Phobias take many forms. Some people are terrified of dogs,
others stiffen with fright at the mere thought of talking
in front of a group. Some can't fly. Some tremble and hide
at the crack of thunder. Some can't ride an escalator. Some
are struck by panic attacks for no apparent reason. And
some never leave their homes.
Fears such as these are very common. Millions of Americans
are afflicted with phobias or panic disorder. They suffer
intensely. To escape their fear, they go to great lengths
to avoid the object, place, or situation that provokes it.
They change jobs merely to avoid an elevator ride, for example,
or cut back their social life. Some wear down their families
with their clinging dependency. Nearly all lose out on much
Many people to from doctor to doctor seeking cures for the
physical symptoms that accompany their phobias. Often, even
the doctor fails to recognize that stomach pains, high blood
pressure, rapid heart beat, and other symptoms may be related
to intense fear. Unless questioned, patients may not think
to mention their fears. Doctors may not ask. While the bills
keep mounting, the medical condition fails to improve.
Phobic people who think their fears are silly, childish,
or trivial often try to conceal them. While hiding from
their fears, they hide their phobias from others, further
limiting their experience of life.
Phobias are very
And Family Therapy