There are more phobias than people can actually realize. Everyone has some sort of phobia whether they realize it or not. They each work in different ways and work differently of everyone. Researchers are starting to find and use different types of technologies for phobias; For example, FMRI and PET. They are using these to look more deeply into the brain and learning how it really functions to better understand how phobias work.
They found something called an amygdala. Which is a small almond shaped structure in the middle of the brain’s temporal lobes. The amygdala and the brain structures give the phobias a higher advantage of affecting people. Researchers still don’t fully understand how this happens though.
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Phobias are the same as PTSD and panic disorders. Other researchers had the idea to mask the phobias stimulus, which have came out with interesting results. One third of the people were given nine weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, half were given selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Citalopram, and the rest had no treatment at all. After the therapy was over the patients were tested again at the nine weeks mark and again after one year.
Researchers figured out that the amygdala and the cortical areas at nine weeks could predict which symptoms would get better after a year had passed. Phobias are more serious than people think they are and people can not control their reaction to their fear says Tom.
A phobia is a fear of one particular trigger. Researcher amy james says some areas of the brain store and recall dangerous or potentially deadly events. If that event occurs again those areas of the brain will remember that frightening memory sometimes more than once, which will cause your body to have the same reaction. The amygdala triggers the release of fight or flight hormones says researchers.
Most of the times doctors recommend special help like different types of therapy, medicaton, or both. Therapy is more recommended than medication because medication is more used to cope with anxietys and abnormanlitys in the brain, says Tom. It is recommended to reduce fear and anxiety and help people manage their reactions. Most people think fear and phobia are the same thing but they are not. A fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something is dangerous, while a phobia is more of an ongoing, irrational dread of a situation or thingsays amy.
Phobias are the most common mental disorder between the ages of seven to nine and can interfere with daily functioning. Phobias during childhood can have a big impact on anxiety disorders later throughout the child’s life so they need treatment as soon as possible. The most frequent comorbid anxiety disorders in youth with specific phobias are post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety. However, other comorbid disorders are common as well, says researchers.
There is a one session treatment of cognitave behavioral therapy for specific phobias. OST has been used to treat adults with specific phobias and it has shown positive long term results over a seven point five year period, with sixty five percent of treated patients diagnosis with free and an additional twenty five percent improved, says researchers.
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