Phobias and fears

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Almost everyone has an irrational fear of something. Some get nervous at the thought of spiders and other insects. Others shriek at the sight of a mouse. Still others get woozy when they look down from tall buildings. For most people, these fears are minor. But for some, these fears are so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with normal day-to-day life.

When fears are irrational and disabling, they are called phobias. A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger.

Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. Let’s see the example of Dean, who is terrified of flying.

Reporter: So Dean, let’s talk about you fear. What are you afraid of?
Dean: I’m afraid of flying. I’m terrified if I have to get on a plane, I’m scared to death even if I see a plane.
Reporter: How does this phobia affect your life?
Dean: Unfortunately, my job involves a lot of travelling. For weeks before every trip, I have a knot in my stomach and a feeling of anxiety that won’t go away. On the day of the flight, I wake up feeling like I’m going to throw up. Once I’m on the plane, my heart pounds, I feel lightheaded, and I start to hyperventilate. Every time it gets worse and worse.
Reporter: Your fear of flying has gotten so bad that you finally told your boss you can only travel to places within driving distance, didn’t you?
Dean: Yes, that’s true. My boss was not happy about this, so I’m not sure what will happen at work. I’m afraid I’ll lose my job.

Some phobias, such as fear of flying or driving, are so common that there are therapists who specialize in their treatment. The number of treatments you will need depends on the severity of your phobia, but exposure-based therapy is typically brief. Phobias that are limited can often be treated in as little as two to four sessions. Sometimes a single, long session is all that is needed.

irrational fear[ɪˈræʃn̩əl fɪə] – irracionális félelem
to get nervous [tu ɡet ˈnɜːvəs] – ideges less
to shriek [tu ʃriːk] – sikolt, visit
to get woozy [tu ɡet ˈwuːzi] – bágyadt, kábult less
anxiety [æŋˈzaɪəti] – aggodalom, nyugtalanság
day-to-day life [deɪ tuː deɪ laɪf] – mindennapi élet
to develop [tu dɪˈveləp] – fejlesz, kifejlődik
to be scared to death [tu bi skeəd tu deθ] – halálra rémülve lenni
to affect [tə əˈfekt] – hatással van
to involve [tə ɪnˈvɒlv] – magával hoz
to have a knot in one’s stomach [tu həv ə nɒt ɪn wʌnz ˈstʌmək] – gombóc van a torkában (csomó a gyomrában)
to throw up [tu θrəʊ ʌp] – hányni
to pound (heart) [tu paʊnd hɑːt] – ver (szív)
to feel lightheaded [tu fiːl ˈlaɪtˌhedəd] – gyengeelméjűnek érzi magát
to hyperventilate [-] – hiperventilál
therapist [ˈθerəpɪst] – terapeuta, pszichiáter
session [ˈseʃn̩] – foglalkozás

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