Abstract – Specific phobia is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Specific phobias are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30 per cent of adults at some point in their lives.
Phobic specific phobias, clinical features, Aetiology, Homoeopathic Treatment for Specific phobia
There are many specific or isolated phobias defined by the stimulus giving rise to anxiety. Previously all phobias were grouped together, but differences, including age of onset (Marks & Gelder 1966), were noted and separate categories made in DSM-III. The common types of phobia include fear of the sight of blood or injury, animals, flying, small spaces and heights. Two other types of phobia are specifically listed in ICD-10: social phobia (also known as social specific phobia) and agoraphobia (which is strongly associated with panic).
The essence of the psychological treatment of all phobias is exposure to the feared stimulus. This allows extinction of the anxiety response when the feared consequences do not occur, and removal of the reinforcing effect of anxiety-relief on avoidance. Treatment with exposure may be amplified by examination of the fear of catastrophe using cognitive techniques. For example, the person who is fearful that he will collapse in public may be asked if this has ever actually occurred. Treatment may also involve dealing with comorbid problems such as anxiety and alcohol dependence.
Phobic specific phobias
Phobic specific phobias have as their core anxiety evoked by specific situations or objects which are perceived as more dangerous than they actually are, which leads to their avoidance.
Specific phobia Definition –
Specific phobias are characterised by a marked and persistent fear that is excessive and is associated with the presence or anticipation of the feared specific object or situation.
The most commonly feared objects and situations are animals, aspects of nature, and blood (blood injury phobia). For phobia to be considered an illness, the associated distress and avoidance must interfere with the person’s life. Panic attacks may be precipitated by exposure to the feared stimulus.
There is evidence for a familial pattern of phobias with a probable genetic contribution. Freud’s classic case of ‘little Hans’ provides a model for the psychoanalytic approach. Freud’s hypothesis was that phobias reflected internal psychological conflict, and was illustrated by the case of a boy called Hans, who developed a fear of horses. Classic conditioning theory offers the alternative hypothesis that phobias arise more directly as a result of a negative experience with the objective situation – in this case being frightened by horses. The two-factor learning theory that purports to explain the perpetuation of the phobia is described above. It has also been argued that phobias do not occur randomly, but that humans have an inherited tendency to fear specific and potentially life-threatening stimuli, such as snakes.
Homoeopathic Treatment for Specific phobia –
Homeopathy is very effective for treatment of Specific phobia. The homeopathic prescription for anxiety neurosis is based on the principle of individualization
Aconitum Napellus – Aconite is a very useful Homeopathic remedy for Generalized Specific phobia aconite persons are having fear of death and are very restlessness. There is anxiety of crowded places and while crossing the streets. Acute, sudden and violent attacks of tension, with a marked fear of death and when outside makes the patient feel better. Increased thirst for big quantities of cold water during the attack could be a vital pointer towards the utilization of Homeopathic medicine aconitum napellus. Homeopathic medicine. Anxiety attack that comes on suddenly with very strong fear of death may indicate this remedy. A state of immense anxiety could also be accompanied by strong palpitations, shortness of breath, and flushing of the face. Sometimes a shaking experience are going to be the underlying cause.
Argentum nitricum – Argentricum nitricum is very good remedy for specific phobia. It indicated for person who is having apprehension or stage fright accompanied by agitation and a feeling of hurriedness. Person gets anxious while preparing for a few engagement or before travel. The anxiety disappears as soon as the person reaches the engagement venue or sits within the car. person is accompanied by the most troublesome fear and diarrhea. Excessive irritability, nervousness and impulsiveness. Person walk very fast and continuously till fatigue sets in. Person of Generalized Specific phobia with symptoms of impulse to jump impulsiveness like the out while travelling in a train, or while crossing a bridge or high.
Arsenicum Album – Arsenicum Album is very good remedy for specific phobia there is fears death and restless. It is useful for patients who refuse to take the medicine because of the thought that death is near and there is no use of taking medicine. Severe restlessness, continually changing position, excessive weakness and the patient can even faint. The attacks of anxiety that are worse at night and make the person fearful to be alone also guide towards the use of Homeopathic medicine Arsenicum Album. People are very much anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with order and security, often benefit from this remedy. Obsessive about small details and extremely neat, they will feel a desperate got to be up to the mark of everything. Panic attacks often occur around midnight or the very early hours of the morning. The person may feel exhausted yet still be restless—fidgeting, pacing, and anxiously moving from place to place. These people may additionally have digestive problems or asthma attacks with anxiety.
Calcarea carbonica – cal carb is good remedy for specific phobia There is fear of breaking out of any safe routine. Anxiety worsens when plans are changed, and they show difficulty in “going with the flow.” especially indicated for dependable, solid people who become overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired, which leads to anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and a nagging dread of disaster may develop. Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common. A person who needs this remedy is usually chilly and sluggish, has a craving for sweets, and is easily fatigued.
Gelsemium – Gelsemium is very good medicine for specific phobia The patients of Specific phobia who complain of trembling and palpitations. The palpitations lead to the patient being in constant motion .The anxiety attacks that come after a sudden fright, exciting news, sudden emotions and when a person has to attend an interview with consequent trembling of the entire body needs the utilization of Homeopathic medicine gelsemium sempervirens. The anxiety attacks accompanied by dizziness, dullness, weakness and diarrhea can also be effectively tackled with this Homeopathic medicine.
Ignatia Amara – Ignatia Amara is very good remedy for specific phobia for a person who is having sudden grief, Changeable mood; introspective; silently brooding. Melancholic, sad, tearful. Not communicative. Sighing and sobbing. After shocks, grief, disappointment.
Kali arsenicosum -This is for anxiety that is health-based. Conditions include hypochondria, excessive grooming, and fear of heart attacks. People with health-based anxiety may have racing thoughts and difficulty sleeping. They may also fear death . Anxiety even to great anguish, with great fear. Anxiety in the morning on waking, but most marked in the evening and during the night. person is anxious without cause, about his health; wake up during the night with anxiety and fear. He fears death, or a crowd of people, yet equally dreads being alone. Fear that something will happen. Fear of people. He is very easily frightened and startled. He has frightful delusions and sees images. He despairs of recovery, he sees dead people in his nightly delirium. His thoughts dwell upon death, and he is sure he is going to die. He is very fretful, and dislikes to answer questions. He behaves like a crazy man. Fickle-minded, with confusion. Constantly discontented. Very excitable. Mental exertion intensifies mental and head symptoms. Always in a hurry, and very excitable. Many hysterical symptoms, with cramps and fainting. Indifference to all pleasure. Anxiety about health, especially about heart disease or a heart attack. This can result in panic attacks or make them sleep with their hand over their heart. Anxious thoughts can increase at night making them avoid going to bed. They can even imagine that they see dead people. Frequently feel chilly. Cannot settle upon what he wants to do. Wakens up in the morning very fretful They can be prone to feeling cold and vulnerable to panic attacks.
Kali phophoricum – A remedy for those with anxiety from feeling overwhelmed. Easily, stressed, startled and frightened. Oversensitive and delicate. Easily exhausted and irritability from exhaustion or anxiety. Physical ailments from worry, overwork, and overexcitement. They can fear having a nervous breakdown or fear something bad will happen. This is touted for those who are vulnerable to stress or becoming overwhelmed. Their anxiety stems from having too much to do or ambitions that are daunting. Their anxiety tends to take a physical toll on them as well.
Lycopodium Clavatum – Lycopodium Clavatum is an excellent remedy for Specific phobia when the patient has to appear in public for making a speech or otherwise with the fear that he or she will make mistakes, or will forget. However, such a person completes the task very efficiently once he or she gets started. The anxiety appears only in the beginning of a task and vanishes as the task proceeds.
Phosphorus -Homeopathic phosphorus is thought to be good for social people with anxiety. When anxious or vexed, their thoughts get scattered and they have a difficult time focusing or getting things done. Their anxiety may be tied to a need for approval in social circles or from romantic partners.
Pulsatilla -This is for people with childlike anxiety. They may need lots of reassurance and support from others to feel better.
Silica – silicia is indicated remedy for specific phobia. It’s for people who fear experiencing new things, talking in front of people, and getting a lot of attention. They tend to become workaholics to soothe their fears.
Sepia – Sepia Officinalis is Homeopathic medicine of great help for attacks of anxiety accompanied by flushes of heat on the face and head. The other symptoms that guide towards the use of this Homeopathic remedy in patients of Generalized Specific phobia are irritability, anxiety in evening time and faintness during anxiety.
Stramonium – Stramonium is indicated remedy for specific phobia . it includes night terrors, nightmares, or dark thoughts while awake. People with this type of anxiety are often scared of the dark or being alone and are especially scared by thoughts of monsters or mysterious figures. Their imaginations tend to worsen their anxiety.
Reference – Eve C Johnstone CBE MD FRCP (Glasgow and Edinburgh) FRCPsych FMedSci FRSE Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK David Cunningham Owens MD(Hons) FRCP FRCPsych Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK Stephen M Lawrie MD(Hons) Hon.FRCP(Ed) MPhil FRCPsych Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging, Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK Andrew M McIntosh BSc(Hons) MSc MPhil MD MBChB MRCPsych Clinical Reader in Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant in Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK Michael Sharpe MA MD FRCP FRCPEdin FRCPsych Professor of Psychological Medicine, Psychological Medicine Research, Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UKCompanion to Psychiatric Studies 8 th Edtion Publisher: Timothy Horne Development Editor: Sally Davies Project Manager: Gopika Sasidharan Designer: Kirsteen Wright Illustration Manager: Bruce Hogarth pg.469.