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מקצוע: אנגלית, כיתה: י"ב, מאת: דנה כהן, פורסם: 15/05/2008
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The
Phobia






Introduction
In my project, I decided to write about the subject of phobia. The phobia
is a phenomenon that a lot of people suffer from, but actually, not
enough people are aware of this fact. I would like to check and write
about the symptoms that phobic people suffer from, how many phobias
exist... in my research I would like to find answers to the next questions:
-What is a phobia and what is a fear?
-What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?
-How phobias are named?
-What reactions do the phobias cause?
-Is it possible to heal a person from his phobia?
-Which treatments to phobias are exists?
-In which age can the phobia appear?
-Is it possible to impart a phobia to a person? Can a person learn to be
phobic?
-How many phobias exist?
-How can you tell if you are a phobic person?

The subject of phobias always interested me, and I'm glad I had the
opportunity to explore it.
I hope to find answers to those questions, and to enrich my knowledge
about this interesting topic.


Phobia
What is a fear? Fear is one of the major emotional situations that the
human bean and the animals suffer from. The fear arises most of the time
due to a situation which includes some kind of danger or a threat in the
environment of the person.
What is a phobia? Phobia has some definitions, but actually, there isn’t
a specific agreed definition. By one of the psychologist, phobia is a
terrifying fear from an object or a situation. The origin of the word
phobia is from the Greek ward photos, which means horror, and terror
or escape.
So what is the difference between fear and a phobia? The British
investigator, professor marks, phobia can be categorized in a form of
phobia which can not be explained, can not be calmed by sense talks,
and it bring the phobic person to avoid himself from arriving to the
specific horrifying situation.
In spite of the fact that the accelerators to all kind of phobias are
numerous and different, there's a speculation that for all kinds of fears
there is only one rootined reason. There's Froid and his psychoanalytic
explanation, and the behaviorist psychology. The psychologists believe
that the phobias are a hint to other deep anxieties, and the phobic person
afraid to deal with his real fear so he disguises it with other symbolic
thing. Froid and other believe that at most of the times the inner
disguised fears are a sexual urges or violent, which makes the strongest
impulses, and they are still being covert and depressed.
How phobias are named? The source of the phobia is Greek, so every
phobia name must be Greek to. Many times, people tried to break this
rule, and tried to make a Latin name. Although this rule must be
followed, some words are a combination between Latin and Greek.
What reactions do the phobias cause? First of all, if a person is
terrified, he might scream, and do everything to get out of the room his
staying at. Secondly, he will understand that the phobia factor may be
harmless and his fear is unreasonable. Thirdly, he understands that
although his phobia is unreasonable, he understand that he has no
control over the phobia. At lest, there is no use in convincing wards,
explanations, or calming thing. Only to be away from the phobia factor
is the solution to the phobic person.
Is it possible to heal a person from his phobia? In many cases yes,
although sometimes it's very hard to eliminate them. The reason is that
the phobic person doesn’t go to see a doctor until he can't stand his
phobia. Meanwhile, the ill person tries to heal himself, but instead, he
makes the situation more complex and his condition gets harder.
Which treatments to phobias are exists? There are 3 categories to the
treatments types: the first one considered as the analytic system, which
by this way, the doctors made an experience to locate the source of the
phobia by psychoanalysis or other systems of conversations. When the
source is being located, the fear is gone. This system isn't accepted by
most of the therapists. Instead, the therapy tries to reduce the condition
of stress and anxiety, until the patient realize that "he has no necessity"
in the phobia-and all of this only in a condition that the phobia is a focus
of general anxiety condition. With this treatment to, which was accepted
at the past, very few people still use. The other systems to heal the
phobias are the behaviorist and the social system. The behaviorist
systems include two streams: one is the "to remove the sensibility" and
the other is "the system of flooding". Both systems are effectual but the
first one is slower. The second is much instant. The other social way,
reminds the system of A.A, which includes meetings of the patients, and
in those meetings the patients talk to each other and gain the sympathy
of other members, and they consoled by the fact that a lot of other suffer
to.
In which age can the phobia appear? The phobia appears in any age.
Starting from children in any age, and ending in any possible age.
Is it possible to impart a phobia to a person? Can a person learn to be
phobic? It is possible, and the first time that it has been done was to a
child. The 3 years old, child Albert got use to react in fear to the sight of
hyraxes that appeared in front of him escort by terrifying strong noise.
At first, the child reacted in fear, only to the sight of the hyraxes, but
later, hr started to be afraid from rats and others hairy beings. In this
event, the child developed a phobia to hairy animals and toys. Time after
time, the therapist tried to cure the child from his phobia, and left him
alone with hyrax. Every time, the hyrax and the child got closer. After
some time, the child finished his phobia, and he was capable to approach
the hyrax, and to hug him. This technique to remove phobias still exist
and being used to heal phobias.
How can you tell if you are a phobic person? If you wander, so you are
healthy, or your phobia is so weak, so you ignore it. A serious phobia
doesn't leave a place for doubts at the phobic person's heart. If you are,
you should see a doctor, and don’t try to heal yourself from the phobia.
Wait for treatment and by then, try to have a normal life, and to avoid
from the phobia factor.
How many phobias exist? Today, about 537 phobias are known, in any
kind. The most common phobia is the Agoraphobia- Fear of open spaces
or of being in crowded, public places like markets, Fear of leaving a safe
place. Other phobias, less common are Claustrophobia, Zoophobia,
Phobophobia, etc.


Conclusion
-In this research, which I find it very intrigue, I learned what is phobia-
some kind of illness that cause to the person who deficient is, some kind
of panic, to feel threatened by the phobia factor, and disruptive the
phobic person's life. I also learned that the word and the names of the
phobias come from the Greek language, and that all the names have
meanings, that it's possible to heal phobia, but only with some
treatments, and different systems, etc.
I never knew, and it was interesting to find out, that person can learn to
be phobic. I always knew that phobia is a disease that you born with.
I can understand now, that a phobia is a desies and not just any regular
fear. It can be heald, but with medical treatment and not by tring to
ignore the phobia factor, which it is an impossible thing to do.


Individual reflection
The truth is, that I always had a general knowledge about the
background of the word, and the phenomenon named phobia. I knew
what it is, and some phobic diseases, but I wanted to do a much deeper
research, in order to find out and understand the meaning of the word,
how can it happened, why does it happened, and to which reactions can
it cause.
I'm not really familiar with any phobic person. Before I have done this
project, I could have believed I am, but I learned the difference of fear
and phobia, and now I understand that it's not a phobia, only a common
fear.
It seems to me that the phobia is a terrible disease, and I believe that
person who faces it every day in his life, is a very brave and strong
person. In spite of the fact it's very fascinating, it’s a horrible thing to
leave with, and a terrible phenomenon to suffer from. I never understood
before the seriousness of it, until now.













Phobia- a chronic and unreasonable fear from an object, animal, person,
place or a situation. Avoidance from meeting with the phobic object may
limit the life of the person with the phobia. The treatments includes a
behaviorists






The word phobia is Greek, therefore any word that is connected to it
should be Greek. To coin a new phobia name, it is proper to follow
this rule. The rule has been broken many times in the past especially
within the medical profession which is steeped in Latin and often,
when forming a name for a phobia, they have dipped into what they
know and have used a Latin suppletion affixed to the Greek stem to
form their names. The language pundits frown on this but it has
happened time and time again over the years and these words have
become accepted. There are a number of these words used daily.
Television is one such word, tele from Greek, meaning distant, and
vision from Latin, meaning a seeing.
On The Phobia List, I only use names that appear in a reference book.
Someday I may put together the list of names that I can't validate.
If you are interested in sending a phobia name to me, please send the
reference for it. If it's one that you've created, let me know. And if it's
just for fun, thanks. I can always use some fun.

