The world of mental disorders is complex and there are many types. One of the most common is anxiety disorders, which include different classes. Among these types of disorders, phobias stand out, Which are irrational and persistent fears that can seriously affect the life of the person who suffers from them.
today we will talk about the extreme fear of the disorder, known as ataxophobia, And we will explain its causes, symptoms and treatment to you.
Fear of disorder: what is it?
Phobias are irrational and persistent fears they cause a person to avoid the feared stimulus in an effort to reduce discomfort who experiences before his presence. But there are many phobias, because people can develop irrational fears towards any object, animal or situation. A spider, a clown, interacting with other individuals and even towards crowded or crowded objects, whether physical or not, can cause phobias.
Phobias can be classified into complex or simple. Within the latter, specific phobias stand out, Which arise when the person has contact or imagines a particular situation, animal or object, such as the fear of flying, the fear of insects and the fear of disorder that we are talking about in this article. The complex phobias are social phobias and agoraphobia.
You may be interested in: “Types of phobias: exploring fear disorders”
Causes of this phobia
The causes of phobias often go unnoticed, because of these disorders they are usually developed by some type of implicit learning, Known as classic conditioning. This happens when the individual experiences a traumatic event (conditioned stimulus) that causes strong emotional reactions (what is called an unconditioned response).
In cases where an irrational fear develops, the phobic stimulus, which is originally a neutral stimulus, is combined with the unconditioned stimulus, which transforms the phobic stimulus into a conditioned stimulus which manages to elicit the response. Initially unconditioned, which happens to mean conditioned response (the experience of fear).
While it is true that most phobias develop this way, it can also happen that the phobia is caused by another type of learning known as proxy conditioning. In this case, it is not the person who develops this phobia who experiences the traumatic event, but the phobic observe how another person goes through this traumatic situation. In this sense, vicarious conditioning is a type of observational learning. To learn more, see our article “Vicarious conditioning: how does this type of learning work?”
On the other hand, phobia experts claim that fear is an adaptive emotion, which has been really helpful for the survival of the species. But fear arises because of primitive chains in the primitive brain and not in the neocortex (related to logical thinking). That is why phobias do not respond to logical arguments and the treatment is characterized by exposure techniques, in which the patient has to face the feared stimulus by exposing himself to it.
Symptoms of ataxophobia
Phobias can be of several types; however, these disorders generally share the same symptoms, which can be classified into cognitive, behavioral, and physical. The experience of fear, the anguish felt by the person, confusionLack of concentration or catastrophic thoughts are common cognitive symptoms.
The main behavioral symptom is the attempt to avoid the dreaded stimulus. In terms of physical symptoms, it is possible to highlight: muscle tension, headaches, shortness of breath and hyperventilation, nausea, among others.
Treatment and therapy
Phobias are very common disorders, but they have a good prognosis if given the right treatment. Except in extreme cases, the application of drugs should never be the first treatment option. In fact, phobias respond very well to psychological therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, according to scientific studies, is usually sufficient for the patient to cope with the dreaded stimulus.
They are different cognitive-behavioral techniques that work well for treating phobias. Relaxation techniques and exposure techniques are the most effective. However, one technique that combines the two is cognitive desensitization, which is widely used in these cases.
Cognitive desensitization involves gradually exposing the patient to the feared stimulus, but he must first learn different coping strategies such as relaxation techniques.
However, other therapeutic methods seem to give excellent results. Among which mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and acceptance and engagement therapy stand out. You can find out more in our articles: