When it comes to anxiety, anything can become a trigger or fear. A lot of times, the things that cause the most anxiety come from one main irrational fear. The fear itself and the control it has over you varies from person to person. Specific phobia anxiety is different than having a basic fear of certain things. It happens when a certain situation, person, or object makes you so uncomfortable that your body shuts down. The fears usually don’t make sense and can seem excessive, but once something takes a hold of your brain, you can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. Our brains can interpret something so mundane and safe as a threat to your safety. When our brain and body doesn’t know how to respond to that fear, we react in seemingly unreasonable ways. Most fears come from not being able to control your circumstances. Some of the most common types of specific phobia anxiety are enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), nature, animals/insects, health problems, and fear of driving.
Claustrophobia: Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces such as airplanes, cars, small rooms, and more. It makes people feel as though they can’t move or breathe. They are afraid of their lack of control over the situation, which causes them to panic.
Nature: This can include anything from heights, water, storms, etc. This also comes from the understanding that you cannot control your surroundings at all times.
Animals/Insects: This fear is exactly what it sounds like: you are afraid of animals and bugs. They are unpredictable in their actions, which can oftentimes make people uneasy. We want to know what is going to happen at all times, but when animals and insects come into the picture, it is difficult to stay calm in the unknown.
Health Problems: Many people live in the constant fear that something is wrong with their health. Any time someone mentions an illness, they automatically think they have it. Another phobia that comes with this is emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.
Fear of driving: The fear of driving is just that, you are afraid of everything that comes with driving. It can be caused by past experiences or just by knowing that anything can happen when you’re on the road. It can make you feel trapped when the only thing you can control is yourself. There is so much going on when you drive that it can be unbearable.
There are so many more phobias like these that cause anxiety, but the ones above are the most common ones. Humans want to feel comfortable most of the time, and when they are thrown into unexpected situations, they don’t know how to react. Some people are able to handle it, but others find it too overwhelming. Both are okay, but we all need to learn our own ways of coping with those anxious thoughts and feelings.