Treatment for Phobias

Simple or specific phobias have been quite effectively treated with
behavior therapy (Marks, 1987). The behaviorists involved in classical
conditioning techniques believe that the response of phobic fear is a
reflex acquired to non-dangerous stimuli. The normal fear to a dangerous
stimulus, such as a poisonous snake, has unfortunately been generalized
over to non-poisonous ones as well. If the person were to be exposed to
the non-dangerous stimulus time after time without any harm being
experienced, the phobic response would gradually extinguish itself. Also,
this assumes that the person does not also experience the dangerous
stimulus during that same extended period of time. In other words, one
would have to come across ONLY non-poisonous snakes for a
prolonged period of time for such extinction to occur. This is not likely
to occur naturally, so behavior therapy sets up phobic treatment
involving exposure to the phobic stimulus in a safe and controlled
setting. Foa and Kozak (1986) call this exposure treatment, so called
because the patient is exposed to the phobic stimulus as part of the
therapeutic process. One simple form of exposure treatment is that of
flooding, where the person is immersed in the fear reflex until the fear
itself fades away. Some phobic reactions are so strong that flooding
must be done through one's imagining the phobic stimulus, rather than
engaging the phobic stimulus itself.
Some patients cannot handle flooding in any form, so an alternative
classical conditioning technique is used called counter-conditioning
(Watson, 1924). In this form, one is trained to substitute a relaxation
response for the fear response in the presence of the phobic stimulus.
Relaxation is incompatible with feeling fearful or having anxiety, so it is
said that the relaxation response counters the fear response. This
counter-conditioning is most often used in a systematic way to very
gradually introduce the feared stimulus in a step-by-step fashion known
as systematic desensitization, first used by Joseph Wolpe (1958). This
desensitization involves three steps: (1) training the patient to physically
relax, (2) establishing an anxiety hierarchy of the stimuli involved, and
(3) counter-conditioning relaxation as a response to each feared stimulus
beginning first with the least anxiety-provoking stimulus and moving
then to the next least anxiety-provoking stimulus until all of the items
listed in the anxiety hierarchy have been dealt with successfully.
Biofeedback instrumentation has often been used to ensure that the
patient is truly well-relaxed before going the next higher item in the
anxiety hierarchy. Several indexes have been used in this adjunctive
approach, including pulse rate, respiration rate, and electrodermal
responses.
Also, systematic desensitization can be paired with modeling, an
application suggested by social learning theorists. In modeling, the
patient observes others (the "models") in the presence of the phobic
stimulus who are responding with relaxation rather than fear. In this
way, the patient is encouraged to imitate the model(s) and thereby relieve
their phobia. Combining live modeling with personal imitation is
sometimes called participant modeling (Bernstein, 1997).
Rothbaum et. al. (1995) reports using a virtual-reality helmet being worn
by the patient which then displays a phobic situation which is controlled
and monitored by the therapist. The scene might be one of driving a car
over a high bridge, while pulse rate is being monitored by the therapist.
When the pulse rate gets too high, the scene is either shut down or frozen
in frame to allow the therapist to counter-condition relaxation to replace
the fear and anxiety response.
Systematic desensitization in a variety of forms has been commonly used
to treat specific phobias and, in some cases, can be achieved in a single
therapeutic session (Ost, 1989; Zinbarg & others, 1992).




The Phobia List Class Categories

Psychiatry identifies three different categories of phobias (DSM-
IV,1994):
Agoraphobia
(with panic attacks): 300.21
(without panic attacks): 300.01
Irrational anxiety about being in places from which escape might be
difficult or embarrassing.

