How do people get phobias?
How do people get phobias? (Thinkstock)
How do people get phobias?
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You asked us, "How do people get phobias?"
 
Roughly 10% of people will develop a phobia.
 
They might be afraid of spiders, flying or clowns. Whatever it is they're afraid of that fear isn't a normal one.
 
A phobia is an irrational or over-the-top response to a perceived danger. It's 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. These might include things like dentists or dogs. This kind tends to develop in childhood and will often go away over time.
 
Then there are two more deeply-rooted and disabling "complex phobias" that tend to start during the teen years or early adulthood. The first is social phobia.  It's a fear of being judged or embarrassed. The second is agoraphobia which is a fear of places that make you feel trapped.
 
It's likely that genetics have a hand in phobias.
 
These unwarranted fears tend to run in families. There's evidence that they can be inherited biologically, at least in mice.
 
But life experiences play a role, too.
 
Phobias can develop from a scary or stressful experience. They can even come from something you just witnessed or heard about.
 
Unfortunately, knowing what caused your phobia doesn't cure you of it.
 
What might help though is exposure therapy. It's where patients gradually increase contact with their phobia and learn to overcome their fear.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/how-do-people-get-phobias/

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


COMMENTS (586)
  • kareng-612-
    10/29/2015 - 03:19 p.m.

    I have a phobia.It is called trypophobia. When I look at things like that my cheeks get red.I get disgusted.

  • madisonf-cam
    10/29/2015 - 04:00 p.m.

    After reading the selection I think that phobias run in families because of DNA.I know that most families spend a lot of time together,some of their fears might be the same.I wonder if there is another kind of phobia that is being dicovered?

  • natalier-4-bar
    10/29/2015 - 04:36 p.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in families because, "It's likely that genetics have a hand in phobias,"(line 8). Also most children have the mind set or grow up to be like there family members so if a young child sees or hears their parents talking about phobias from a young age a child might think that it is right to be afraid of that thing or want to be like their parents but, if they start young with that mind set the phobia will most likely become real. Then the children of the children and so on all have the same phobia. There might be another way that phobias get passed because study have shows, according to line nine that mice actually inherit phobias. There is no prof yet that the trait of inheritting phobias is the same with humans but, it could very well be true. All we know now is that it is easy for most families to have the same phobia.I really enjoyed this article because I have so many phobias and it was cool to learn some possible sources on where they came from.

  • sydneym-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 04:44 p.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in families because if someone's parents have a phobia about something, the cells that make the parent afraid of something might be transferred to their child. In the ariticle, it mentions how there is evidence that phobias can be inherited biologically, at least in mice. I found this article interesting because I did not know very much about how there could be different types of phobias.

  • yuaw-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 05:44 p.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in families because on paragraph eight, it says that genetics probably have a hand in phobias. Also on the next paragraph, (paragraph 9) it states that there's evidence that mice inherit these phobias biologically, giving us a pretty good change that phobias can run in families.
    I thought this article was very interesting because I have a friend that has a phobia of being afraid of spiders. She told me she almost fainted once when she saw one. I was so suprised because I'm not exactly scared of anything like her which made me wonder how people get them. What was surprising in this article was that it said that scientists have tested inheriting phobias on mice, It never occurred to me that animals are scared of things like us.

  • carolinev-2-bar
    10/29/2015 - 05:45 p.m.

    "How do people get phobias?", by Ask Smithsonian is about how one person can develop an irrational fear. There are two ways people can get a phobia. One is a specific thing that you become terrified of as a child, but will eventually wither away. The second one is a bit more complex, you can inherit a phobia from your parents. As the smithsonian said,"It's likely that genetics have a hand in phobias.These unwarranted fears tend to run in families. There's evidence that they can be inherited biologically, at least in mice".I think that this shows that fears can be inherited from your DNA because many families have the same phobias.This article was a very interesting. I think that it is very well done and has lots of amazing facts and proof about phobias.

  • brianag-6-bar
    10/29/2015 - 06:56 p.m.

    Phobias tend to run in families because you were exposed to a terrible experience that scarred you. As it says in the text "Phobias can develop from a scary or stressful experience." Like if you are scared of dolls maybe you saw a creepy movie with dolls and that could scar you for life. I chose this article because I am scared of dolls and spiders and I wnated to know how I became so scared of them.

  • simonak-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 07:35 p.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in families because phobias can be developed by something that you heard about.. In the article, it says, "Phobias can develop from a scarier stressful experience. They can even come from something you just witnessed or heard about." Your family is often around you, so you may hear something that is scary to someone in your family, which will influence the way you think bout a subject, and eventually it will turn into a phobia.
    My opinion about this article is that i think that phobias are an interesting subject and that people should learn to conquer their fears eventually.

  • raymunda-4-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:00 p.m.

    Phobias might tend to run in families because of genes. On paragraph number 8 and 9, Ask Smithsonian states that, "genetics have a hand in phobias.These unwarranted fears tend to run in families." In their tests, their result is that mice, biologically, phobias run through their genes. If that is so, maybe it can run on humans too.
    This article seemed interesting because I have a phobia of spiders and I can now conquer my fear by facing it. What shocked me is simple phobia, social phobia, and agoraphobia

  • johnd-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:05 p.m.

    Phobias run in families. In the article it states " These unwarranted fears tend to run in families. There is evidence that they can be inherited biologically." This quote shows that it is believed that they can be inherited. That means come from your parents. In other words it comes from your family.

    It was kinda boring.

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