July 1, 2008
By Megan King, Dorset, ZZ

The other day was I sat in my room shouting my Dad at the top of my lungs he came rushing in asking me what the problem was. In such a bother I shouted ‘I have a phobia of spiders! Get it out!’ My Dad told me not to be so stupid and picked it up without any bother and off he went. After catching my breath and calming myself after the shock I realised how idiotic I had been because the truth is I don’t have a phobia of spiders! I don’t particularly like them but I know they can’t hurt me and the poor things are probably more scared at seeing me, this human being screaming frantically in their faces.

This led me to think about what having a phobia actually was. After looking around a phobia is defined as an ‘irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.’ After reading deeper into what a phobia was I began to feel quite ashamed how when faced with something I wasn’t particularly fond of I’d claim to have a phobia of it when I clearly didn’t.
Phobia’s can lead to things like Panic Attacks. Many who suffer panic attacks state they are the most frightening experiences of their lives. Sufferers of panic attacks experiences vary however here are some things people say to have felt, a sense of dying, "going crazy", heart attacks, feeling faint, nauseous, "flashing vision", or losing control of themselves. These feelings may cause a strong desire to escape the place where the attack began. Can you even imagine going through something like this?
Having a phobia is a seriously horrible thought so permanently suffering one must be one of the most horrific feelings in the world. Not being able to complete normal activities or constantly having to be wary must be difficult at the best of times, especially when phobia’s can arise from such small things for example, Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, Peladophobia – fear of bald people, Geniophobia – fear of chins, Hygrophobia – fear of liquids, Anablepophobia – fear of looking up. Although these all sound pretty humorous and you can’t possibly imagine feeling like this if you seriously do have a phobia each day is a struggle.
A large majority of teenagers all over the world suffer from these phobias and live their lives in constant fear. Although we always hear about people living in fear in the news we never really take the time to think about those people that suffer everyday. So next time your certain you have a phobia of something remember reading this. Possibly some of you reading this do suffer from a serious phobia and if you do I completely respect you and wish you all the luck in the world.

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