Social phobia: 300.23
Irrational anxiety elicited by exposure to certain types of social or
performance situations, also leading to avoidance behavior.
Specific phobia: 300.29
Persistent and irrational fear in the presence of some specific stimulus
which commonly elicits avoidance of that stimulus, i.e., withdrawal.
SUBTYPES:
* animal type - cued by animals or insects
* natural environment type - cued by objects in the
environment, such as storms, heights, or water
* blood-injection-injury type - cued by witnessing some
invasive medical procedure
* situational type - cued by a specific situation, such as public
transportation, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, driving, or
enclosed spaces
* other type - cued by other stimuli than the above, such as of
choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness
By definition, phobias are IRRATIONAL, meaning that they interfere
with one's everyday life or daily routine. For example, if your fear of
high places prevents you from crossing necessary bridges to get to work,
that fear is irrational. If your fears keep you from enjoying life or even
preoccupy your thinking so that you are unable to work, or sleep, or do
the things you wish to do, then it becomes irrational.
One key to diagnosing a phobic disorder is that the fear must be
excessive and disproportionate to the situation. Most people who fear
heights would not avoid visiting a friend who lived on the top floor of a
tall building; a person with a phobia of heights would, however. Fear
alone does not distinguish a phobia; both fear and avoidance must be
evident. (Lefton, L. A., 1997)
The Freudians speculate that as young children agoraphobics may have
feared abandonment by a cold or nonnurturing mother and the fear has
generalized to a fear of abandonment or helplessness. By contrast,
modern learning theory suggests that agoraphobia may develop because
people avoid situations they have found painful or embarrassing. Also,
failed coping strategies and low self-esteem have been implicated
(Williams, Kinney, & Falbo, 1989). Other research (Ost & Hugdahl,
1981) suggests that almost half of all people with phobias have never
had a painful experience with the object they fear. Perhaps we hear that
someone has been injured by a snake, for example, and we become afraid
too. Almost no one is afraid of cars, even though almost everyone has
experienced or witnessed a car accident in which someone got injured.
As Martin Seligman (1971) put it, people may be inherently "prepared"
to learn certain phobias. For millions of years people who quickly
learned to avoid snakes, heights, and lightning probably have had a good
chance to survive and to transmit their genes. We have not had enough
time to evolve a tendency to fear cars and guns.
Another possible explanation is that people generally develop phobias
for objects they cannot predict or control. Danger is more stressful when
it takes us by surprise (Mineka, 1985; Mineka, Cook, & Miller, 1984).
Lightning is unpredictable and uncontrollable. In contrast, you don't
have to worry that electric outlets will take you by surprise, so it's not
likely that you'll have an "electric outlet phobia."
Humans seem biologically prepared to acquire fears of certain animals
and situations that were important survival threats in evolutionary
history (Seligman, 1971, McNally, 1987). People also seem predisposed
to develop phobias toward creatures that arouse disgust, like slugs,
maggots, rats, or cockroaches (Webb & Davey, 1993).
Neuroscientists are finding that biological factors, such as greater blood
flow and metabolism in the right side of the brain than in the left
hemisphere, may also be involved in phobias. Identical twins reared
apart sometimes develop the same phobias; one pair independently
becoming claustrophobic, for example (Eckert, Heston, & Bouchard,
1981).
There may be other reasons why some phobias are more common than
others. One is that we have many safe experiences with cars and tools to
outweigh any bad experiences. We have few safe experiences with
snakes or spiders or with falling from high places (Kleinknecht, 1982).
Cross-cultural psychologists point out that phobias are influenced by
cultural factors. Agoraphobia, for example, is much more common in the
United States and Europe than in other areas of the world (Kleinman,
1988). A social phobia common in Japan but almost nonexistent in the
West is taijin kyofusho, an incapacitating fear of offending or harming
others through one's own awkward social behavior or imagined physical
defect (Kirmayer, 1991). The focus of cognition for a sufferer of this
phobia is on the harm to others, not on embarrassment to the self as in
social phobias in the West. Taijin kyofusho is described by Japanese
psychiatrists as a pathological exaggeration of the modesty and sensitive
regard for others that, at lower levels, is considered proper in Japan
(Gray, 1994).
Most psychologists believe that people with panic disorder develop their
social phobia or agoraphobia because they are afraid of being
incapacitated or embarrassed by a panic attack in a public place. In a
sense, they are afraid of their own fear (McNally, 1990).



