobias tend to run in families is because it might be in a person's genetics. This means, it might be in a person's DNA to have phobias.

  • nyree-whi
    11/02/2015 - 11:36 a.m.

    because a member of there famlie might had experinc

  • nyree-whi
    11/02/2015 - 11:39 a.m.

    becuses a member of there famlie had a expercant

  • fernandez-rulea-rob
    11/02/2015 - 01:37 p.m.

    Phobias tend to run in families because
    they can be inherited biologically

  • garciaa-rob
    11/02/2015 - 01:41 p.m.

    they might tend to run in the families

  • lovingoodc-rob
    11/02/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    they look scared and doing funny faces or something

  • kyndalc-nor
    1/26/2016 - 01:05 p.m.

    it runs in the family because it gets carried on for example if your mom is scared of spiders and you see her react to them then you will probably get scared of them to

  • Callen M-tar
    5/18/2017 - 09:29 a.m.

    Is it true that only %10 out of a few million people have phobias of some sort? Do you have a phobia?

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