A few days ago, my friends and I were discussing our fears in life. To be honest, we ended the discussion with some previously discovered knowledge for each other, which was enjoyable. However, there was one thing throughout the whole discussion that stood out: Do I have a fear or phobia? Individuals often get confused by the two terms.
As a result, I decided to put on my psychologist hat and assist everyone out there in distinguishing between the two terms FEAR and PHOBIA.
However, pause! How about a little activity before we begin? Make a list of your phobias and fears.
Let us begin immediately.
Fear vs. Fear
While we often use these two words interchangeably, they may not always imply the same thing.
Fear is an emotional reaction and one of the main feelings humans experience when confronted with danger or anger. It is a primal feeling that warns us of potential danger in our surroundings, effectively safeguarding us. We may conclude that fear is a good emotion that serves to prepare us for flight or fight.
Check out our other posts to discover more about phobias.
Phobia is a kind of anxiety disorder. You will experience dread in this situation, but it is more likely to be illogical, resulting in some kind of impairment. According to the DSM-5, phobias are characterized by persistent dread or anxiety, and even the mere idea of them may trigger a frightened reaction. Generally speaking, the answer
According to Wilson, author of the book Don’t Panic, “phobias are defined as the continuous feeling of overwhelming and irrational dread.”
At a Glance: The Difference Between Fear and Phobia
Fear vs. Phobia and Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I suffer from a phobia or a fear?
Consult a mental health expert to determine if the stimuli that elicits a frightened reaction in you is a consequence of your fear or phobia. However, I’d want to share with you my secret checklist, which will provide you with clarity.
Consider a stimuli that instills dread in you. Now, ask yourself these three fundamental questions, being completely honest with yourself.
Does the fear-inducing stimuli cause my heart to race or do you perspire just thinking about it?
Would you avoid situations in which the fear trigger is present (but is positioned far away from you)?
Are you unable to bear the idea or image of the item or event that causes you fear?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, your condition is more likely to be a phobia.
- Will my anxieties develop into phobias?
Not all fear develops into phobia. However, if a frightening scenario is accompanied with distressing feelings to the point of anxiety, it is likely to grow into a phobia. To put it simply, phobia occurs when a fear trigger induces anxiety and begins to impair everyday functioning.
- Which of the following is a more serious dread or phobia?
Given that fear is a natural and primal feeling, while phobias are mental health disorders, it seems reasonable to assert that phobias are more severe than fears. However, it is recommended that you work on your worries and do not allow them to interfere with your life in any way, so that they do not develop into phobias.
- Is it possible for me to have both dread and phobia?
Yes! To be honest, the majority of us have both phobias and anxieties. You may dread being late for work and being reprimanded by your employer. You may develop a fear of spiders. Both of them are compatible. By and large, the list of fears will be larger than the list of phobias.
We hope you now understand the distinction between fear and phobia. Now, review the list you were requested to construct at the beginning and make any necessary adjustments. Have any of your phobias been relegated to the fear list, or is it the other way around? Please share your experience in the comments area below.
Note: If you are having difficulty overcoming your phobias, we suggest that you speak with a mental health expert. They can assist you in developing effective coping skills for overcoming your fears.
We appreciate your time in reading!