What is a fear?
Fear is one of the major emotional situations that the human bean and
the animals suffer from. The fear arises most of the time due to a
situation which includes some kind of danger or a threat in the
environment of the person.
What is a phobia?
Phobia has some definitions, but actually, there isn’t a specific agreed
definition. By one of the psychologist, phobia is a terrifying fear from an
object or a situation. The origin of the word phobia is from the Greek
ward photos, which means horror, and terror or escape.
So what is the difference between fear and a phobia?
The British investigator, professor marks, phobia can be categorized in
a form of phobia which can not be explained, can not be calmed by sense
talks, and it bring the phobic person to avoid himself from arriving to
the specific horrifying situation.
In spite of the fact that the accelerators to all kind of phobias are
numerous and different, there's a speculation that for all kinds of fears
there is only one rootined reason. There's Froid and his psychoanalytic
explanation, and the behaviorist psychology. The psychologists believe
that the phobias are a hint to other deep anxieties, and the phobic person
afraid to deal with his real fear so he disguises it with other symbolic
thing. Froid and other believe that at most of the times the inner
disguised fears are a sexual urges or violent, which makes the strongest
impulses, and they are still being covert and depressed.


How phobias are named?
The source of the phobia is Greek, so every phobia name must be Greek
to. Many times, people tried to break this rule, and tried to make a Latin
name. Although this rule must be followed, some words are a
combination between Latin and Greek.

What reactions do the phobias cause?
First of all, if a person is terrified, he might scream, and do everything
to get out of the room his staying at. Secondly, he will understand that
the phobia factor may be harmless and his fear is unreasonable. Thirdly,
he understands that although his phobia is unreasonable, he understand
that he has no control over the phobia. At lest, there is no use in
convincing wards, explanations, or calming thing. Only to be away from
the phobia factor is the solution to the phobic person.



Is it possible to heal a person from his phobia?
In many cases yes, although sometimes it's very hard to eliminate them.
The reason is that the phobic person doesn’t go to see a doctor until he
can't stand his phobia. Meanwhile, the ill person tries to heal himself,
but instead, he makes the situation more complex and his condition gets
harder.
Which treatments to phobias are exists?
There are 3 categories to the treatments types: the first one considered
as the analytic system, which by this way, the doctors made an
experience to locate the source of the phobia by psychoanalysis or other
systems of conversations. When the source is being located, the fear is
gone. This system isn't accepted by most of the therapists. Instead, the
therapy tries to reduce the condition of stress and anxiety, until the
patient realize that "he has no necessity" in the phobia-and all of this
only in a condition that the phobia is a focus of general anxiety
condition. With this treatment to, which was accepted at the past, very
few people still use. The other systems to heal the phobias are the
behaviorist and the social system. The behaviorist systems include two
streams: one is the "to remove the sensibility" and the other is "the
system of flooding". Both systems are effectual but the first one is
slower. The second is much instant. The other social way, reminds the
system of A.A, which includes meetings of the patients, and in those
meetings the patients talk to each other and gain the sympathy of other
members, and they consoled by the fact that a lot of other suffer to.



In which age can the phobia appear?
The phobia appears in any age. Starting from children in any age, and
ending in any possible age.

Is it possible to impart a phobia to a person? Can a person learn to be
phobic?
It is possible, and the first time that it has been done was to a child. The
3 years old, child Albert got use to react in fear to the sight of hyraxes
that appeared in front of him escort by terrifying strong noise. At first,
the child reacted in fear, only to the sight of the hyraxes, but later, hr
started to be afraid from rats and others hairy beings. In this event, the
child developed a phobia to hairy animals and toys. Time after time, the
therapist tried to cure the child from his phobia, and left him alone with
hyrax. Every time, the hyrax and the child got closer. After some time,
the child finished his phobia, and he was capable to approach the hyrax,
and to hug him. This technique to remove phobias still exist and being
used to heal phobias.

How can you tell if you are a phobic person?
If you wander, so you are healthy, or your phobia is so weak, so you
ignore it. A serious phobia doesn't leave a place for doubts at the phobic
person's heart. If you are, you should see a doctor, and don’t try to heal
yourself from the phobia. Wait for treatment and by then, try to have a
normal life, and to avoid from the phobia factor.

How many phobias exist?
Today, about 537 phobias are known, in any kind. The most common
phobia is the Agoraphobia- Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded,
public places like markets, Fear of leaving a safe place. Other phobias,
less common are Claustrophobia, Zoophobia, Phobophobia, etc.


1

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